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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Sabah players told to safeguard their dignity and revive

The Malay Mail / Bernama

THE Sabah football players must protect their dignity as state players in the coming Premier League season, said Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman today. Musa, who is also Sabah Football Association (SAFA) president, said the team, affectionately known as Sabahawks by their supporters, had a duty to their supporters and were required to put up a good performance.

 "There is no excuse for any player to sell the game or commit any wrongdoing that could jeopardise the team's chances of winning. "I have to be honest that I was not happy with our performance in the Super League (last season). But I am confident you will do well this time," he told the players after being introduced to the new Sabah line-up here today.

 Sabah was relegated to the Premier League after finishing among the bottom teams in Super League standings last year. Earlier, Deputy SAFA president Datuk Lawrence Gimbang hoped the state team would go all out to revive Sabah's glory days in football. "There is no substitute to victory. You need to be dedicated and committed to ensure your team win," he said.

 The new line-up saw some new faces including eight from the Peninsula, namely Terengganu-born Mohamad Syamsuri Mohd Mustaffa, Shahril Sa'ari and Wan Mohd Aliff Wan Jasmi, Pahang's Mohd Hafizulldin Mohd Noor, Khairul Izwan Khalid, Wan Azwari Wan Nor, Shahril Faizal Ahmad Shariffuddin and Selangor's Mohd Fazilidin Khalid.

 The team also welcomed Rhys David Weston of England and Koh Traore of Burkina Faso as well as new coach David McCreery who played for Northern Ireland in the World Cup final in 1982 and 1986. The team will make their first appearance in next season's Premier League on Jan 7, against SPA FC at the Likas Stadium here.

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