Sabah Football Fan blog with news, schedule, result, statistic , records and more.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


KOTA KINABALU: Foreign players are the only pieces missing from the Rhinos jigsaw puzzle ahead of the Malaysian League that kicks off on November 19.

On the local front, Rahman Zakaria said they have more or less identified the players.

“Speaking on the local players or local imports, it is almost a done deal. In fact we have identified the players that will be in the squad for the new season.

“In fact we already have a decent team (now) that can mount a strong challenge in the upcoming season,” the Rhinos team manager.

“Now it is only a matter of hiring the right foreign players to compliment the team,” he added.

Rahman’s statement is a clear hint that they are not looking for more new local players or local imports.

For the new season, Sabah have retained 18 players from last season, including four local imports.

Initially only 14 players were retained, but another three local players – David Johnny, Salvester Sindeh and Ebby Roy Raimon were reinstated at the eleventh hour.

However, Ronny Harun has opted to sign for Kedah which leaves 17 players left from last season’s squad.

The retained players are Chow Chee Wing, Ahmad Tharmini Saiban, Rezuan Muhammad Radzy, Munir Amran, Irwan Jamil, Harold John, Azrul Ejati Damsah, Hardy Charles Parsi, Mohd Radzi, Zulamri Muhammad, Henry Parsi, Rosdin Wasli, Zainizam Marjan, Bobby Gonzalez, Salvester Sindeh, David Johnny and Ebby Roy Raimon.

Two ex-Rhinos – Eddie Gapil and Sumardi Hajalan are also expected to sign for the team while another ex-Rhino Madzalan Emoi is also expected to be given another chance.

As for the local imports, Nafuzi Zain of Kelantan and Negeri Sembilan-born Wong Sai Kong are also most likely to don the Rhinos colours for the upcoming season.

Meanwhile, Drago Mamic was pleasantly surprised to see that there are so many players who wish to don the Rhinos colours next season.

The Rhinos head coach was really pleased to see this as they resumed training after a four-day Hari Raya festival break at the Likas Stadium yesterday.

Among those seen attending training with the Rhinos were ex-players in the likes of Madzalan, Joey Ryan Gundok, Aslik Mailin and one from KL Plus of Kuala Lumpur.

“I can see good Malaysian players around (in training) and I can see that there are a lot of players who want to play for Sabah. In fact this is a very good sign for the team,” said Drago.

So now, he added that it is important for these players to show good performances in training.

But deep inside, Drago knows which player or players have won his heart and among those ex-Rhinos it is likely that Madzalan could be given the chance to don State colours once again.

“It is my philosophy to have a strong domestic front. I want the team to be based on strong local players. So we need to be very careful on the kind of players (new) we need to strengthen the team.

“And once that is done then we need to choose or pick foreign players who can adapt into the team,” he added.

And Drago believes that on the local fronts things look pretty good or rather pretty encouraging!

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