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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Depleted Sabah face KL

Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah will be severely depleted for today's President Cup match against Kuala Lumpur at the Likas Stadium at 4.15pm. Captain Dendy Lowa and defensive midfielder Didie Arizal Ibrahim are both unavailable after being called up by the seniors and will travel with the team for the Premier League match against PDRM on Friday.

 The duo's absence is a major blow for the team but stand-in coach Burhan Ajui who will be taking charge of the team in the absence of head coach Justin Ganai who is currently in Kuala Lumpur for refreshment course was not bothered with the setback. "It is business as usual and we will aim for a positive result," said Burhan. "We already have a game plan set up by Justin so there was not so much concern for us with the unavailability of the two senior players.

 "Obviously we will miss them with their leadership and experience but we believe we also have two more than capable players to fill in their shoes." He said in midfield, Hafizal Junik will take over the place of Didie and he will be partnering Sabri Sahar in the engine room supported by Anwari Tajuddin and Hafizan Jahar at the flanks.

 And the makeshift defence will feature the debut appearance of Benerlys Raim who is taking over Dendy's role and Rawilson Batul will join him in the centre supported by Shazree Ruhif Ismail on the left and Jenius Karib on the right. Burhan disclosed that Raim was more than capable for the role as he was the team's first choice player prior to an injury sustained during one of the pre-season friendly matches that sidelined him for the start of the season.

 "The Keningau lad was a very good player but unlucky for him, his replacement Batul had a fantastic start this season thus denying him a spot in the team. "I hope the match tomorrow will allow him to show his ability on the pitch." The frontline will start with Eyo Mathew and Zul Manshah Aling with Rexjeson who suffered a knock starts on the bench while Endre S.Tipay will man the post as usual.

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