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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Shahriman steps down

Daily Express

 Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Super League team were in shock as Shahriman Abdullah has handed in his resignation as team manager for the State team as well as his post as the Sabah FA treasurer on Wednesday. Sabah FA top officials when contacted confirmed they have received the letter but refused to comment further.

 Meanwhile, efforts to contact Shahriman who is thought to be in Kuala Lumpur proved futile. The former State captain was appointed as the team manager last season after Australian Gary Phillips was removed as the team manager-cum-head coach in May by the Sabah FA after a dismal start.

 He and Justin Ganai then successfully led the team to stay in the top flight. This season however, the team was plagued with problems off the field and Shahriman who was thought to be unhappy was absent from the stands in the team's past few matches.

 Meanwhile, the Sabah President Cup squad's second leg match against Johor Melodi Jaya at Kompleks Nusa Mutiara, Johor today (Thursday) will feature the appearance of utility player Mohd Adiafandi Dullah. The left-footed player who can play both in the defence and midfield positions was recently drafted into the squad following the withdrawal of Apolinario Talakos and Aldrine Agus from the team due to work commitment.
His inclusion is perfect timing for the team as they are also currently without playmaker Maxsius Musa who is out with a hamstring injury and striker Zulmanshah Aling who is suspended. Adiafandi who was one of the stalwarts in the Sabah President Cup campaign last season will start the match on the left flank, taking over the place of Umareng Bacok who will be moving to the right.

 Coach Johnny Dominicus said the experience of Adiafandi will play a big part in the match today. "He is a natural left footer and with him on the left, our midfield will be more balanced and we will have more option with his proven distribution of the ball.

Furthermore, Umareng is back to his favourite right position and both players have very good pace and it gives us extra dimension to carry out our attacks." He also disclosed that the fast improving Muhammad Mohd Safa will partner Sabri Sahar in the centre of midfield with Leopold Alfonso and Zackalani Antanom up front.

 The back line will be the trusted foursome of skipper Didie Arizal, Dendy Lowa, Razid Gafar and Denisi mekkhadan while the keeper will either be Robson Rendy , Nikyus Saiddatul Yakup as first choice Andre S. Tipay is still out injured.

 The coach said the team must win the match today to be sure of a place in the knockout stage. "We have drawn too many matches as compared to group leaders Kedah. Therefore, we must try to win as many as possible in the remaining group matches.

 We not only want to qualify but we must also finish among the top two teams in the group to avoid meeting strong teams in the quarterfinal." Sabah won 2-0 in the first leg played here in Likas with two second half goals from Zackalani and Maxsius. The team are currently in second place with 45 points, having won 14, drawing three and losing once out of 18 matches played.

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