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Friday, November 28, 2008

Last chance for hopefuls


KOTA KINABALU: The Rhinos’ hopefuls will have the last opportunity to impress the Sabah FA selectors when they take on the ex-Rhinos in a friendly match scheduled for Saturday at the Likas Stadium.

The FA will be using the friendly to have the final look at all the players before they name their squad for the 2009 season.


“This is also a venue for us to have a glance at our squad for the new season. It will also enable us to know how far the team have come in their preparations,” said Rahman Zakaria.

“Since we are taking on all of our ex-players, we hope the current squad can gain something from the match.

“And once we have finalised the squad, then we will go full swing in our preparations,” the Rhinos’ team manager added.

“There is not much time left because the new season is expected to kick off in early January,” Rahman admitted.

At the moment there are about 21 hopefuls seeking a place in the State squad.

With the “loyal 12” players from last season’s squad likely to have their contracts extended for another season, that means there are between 10-13 vacant slots left in the team as the FA is looking at a squad of between 22-25 players for the new season.

The “loyal 12” are Rosdin Wasli, Zainizam Marjan, Zulamri Muhammad, Hardy Charles Parsi, Irwan Jamil, Mohd Salawi Jasad, Henry Parsi, Azrul Ejati Damsah, Zuraindey Jumai, Harold John, Mohd Radzi Hussin, and Mohd Farid Saibun.

Among those hopefuls who are likely to get the nod are Zaykiel Leong, Billyton Vun Ket Ming, Gasili Pengalot, Mafry Balang as well as Mohd Fariss Azlan from Kuala Muda Naza.

With the exception of Mohd Fariss, the rest of the players are no strangers to the team, as they are either ex-Rhinos or ex-Reserve League players.

Zuneral Lalah, Clarrey Tabad, Restu Emat, Rezuan Aman Khan, whom are also ex-Rhinos also stand a chance to don the Rhinos colours once again.

There are also several new faces as well as from the Reserve League who have been impressive during trials.

Among them are a 22-year-old striker Alto from Keningau.

Kinabatangan man Hamidin Amat, who had a short stint with Sarawak, is also in the frame for the State team.

Those from the Reserve League and Under-19 squad trying their luck are Taufik, Sylvester Saini, Andrew Adan, Nazly Puasa and Azuan Aman Khan.

There are also a few more new faces eager to play for the State team.

For the record, the deadline for registration of players for the new season is on Dec 1.

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