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Friday, May 04, 2012

Sabah banking on German magic

Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah will be banking on new German import Hendrik Helmke to produce magic as they take on Felda United in the Super League game at the Likas Stadium tonight. It will be a huge game for the home team, as it will be the first time newly appointed team manager Yahya Kassim will be officially in charge of the squad.

 The former international admitted that it is going to be a big task ahead but is confident that the players will deliver. "Inconsistency is the main issue here. We have a very good team as judged by their performances against the top teams in the league so far."

 "Only Terengganu managed to beat us convincingly so far. And in our last match against Perak, we showed that even without any imports and some first team players we can still match them evenly, in fact we could have won it with our half fit team."

 He believes the team are on track to reach their top five target this season if they can pull their act together as only nine points separates them and third place Terengganu and with so many matches yet to play. However, the team tonight will be heavily handicapped by the absence of K. Thanaraj who was beginning to rediscover his form in the last few matches as he suffered a groin injury during a friendly on Monday.

 With Zainizam Matjan who is also likely to be missing with a hamstring injury, the team will rely heavily on the partnership of youngster Rozaimi Abd Rahman and Bobby Gonzales to deliver the goods. Hendrik will most likely partner Shahrudin Yaakub, Sharul Azhar Ture and Sumardi Hajalan with Reithuddin Emran, Ronny Harun, Mafry Balang and Alto Linus in defence.

 In goal Azizon Abd Kadir is likely to get the nod to start the game ahead of Syed Adney Syed Hussein. The team are currently in 11th place in the 14-team table and Felda United are only a place above them. A win will definitely kick start the team under the new manager and also avenge their opening day 0-2 defeat by the same team.

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