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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Sabah land Safi

New Sabah Times
FRENCH-BORN MOROCCAN … Abdelfatah Safi is set to make his debut for the Sabahawks when they host Premier League leaders KL Sime Darby FC at the Likas Stadium on Friday.
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah FA left it late, but managed to get a signing in before the transfer window shut at 12 noon yesterday, after securing the signature of French-born Moroccan Abdelfatah Safi. The midfielder, who played for Kedah last season, is set to make his debut for the Sabahawks when they host Premier League leaders KL Sime Darby FC at the Likas Stadium on Friday.

 The FA Vice President Datuk Yusof Kassim when met at the Likas Stadium confirmed Safi’s signing. “We have submitted his registration (yesterday), and are now waiting for clearance from the FA of Malaysia. If everything goes well, he will be part of our squad for the remainder of our challenge,” said Yusof, who is also the team manager.

 “We hope with this new signing, it would help strengthen our squad for the rest of our challenge,” he added. The New Sabah Times Sports reliably learnt that the FA sealed the deal with Safi last Thursday, but only managed to submit his registration yesterday after getting all the necessary documentation. Safi’s signing is with the expense of injury-prone Welsh defender Rhys David Weston, who now will play no part with the team.

 However, it is reliably learnt that, Rhys could be given a new role, likely in the development side of the game, at least until his one-year deal with the FA expires later this year. Glancing at Safi’s professional career, he had played for several clubs in different countries such as AS Poissy in France, Najran in Saudi Arabia, Al-Salmiya SC in Kuwait and Al-Najma in Bahrain before joining Kedah last year.

 After ending his ties with Kedah, Safi, who turns 32 this May 8, attended trials with Selangor PKNS, before coming to Sabah early this month. Sabahawks’ other import is Koh Traore. The Malian striker is currently in sensational form, netting 11 goals in their last six games. Sabahawks had a poor start to their campaign, but of late, they seemed to have rediscovered their true potential, after going unbeaten in their last six outings.

 In fact, they started their second round strongly, nicking two wins, defeating Perlis 3-2 at home followed by the 4-2 away win over KL SPA Putrajaya FC in the last fixture. They are currently seventh in the standings level on 18 points with fifth and sixth placed Police and KL Pos Malaysia FC. The three teams are only separated by goal difference.

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