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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

O’Callaghan: It’s a bonus!

New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: George O’Callaghan has shown his support towards the FA of Malaysia’s decision in allowing all four foreign imports to be on the field at the same time in the upcoming M-League 2015. The Sabah Rhinos rookie manager believes the move can bring in more quality into the league as well as the teams.

 “For me, partly it is a bonus because I know the foreign imports that we brought in so it will make our team stronger. For other teams, I don’t, but for me I think it is better. I think it will bring better quality into the league and to the squad. “I think it is a good idea. I think it improves the S-League since they allowed five import players on the field,” O’Callaghan said, when met at the team’s training on Monday.

 The FAM endorsed the decision at its Executive Committee extraordinary meeting held last Friday. Previously, all teams in the M-League were allowed to sign a maximum of four foreigners, but only three can be fielded at any time in a match, with one starting from the bench. One of the reasons singled out for the decision was to make the league more competitive.

 It was reported that most of the teams in the league were in favour of the new rule. However, it is not applicable for Malaysian Super League side Lions XII, who can only field an all-Singaporean line-up as per the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2011. For the new season, Sabah Rhinos have made four foreign signings by getting the signature of former Liverpool forward El Hadji Diouf, Hull FC defender Abdoulaye Faye, Libyan international striker Eamon Zayed and Singapore’s Fazrul Nawaz.

 On the development, O’Callaghan revealed that they have decided to sign former Selangor striker R Surendran. “We brought him in because he has experience. He is a good player and we just thought we might need something or somebody like that during the season. He got good quality and a very good CV, and we have one place left.

So we are happy to bring him into the squad,” said O’Callaghan, adding that the 32-year-old impressed him since he attended training with the team the last two weeks or so. O’Callaghan said that he will have his full squad report back for training on December 27 after a four-day Christmas break. “All players should be back on December 27 because the season is pushed back to February 7, so we can’t be keeping them every day because we also need to keep them fresh.

 “Fazrul has just finished with the AFF Cup while Eamon has had a tough season in Ireland so we need to freshen things up. And I’m looking forward to work with the boys.”

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