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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Three-match tune-up for Sabahawks

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabahawks will be on a four-day friendly tour to the Klang Valley as part of their pre-season preparations later this month. Team manager Alijus Hj Sipil said yesterday that they are scheduled to play three matches, including two against Super League outfits Selangor and T-Team while the third match is against Police.

 After abandoning their plan to go to Brunei, Alijus said the trip will be a good opportunity for the team to get the much-needed competitive match temperament. “This will also be an opportunity for our head coach (David McCreery) to have a good look at his players. It will also be a good venue for him to gauge the team’s weaknesses and strengths,” said Alijus, who is also the FA secretary general.

 “We are trying to get more competitive matches for the team, but for now, this is what we got for them,” he said. Alijus said that the team will leave for the tour on December 26 (morning) and will take on Selangor in their first match later in the evening at the Shah Alam Stadium. Then, they face off with T-Team, who are under the watchful eyes of former Sabah head coach Peter James Butler, at the Linatex field in Gombak the following day before taking on fellow Premier League outfit Police at the Pulapol field in Kuala Lumpur on December 28, before returning home the next day.

 For the new season, Sabah have retained 10 players from this year’s squad namely Irwan Jamil, Rosdin Wasli, Alto Linus, Shahrul Azhar Ture, Sumardi Hajalan, Julamri Muhammad, Sharudin Yakup, Zainizam Marjan, Radzi Mohd Hussin and Jufrey Omopor. They have also promoted six from the President’s Cup team. They are Leopold Alfonso Otong, Razid Gapar, Dendy Lowa, Didie Arizal Ibrahim, Sabri Sahar and Zul Mansshah Aling. At the same time, they also recalled three former players, namely Hardy Charles Parsi, Mohd Farid Saibun and Mohd Ibnu Kassim.

 They also signed eight local imports to beef-up the team. The eight new local imports are Mohd Syamsuri Mohd Mustafa, Mohd Shahril Sa’ari, Mohd Hafizulldin Mohd Noor, Khairul Izwan Khalid, Wan Azwari Wan Nor, Shahril Faizal A. Shariffuddin, Wann Mohd Aliff Wan Jasmi and Mohd Fazilidin Khalid. The FA completed its two foreign imports quota with Welsh defender Rhys David Weston and Mali striker Koh Traore. Sabah will open their campaign at home to KL SPA Putrajaya FC on January 7.

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