Tuesday, March 19

Cameroonian signings to beef up Sarawak


CENTRAL DEFENDER STRENGTH: Azamuddin Mohd Akil (centre) of Kelantan is sandwiched by Sarawak’s defenders during Malaysia Cup group match at the Stadium Muhammad 1V, Kota Bharu, recently. — Bernama photo

KUCHING: Sarawak aimed to make a big impact in next year’s Super League campaign with Cameroonian flavours.

Highly rated by Coach Robert Alberts, Ngambithe two players central defender Alexis Ngambi and striker Kalle Sone – both 29 – are expected to arrive here on Saturday and then train with local players on Monday.

This was disclosed at a press conference by Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) deputy president Abu Bakar Marzuki , his secretary Abdullah Julaihi and coach Robert Alberts at Abell Hotel here yesterday.

“To strengthen the squad, FAS is set to acquire the services of two foreign imports as well as a number of established players from the peninsular,” Abu Bakar said.

The football trials have been fixed on Oct 3 and 7 here and talent scouting will be conducted at the upcoming Liga Juara-Juara tournament to be held in Miri, Sarikei and Betong.

“As the 2011 Malaysia football season competition draws to a conclusion, FAS is eagerly awaiting the kick-off of the 2012 Super Laegue season with high anticipation that the Sarawak can make a big impact in their campaign,” he added.

Sarawak tried and did their best in the Malaysia Cup 2011 campaign. FAS is also pleased that the squad has qualified for the Super League in 2012. The league starts on Jan 7 next year.

“FAS beleived that Robert Alberts-assembled side will have little problem taking their impressive Premier League form into their Super League campaign next year,”

The confidence is there and we go into 2012 season with no fear facing the giants of Malaysian football.

Although the Super League is a totally different kind of football, Sarawak is arguably a strong side and having qualified for it mean they indeed possessed qualities.

Although wins over Premier League sides is one thing – taking on the best of Malaysia’s top teams is quite another.

The current squad is a team still-in-the-making with a number of young, promising and talented footballers from across Sarawak. They are the future of Sarawak football, at least in the near future,” Abu Bakar stressed.

The management of FAS is assembling a stronger squad to face tougher adversaries in the Super League with a number of players released and retained.

On uncertainties surrounding striker Bobby Gozales, Abu Bakar said FAS is still talking to Bobby but in the end they may have to respect his final decision.

He said, he (Bobby) wanted FAS to release him due to “family reason” but as far as FAS is concerned Bobby now is still with Sarawak. Suggesting that professionalism should be adhered to at all times, Abu Bakar urged players to honour their contract.

In the same token he also called other teams to talk terms with FAS if they are interested with any of the players instead of talking to them directly.

He said players Wong Sai Kong and Abang Mohamad Za’afari would be released next year but because of their personality and experience they may be elevated or offered to become coaches.

Others released are Abdul Ghani Annuar; Hamidan Manap; Hafizal Marzuki, Mohamad Sharizan Sahari; Shahrizam Mohammad, Abdul Rayzal Abdul Jalil and; Mohd Azlen Ahmad Jabri. Players retained are Mazwandi Zakaria; Sahran Abdul Samad; Mohd Fareez Tukijo; Zamri Morshidi; Azizan Saperi; Mohd Hairol Mokhtar; Mohd Dzulazalan Ibrahim; Mohd Shahrol Saperi; Khairol Azahar Eidros; Aidil Mohammad; Benedict Martin and Ashri Chuchu.

The duo from Sarawak President Cup Squad Ahmad Faiz Bujang and Muhammad Samium are also retained for next year campaign.