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Thursday, September 27, 2007

EX-NATIONALS TOP FA’S LIST


KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah FA is trying to lure two former national players to beef its squad for the new season.

Negeri Sembilan skipper Rezal Zambery Yahya and Perak’s utility man Wong Sai Kong are both on top of the FA’s shopping list.

In fact negotiations are ongoing between the FA and the duo.

The FA Executive Secretary Harry Baking confirmed this to the New Sabah Times Sport yesterday.

“There are one or two things which need to be ironed out and once that is done, then it will be a done case,” said Harry.

The FA has been interested in signing Rezal, who is also a former Selangor player, for quite a while.

But due to the player’s contract obligations to Negeri Sembilan, the FA has to wait until the new season, as he is believed to be out of contract with his present employer.

Rezal is a playmaker and has been the backbone of the Negeri Sembilan midfield.

As for Wong, the much-travelled lanky player is quite a utility man. He can play at the backline as well as anywhere in midfield, which will surely give Sabah more options.

Besides Perak, Wong also had a stint with Public Bank and Sarawak.

Harry also hinted that they are also keeping a close eye on another former national player Hardi Jaafar.

However, he added that so far they have not approached the player, pointing out that their talks with both Rezal and Wong are their main priority at the moment.

For the new season, Sabah have retained 14 players from the present squad, including three local imports namely Chow Chee Wing, Ahmad Tharmini Saiban and Rezuan Muhammad Radzy.

On the local front, those retained are Rosdin Wasli, Zainizam Marjan, Ronny Harun, Bobby Gonzalez, Azrul Ejati Damsah, Hardy Charles Parsi, Mohd Radzi Hussin, Zulamri Muhammad, Henry Parsi, Harold John and Irwan Jamil.

Nigerian hitman Charles Obi will also be retained. However, it will depend on the progress of the recovery of his broken arm that needed eight screws.

At the same time, the FA has also released seven players – two local imports, two foreign imports and three locals.

They are goalkeeper G. Jeevanatham and left-back S. Sunder (local imports), and Clarrey Tabad, David Johnny and Ebby Roy Raimon (all locals).

The two foreign imports – Brazilian striker Felisberto De Oliveira and Bosnian defender Dragic Dalidor – also found their stint with the team a short one as the FA decided not to renew their three-month contracts.

The fates of two other local imports – flanker P. Rajesh and left-back Munir Amran are also still uncertain as their case has been put on hold until further discussion, while veterans Burhan Ajui and Henry Soimpon will be offered coaching roles by the Sabah FA.

All the local players who have been retained are currently undergoing training under assistant coach Khairul Azman Mohd.

The Rhinos are expected to begin their preparations in full swing after the Hari Raya festival.

The new season is expected to kick off in early November.

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