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Friday, January 16, 2009

Sabah squad in high spirits

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah men’s Futsal squad will have an awesome task in the National Felda Futsal League 2008/2009 to be held at Felda Trolak in Perak which starts today.

The squad left for the championship early yesterday morning with only one thing in mind, that is to be crowned as champs this Sunday.

But before they can do that, they will have the likes of the Police, Selangor, Pahang, KL Figos and Kuala Lumpur as red hot contenders!

The six teams, including Sabah, emerged as champions of their respective groups before qualifying for the tournament proper.

They will be pitted against each other in a round robin format. The top two teams will play in the final to decide the winner.

The triumphant team will walk away with a handsome RM40,000 in prize money, in addition to the RM10,000 for being champions of their respective group.

The runners up will pocket RM20,000, the third and fourth placed teams will receive RM10,000 and RM5000 respectively.

Police marched into the final round after topping Group A while Selangor, Pahang, KL Figos, Kuala Lumpur and Sabah won Group B, C, D, E and F respectively.

The Sabah squad did brilliantly in the group stage and they go into the final round with an unbeaten record. The mood and spirit in the team naturally are sky-high following their success in qualifying into the final round.

Team manager Alijus Hj Sipil, who is a cautious man, reminded the players to put a brake on their celebrations, stating that the battle is not over yet.

“I can understand the players’ feeling after qualifying for the final round, but now we have to focus on the final round.

“Our target is not just to qualify for the final round, but in winning the Cup for the people of Sabah,” said Alijus at a dinner he hosted for the players on Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, head coach Mohd Asyraaf Fong Abdullah said the squad is ready and in tip top condition for the tricky road ahead.

“Our preparations have been better despite two days of training only. Nevertheless, we have managed to use this short period to zero in on certain aspects of the game,” said Asyraaf.

Sabah face Police in the opener scheduled for 10am today before playing their second game against favourites KL Figos at 8pm.

On the second day (Saturday) they have three games; Selangor at 2pm and Penangat at 8pm.

They round up their fixtures on Sunday by taking on Pahang at 11am. The final is scheduled for 4pm the same day.

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