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Friday, November 30, 2012

Double mission for Justin

New Sabah Times
DONE DEAL … Justin (2nd from right – blue) talks to the players after the conclusion of the two-day final phase of selection trials held at the field C of the Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex in Likas yesterday.

KOTA KINABALU: Justin Ganai is looking beyond just the President’s Cup challenge 2013 in naming the State Under-21 squad for the new season. But the veteran State coach also takes into consideration their preparations for the Malaysia Games 2014 as he makes known the Sabah FA’s intention of wanting to repeat their historical feat of winning the gold medal at this year’s Sukma in Pahang.

 Justin admitted that it has not been an easy decision in naming the squad. “It has been a difficult two days in picking the best players for the squad. They are all good, and with almost the same quality. “For next season, we want to try to go for the title, but then again, the FA also wants to try to defend the gold medal the team won this year.

 “With that in mind, we need to look beyond next season, and must start preparing the team for Sukma 2014,” said Justin, when met at the last day of the two-day final selection trials at the Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex in Likas yesterday. Former coach Awang Sabtu Jamil, who guided Sabah to their first President’s Cup crown in the late 90s, Burhan Ajui, Matasan Ahmad and former goalkeeper coach Jasri were among those seen at the selection trials.

 At the end of the selection trials, Justin announced the names of 31 players, including 11 from this year’s squad for the new season. However, only 25 will make the final squad. “I’ll try to accommodate all the 31. Even though there are only 25 slots, but I will try to present my case to the FA and let those who do not make the 25 to be part of the team for the future.

 These 31 players, Justin said will undergo a medical today before returning home. They would report back for the pre-season training on the second week of December with Dec 10 as the tentative date. Justin went on to say that out of the 11 players from this year’s squad, five of them, Sabri Sahar, Dendy Lowa, Didie Arizal Ibrahim, Endre S Tipay, Zul Mansshah Aling, are training with the senior side.

 In fact six of them are with the seniors, however, Maxsius Musa, is believed to have been roped in by the Harimau Muda B.

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