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Thursday, February 09, 2012

New challenge for President Cuppers

New Sabah Times

 KOTA KINABALU: Sabah will be playing on unfamiliar ground when they take on Bukit Jalil Sports School in a President’s Cup Group A tie today. The State Under-21 squad will take on their opponents on an artificial pitch at the national sports council field in Bukit Jalil at 4.45pm.

 Team manager Juil Nuatim when contacted yesterday said it will be strange on the part of his players to play an 11-a-side match on artificial ground. “This is something that the players will have to experience. I hope they will adapt quickly to the condition of the ground. “It is going to be a fast game and I hope they can cope with it,” said Juil. 

Nevertheless, Juil said he still expects his side to do the best they could and get the result. “It will be a tough game especially when this will be our first time playing on such turf. So what I like them to do is to give their best and at least settle for a draw. “Anything more than that will be a bonus for the team,” Juil added.

 “I believe that our coaching staff led by Johnny Dominicus, Burhan Ajui and Awal Taham have already made plans for the game, and I hope it will work out well tomorrow (today). Juil also said that the mood in the camp is pretty much encouraging, especially after winning their two opening games. Sabah kicked off their challenge edging Johor 2-1 at home before trouncing Melaka 4-1 away on Monday.

 This tie against Bukit Jalil Sports School will be their second consecutive tie on the road. “I’m glad to see that the players are all injury free, and all of them are available for options. “However, we are likely to stick to the winning side that defeated Melaka. And if there are changes, it is going to be a minor one,” Juil said.

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