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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

President Cup squad begins training

Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: The 2013 State President Cup squad started their first day of training at the Likas Sports Complex on Tuesday. Only 24 players turned up for the session, which was conducted by Justin Ganai and assisted by Burhan Ajui. A few other players from outstation are yet to report for duty.

 Also present were four players led by last year's skipper Didie Arizal Ibrahim, Dendy Lowa, Zulmanshah Aling and Endre S Tipay, who are also training with the senior team under David McCreery at the moment. The players were given a running session in the morning at the jogging track before the ball training session in the evening at 'B' field. Justin spent almost an hour fine-tuning the players' technique on the ball and reminded them the importance of mastering the basic skills in a real match situation before they were given another hour match play session.

 Meanwhile, the team next season will be managed again by Datuk Juil Nuatim who had led the team twice to the quarterfinal stages in the past two seasons. With an average age of only 19, the team did extremely well last season with their top place finish in the Group A preliminary round and they also achieved that by staying unbeaten at home and suffered only a single defeat in an away game.

 Rookie coach Johnny Dominicus also did a credible job with the help of his assistant Matasan Ahmad and goalkeeper coach Awal Taham as the bulk of the players went on to win the Sukma gold medal defeating President Cup champions Perak in the final. Juil who was also at the scene on Tuesday told Express Sports that it is still too early to predict the team's chances this year.

 "The training session has only just started and we have yet to finalise the line-up but I am sure we will definitely miss Maxsius Musa, one of the stars of last season's squad who had since being recruited by the Harimau B team." The President Cup competition will start on Jan 31 next year but the full schedule is yet to be released.

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