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Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Done deal!

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: Koh Traore from Mali is set to become Sabah’s second foreign signing for the new season. Earlier on, the Sabah FA had settled for Welsh defender Rhys David Weston as their first catch, and tying up the 6-foot tall Traore would see the Sabah FA complete its puzzle in forming a side that will be featuring in the Premier League challenge 2013.

 In revealing their latest catch via SMS yesterday, the FA Secretary General Alijus Hj Sipil also finally named the eight local imports, whom they will be counting on to guide the State side to make a quick return to top-flight action – the Super League. Traore, who plied his trade in the Algerian League prior to his arrival here, is only a medical report away from becoming a Sabahawk.

 His agent, identified only as Nick, on the nationality of his player said: “He was born in Burkina Faso, but has a Mali passport.” “We have not signed yet, as we are still awaiting the medical report first, only then we will sign,” he added. As for the eight local imports, former national custodian Mohd Syamsuri Md Mustafa is the notable one among the lot.

 The rest are Hafizulldin Mohd Noor (KL Pos), Mohd Fazilidin Khalid (Selangor), Khairul Izwan Khalid (T-Team), Shahril Faizal Shariffudin (T-Team), Wan Azwari wan Noor (Pahang), Shahril Sha’ari (Harimau Muda) and Wan Mohd Aliff Wan Jasmi (T-Team). Prior to this latest development, the FA named 16 locals to complete a squad of 25 players for next season.

 According to Alijus, all of the players have already put pen to paper (except Traore). “Everything has been done, including signing of the contracts between the players and the FA,” he said. “We will be submitting the names of the squad to the FA of Malaysia, before the deadline on December 6, 2012,” he added. Among the 16 locals that will be spearheading the State’s challenge are Mohd Farid Saibun, who will be making a return, after missing the cut last time out, and Hardy Charles Parsi, who donned Armed Forces colours in the just concluded season.

 Former State Youth team striker Mohd Ibnu Kassim has also been included while the rest are those who have been retained, either from this year’s squad or promoted from the President’s Cup. The rest of the 16 are Irwan Jamil, Rosdin Wasli, Alto Linus, Shahrul Azhar Ture, Sumardi Hajalan, Julamri Muhammad, Shahrudin Yakup, Radzi Mohd Hussin, Zainizam Marjan and Juffry Omopor.

 The promoted players from the President’s Cup are Leopold Alfonso Otong, Razid Gapar and Sabri Sahar. Four other juniors from the President’s Cup squad 2012 namely Endre S Tipay, Dendy Lowa, Didie Arizal Ibrahim and Zul Mansshah Aling are also training with the seniors. Alijus said that the squad will be going for a training stint outside the State prior to the Premier League kick off in January next year.

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