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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Vun Ket Ming hoping it will be third time lucky

KOTA KINABALU: Billyton Vun Ket Ming hopes this will be “third time lucky” as he joins the State team for the third time in his career, hoping, that this time he can win honours in the M-League.

After two failed attempts, he said that it will only spur him on to strive and work harder.

His personal quest is to help the team win (at least) one silverware at the end of the 2009 season.

“I will try to play my role to the best of my abilities and help the team win at least one title this new season,” Billyton said in an interview with the New Sabah Times Sports yesterday.

“I’m at the twilight of my career, and it would be great to win something with the team you love.

“At my age, I’m grateful to be given this opportunity and I will not want to waste the opportunity,” he added.

Billyton made his debut with the State team way back in 1995 with the Reserve League squad and played for the Under-21 squad (now being switched to Under-20 tournament) until 1997.

But it was only seven years later when he made it into the senior side. He played for the senior Rhinos from 2004 to 2006.

Billyton, who is a Prisons Officer DX 17, says that he doesn’t have the same feeling as he had a few years back. At the age of 31, he is the oldest player in the squad, with the youngest being Leopold Alfonso, 17.

“I might be the oldest but I can contribute like the rest of the players to the team. In fact I’m pretty much young at heart,” he jokingly said.

He went on to say that he can play competitive football for another two to three years, barring any injury.

Commenting on Sabah’s newly appointed head coach Wathiq Naji, Billyton said: “He is an experienced man and I firmly believe that he can guide us far in the competition. His coaching is simple and easier to understand, and I believe the players like the way he conducts his coaching.”

“And most importantly he knows how to lift the morale and spirit of the team and I firmly believe that this is the key to the team’s success.

“With two good assistants (Mohd Asyraaf and Burhan Ajui) I think we have a good blend of coaching here.

After almost a month of training, Billyton insists the team can compete in the Premier League.

“I don’t see any reasons why we cannot compete. Even though senior players left the team we still have some experienced players around such as Wong (Sai Kong) Zainizam Marjan and Rosdin Wasli.

“At the same time we also have the likes of Gasili (Pengalot), Mafry Balang and Mohd Fariss, who are no less experience having had featuring in the M-League for the last four to six years.

“We also have so many talented youngsters in the squad who are willing to learn and improve. Youngsters such as Alto (Linus), Leopold as well as Sylvester Saini and Mohd Salawi to name a few were excellent in training.

“I can see that they have bright future in the game provided that they are willing to sacrifice and improve.

“They must stay humble and try to learn every day. As long as they have the right attitude they are the future of the Sabah team. Billyton also expressed his sincere thanks to his superior for giving him the chance to play for them.

“I wish to say a big thank you to all of them for giving me the chance to contribute to the State. I really appreciate their kindness for releasing me. On my part I will try my best not to disappoint them,” said Billyton.

Among those Billyton wish to thank are: State Prison Director Tuan Jamaludin Bin Saad; PKP Suria Hj Idris; TPP Hamdan Salleh; TPP Jamian Arim and TPP Jaikol Gubal.

“These are the people who are being supportive towards my involvement with the State team,” he added.

At the same time, Billyton also thanked the Sabah FA for giving him the chance to don the State colours once again!

To the fans, Billyton said: “I hope they will give this team a chance to prove themselves. My humble call is for them to rally behind the team, and not just to come to the stadium to go against our very own players.”

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