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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Brendan hopes to land silverware with Sabah

New Sabah Times
LOSING BATTLE … Brendan (all red) tries to steal the ball from an unidentified Singapore Lions XII player during their Super League tie. Sabah were inflicted with their first home defeat after losing 0-1 to the visiting Singaporeans.
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s foreign signing Brendan Gan is loving life in the Land Below the Wind.
The Australian midfielder, who penned a one-year deal with the State Super League side earlier this season, says Sabah is a nice place to stay, adding “at the moment it is a very good place to be”.
Brendan, 24, said he was very happy with how they were treated by their employer – the Sabah FA – and teammates.

“They welcomed both of us very well,” he said.
Sabah’s second foreign signing –a striker – Michael William Baird is also from Down Under.
Brendan, who has Malaysian blood, as his father is Negeri Sembilan-born, also revealed that former Rhinos’ star Scott Ollerenshaw had a great influence before he (Brendan) eventually decided to sign for Sabah.
“At first there has been a bit of toss out …what team and stuff, but Scott … he introduced us to the team and told us a lot of stuff about the place.

“He also told us some stuff to look out for on the internet and all that. We basically researched the place before coming down here and we found out that Sabah just came up to the Super League and it is just a great team to come to. There is no massive expectation but we also want to do very well.
He went on to say that the coaching staff and the management have been very good to them since they arrived here.

“At first I just wanted to try overseas and this opportunity came up and you can’t resist a place like this. It is an amazing place,” he said.
“I’ve never been to Sabah before this. My dad is from Negeri Sembilan so I have been back to Negeri Sembilan a few times but never came across to Sabah.

Commenting on the Malaysian League, he said: “It is a good place to come to in terms of soccer wise you can see it growing … this year … first year for import players to come and you can see the difference compared to last year.”
“I watched a few games from last season and this season and the imports are bringing a lot to this league. It is good that the Malaysian League and the FAM (FA of Malaysia) has opened up to import players. It can only get better.

Like any of his teammates, Brendan said he is itching for glory with Sabah.
“I want to win the Cup … everyone wants to win the cup at the end of the day. We are slowly getting better and better each week. The fans saw us against the Malaysian team (recently) and we performed just as well as they did, to say that we can be the best team in the Malaysian League and I believe that we will.
Glancing on his professional career, he recalled: “I played back in Australia for Sydney FC. When I was playing there we won the National Youth League, A-League Championship and the Grand Final. I played for a very good club way back in Australia and it was exciting to be able to come here and be one of the two imports for Sabah.”

“For the fans, it’s been great of them coming out and supporting us. We need all the support we can get. When they came out and saw us in the match against the national team … those 25 thousand people there … we played very well. So the more people that come out and support us the better we going to do, at the end of the day we just need the support from all the fans and all of Sabah,” said Brendan who once won the Player of the Year for the Premier League in Australia.

“It’s been good being in Australia, it’s a great country. It’s a great place to live but this is a great opportunity to be in Sabah and I’m going to make the best of it.
To another question on Sabah’s quest for glory in the ongoing Super League, which is currently taking a two-week break, he said: “I believe that we are in a great position of our own because the expectations of other teams that come and play with us isn’t too high.”

“We always go out there and try to win but it is the consistency for Sabah. We got to put in 110% in each game and play consistently. It is a working progress at the moment … the coaching staff are doing a great job.
“We are learning new things everyday and the team is getting better each day we train and each game we play. Hopefully we would be the Number 1 spot at the end of the year.

“The coach, Justin is a great coach and he has done what he could to get us ready for the competition and you can see the results. We started off slowly probably because we played only some of the state teams and they weren’t very strong but you can see it in the results … we are getting better and better each week.
“Hopefully with this Terengganu match coming up we can beat them,” said Brendan.

But as much as Brendan wants to be with Sabah for the rest of the season, but his fate in the team depends on his performances in the next two games, away to Terengganu on March 17 and Selangor March 31.
Rumours are going around that the FA is contemplating of hiring new foreign players when the transfer window opens next month.

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