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Thursday, August 02, 2012

Special 33 for Rozaimi

NST
By AJITPAL SINGH
ajitpalsingh@nst.com.my
 NUMBER GAME: Selangor hope this will spur them to Malaysia Cup glory 
Rozaimi Abd Rahman will wear the No 33 jersey in the hope he can inspire Selangor to their 33rd triumph in the Malaysia Cup.

SELANGOR'S on-loan striker Rozaimi Abd Rahman will wear the No 33 jersey in the Malaysia Cup, to correspond with the team's mission to win the title for the 33rd time. Rozaimi, who starred at last month's AFC Under-22 Qualifiers where he scored 10 goals for Malaysia, was signed on loan from Sabah to help end the club's scoring woes in the tournament which they have not won since 2005.

The 20-year-old, who played for Malaysia in recent friendly matches against Arsenal and Manchester City, is contracted to Selangor until October. With no options on the bench, Rozaimi and former Croatian international Bosko Balaban, Selangor's top scorer in the Super league, will likely spearhead the club's attack in the Malaysia Cup which starts on Aug 22.

 Rozaimi trained with his new team for the first time yesterday. USM FC's S. Veenod is Selangor's other loan player who was hired to replace injured midfielder K. Gurusamy. Selangor, who finished third in the Super League, have not won a title since 2010 and failure to end their drought in the Malaysia Cup will definitely put pressure on the management to make radical changes.

Coach Irfan Bakti Abu Salim, however, believes his team can challenge for the title. "Can Selangor win the Malaysia Cup? Yes, I think so," said Irfan at the club's training ground in Shah Alam on Tuesday. "We have plenty of players in our squad but it's about quality rather than quantity for me. We can still improve the team.

 "There is more harmony and understanding in my team compared to before. I'm pleased with the progress we've made so far." Irfan's plans, however, will be slightly affected by the absence of Rozaimi, Safiq Rahim and goalkeeper Norazlan Razali, who will join the national squad on Saturday for a 12-day training stint in Vienna, Austria.

The trio will only rejoin Selangor on Aug 17, six days before they play their opening Malaysia Cup match. The Malaysia Cup draw will be conducted in Kuala Lumpur today. Selangor have been placed in Pot A with Super League champions Kelantan, LionsXII and Perak. The other qualifiers are Terengganu, Negri Sembilan, PKNS, T-Team, Johor FC, Felda United, Kedah, Armed Forces, Pahang, Sime Darby and Johor.

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