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Thursday, November 01, 2012

Recruitment drive hits a snag

Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah's efforts to recruit top local imports hit a snag as three of their intended targets turned their back on the offers. It was understood that the Sabah Football Association in a meeting chaired by Vice President Datuk Osman Jamal last week had agreed on the terms as demanded by the players in their earlier meeting.

 However, the players had the Sabah FA officials dumfounded when they decided to turn down the offers when they were presented with the contracts with various excuses. As such the management will have to double their efforts to look for other alternatives to beef up the squad especially in the defence and forward departments.

 With Johor FC's willingness to part with huge cash to recruit top local players such as Selangor skipper Safiq Rahim, the Abdul Radzak twins, Muhammad Zaquan Adha and Muhammad Aidil Zafuan from ATM and Terengganu defender Muslim Ahmad who was once on Sabah's radar, it makes matters worse as Sabah may need to offer much more money than they intended to in order to attract players in similar status to play in the lower Premier League next season.

 Despite the setbacks, the State team have more or less got the signature of the two goalkeepers needed to fill in the void left by the departure of Syed Adney Syed Hussin and Azizon Abd Kadir. One of them is a former junior international while the other is a reserve player in a Super League top team. ATM's striker Khairul Izuan Khalid who made a good impression when he came for a trial last week is most likely to sign for the team as well.

 Former Welsh international Rhys David Winston is believed to be on his way back to the State sometime this week and he is also likely to be offered a contract by the Sabah FA. Meanwhile, Sabah FA Secretary General Alijus Sipil had earlier said that an open trial for all players both locals and imports will be held here from Nov 9-10 but the venue is yet to be decided as the Likas Stadium is under renovation at the moment. He added that the full list of the 2013 State squad will be announced on November 15 and the official signing ceremony will be held days later.

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