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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Double mission for Justin

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: Justin Ganai will be using the upcoming Borneo Games football event as part of his preparations for next year’s President’s Cup challenge as well as the Malaysia Games (Sukma). He said that this is a good opportunity for them to start the ball rolling in preparing the team for next year. But having said that, Justin who has been named as the head coach for the State Borneo Games squad insisted that they will not be going to Labuan just for mere exposure.

 “Our target for the Borneo Games is nothing less than to win the gold medal for the State,” he said when contacted yesterday. “Doing well in Labuan would help instill greater spirit and determination among our players in preparing for next year’s challenge,” he added. “Next year is a big year for us. We not only have the President’s Cup, but we will also be defending our gold medal in Sukma. “It has not been a good season for us in the President’s Cup challenge this year, so this gives us more reason to start our preparations early,” he said.

 On his Borneo Games squad, Justin said that it is a mixed blend of new faces as well as players from this year’s President’s Cup squad. “We have eight players from our President’s Cup squad, and these players are still eligible to feature for Sabah in both the President’s Cup and Sukma next year. “As for the rest, they are the players we identified during this year’s Sabah Games,” he said.

 Unfortunately, Justin revealed that not all his chosen players will make the trip to Labuan due to several factors. “For instance, we have four players from Tawau, who have good potentials, especially one striker. Unfortunately, he could not make it to Labuan because he will be sitting for his STPM this year. As for the three, they decided to turn down their selection for the State team due work commitment.

 “Nevertheless, we have spoken to the foursome, and we have asked them to sort out their problems. Hopefully, they can join the team later in the year. “They are not the only players who have turned down the chance to play for the team for the Borneo Games. We also have players from Sandakan,” Justin said. Justin also warned the selected players that their place in the team is not guaranteed.

 “We will assess their performance from time to time, and we will pick only the best for the President’s Cup as well as the Sukma. “In fact, we only called 60 players for our recent selection trials, but only 44 turned up. We have another 60 players whom we have yet to call for selection trials, and we will be calling them in the near future,” he said.

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