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Thursday, January 10, 2013

President’s Cuppers ready for new season

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: The State President’s Cup squad’s preparations for the new season are shaping up well. Things have been going on as planned and head coach Justin Ganai is convinced his side will be ready when the league kicks off, expected to be this month end. He said they have been going through their paces since training started slightly over a month now to ensure they are fit and ready for the new challenge.

 “Preparations are going really well for us at the moment. The players’ fitness is improving, and I’m happy with their attitude and it seems everyone is working hard to make the squad stronger. “I can see a good sense of discipline in all the players, they follow instructions very well and I think we have a really good squad this season.

 Justin said during their weeks of training they have played eight friendly matches, including against the State senior squad. “We want to play as many matches as possible before the season starts and so far we won four out of eight games. The team drew against the senior squad yesterday (Tuesday), which is an improvement considering they have lost the previous two encounters.

They also lost to MU Keningau, but defeated Intan and Tambunan and Pusakad Kiulu twice. According to Justin, their next friendly will be against a Ranau selection side on Friday as well as matches in Sandakan this weekend. “Friendly matches could help maintain the players’ sharpness and readiness, while boosting their fitness.

 “It also enables us to try different combinations of players, while identifying any weaknesses in the squad. “We can train everyday at our usual venue (Field B at the Kota Kinabalu Sports Complex), but conditions there are not too ideal. “We prefer to go on the road and play against teams other than ourselves.

Some of the fields they have are better than our training ground too,” said Justin. For the new season, Justin still has the services of 11 players from last year’s squad.

 However, five of them, Didie Arizal Ibrahim, Dendy Lowa, Sabri Sahar, Zul Mansshah Aling, and Leopold Alfonso Otong are training with the senior squad. The rest are Shazree Ruhif Ismail, Endre S Tipay, Fread Filemon Saih, Robson Rendy Rining, Mohd Nazrin Ramli and Umareng Bacok.

 The new faces that complete the 25-member squad are Frinly Mosiong, Jenius Karib, Benerlys Raim, Dyrrance Junaidih, Rawilson Batul, Mohd Badrul Affendy Mohd Fadzli, Hafizan Jahar, Anwari Mohd Tajuddin, Hafizal Jinik, Jenryanus Paulus, Ag Ku Mohd Hamizan Ag Ku Hamzah, Gerald Sean Mojikon, Rexjeson Pitrus and Mohd Alfian Jamil.

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