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Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Chance to don State colours

New Sabah Times

 KOTA KINABALU: Potential or talented footballers, especially those in the Interior had better prepare if they harbour hopes to don State colours in the near future! They will stand a chance to prove their worth or at least to be seen when the Sabah FA goes on a state-wide roadshow later this month as part of their preparations for the new season as well as hunting for hidden talent in all parts of Sabah.

 In fact, they have already identified several venues – for a start. Although the plan has not been endorsed by the FA’s Supreme Council or the team management committee, but it will most likely get the nod. “The plan (roadshow) is there, but it is yet to be confirmed until we hold our meeting any time from now,” said Alijus Hj Sipil, the FA Secretary General.

 “As for now, these districts have been informed verbally, but once it is endorsed, we will send official letters about our visit. He added that this roadshow is not only about playing friendly matches, but it is also aimed at unearthing new talent besides getting the team to get closer to the fans from throughout the State.

 Alijus said apart from hunting for potential players for the State senior team, they will also be on the lookout for talent for the State Under-21 team as well as the Under-19. “So that is the reason why prior to all the friendly matches, we will have our coaching staff, to be led by Justin Ganai, to conduct selection trials three days ahead of the friendly matches,” said Alijus.

 “We will also be holding a coaching course in all the venues, which is to be conducted by our head coach David McCreery,” said Alijus, adding that they will bring along all the available players for the roadshow, including those promoted from the Reserve League squad.

 However, the State senior squad will not be complete, as almost half of them are on loan with other teams for the ongoing Malaysia Cup challenge, which Sabah failed to make the cut. The on-loan players are Bobby Gonzales, Ronny Harun, Shahrudin Yakup (all Sarawak), Md Reithudin Ag Emran, Zuraindey Jumai, Mohd Fariss Azlan Mat Isa (all Perak), Sumardi Hajalan, Shahrul Azhar Ture (T-Team), Mafry Balang (Kelantan), Md Rozaimi Abd Rahman (Selangor), Sabri Sahar (Kedah) and K Thanaraj (Negeri Sembilan).

 Alijus revealed that their first stop would be Keningau (Sept 20-22), followed by Kudat (Oct 4-6), Tawau (Oct 18-20) and Sandakan (Oct 25-27). “We will also be holding selection trials for foreign players this month. But so far, we have yet to confirm the dates,” said Alijus. After the roadshow, Alijus said that the association will also be organising a four-corner tournament, likely involving teams from Brunei, Kalimantan or Sarawak. “It is likely to be held in the first week of November in Tawau,” said Alijus.

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