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Friday, October 12, 2007

Madzalan looks set for comeback with Rhinos

KOTA KINABALU: Madzalan Emoi is the latest ex-Rhino to have shown interest to don the State colours for the new season.

The right-back player was seen undergoing training with the Rhinos the last couple of days and head coach Drago Mamic welcomes him, especially with his physical size.

“His presence will surely be a plus for the team,” Drago said, when met at the Rhinos training at the Likas Stadium on Wednesday.

While nothing has been finalised for Madzalan to make a comeback into the team, but if we are to take Drago’s comment, then Madzalan can proudly don the Rhinos colours once again after playing for Perlis for the last two seasons.

Madzalan was among those dropped by the Perlis FA for the new season leaving defender Mohd Reithuddin Embran as the only survivor among the three Sabahans that played for the Northern Lions last season.

Midfielder Joey Ryan Gundok was also shown the exit door leaving him team-less at least for now.

And like Madzalan, Joey has also shown his interest in making a comeback, and a reliable source claimed that Joey, who left Sabah last season, contacted team manager Rahman Zakaria expressing his desire to don Sabah colours once again.

Former Reserve League striker Eddie Gapil is also making a return into the State team. He already joined the Rhinos training, and the same goes for would-be new local import signings Wong Sai Kong of Negeri Sembilan (playing for Perak last year) and Kelantanese midfielder Nafuzi Zain (played for Kedah last season), who is believed to be signed on after the Sabah FA failed to land their target man – Rezal Zambery Yahya of Negeri Sembilan.

The other is Sumardi Hajalan. However, the Tawau-born player is currently with the national team and would only be around after the pre-World Cup qualifier against Bahrain later this month.

Regarding the foreigners, Drago said that Dragic Dalidor, who was initially released at the end of his three-month contract, is likely to be back.

“He is a proven defender and has a good track record,” Drago said.

“He will be here by next week. He asked for five days off to solve a personal problem back home,” said Drago.

Asked on Charles Obi, Drago said Obi will always be his first option.

“He is one of the best strikers in the Premier League or even the Super League. However, we have to see the development of his broken arm (Obi received eight screws on his arm after being involved in a car accident).

“If he can recover in time ahead of the kick off, he will be our first option, but this time we don’t want to make another mistake – if possible we must start with three foreign players from the first game,” Drago said.

The reason being, Drago said they need to kick off their campaign on a high note until the end. At the same time, he said that he is looking for a third foreign import – preferably an attacking midfielder.

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