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Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Simunic pens one-year deal with Sabah FA

By FRANCIS XAVIER Francis@newsabahtimes.com.my
DONE DEAL ... Simunic, (seated left), shakes hands with Gimbang, after penning a contract with the Sabah FA. Seated right is Alijus, while standing behind from left are Simunic’s assistant Johnny Dominicus, James and Hassan.
 KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah FA has signed Croatian Vjeran Simunic on a one-year undisclosed deal. The contract signing ceremony was held at the FA office at Maksak Hall in Likas here yesterday. Sabah FA Deputy President II Datuk Lawrence Gimbang believes they have picked the right man in building the state Premier League team, but called on the local fans not to expect miracles from the state squad in next year’s Premier League challenge.

 He said they will be pinning their hopes on the highly-experienced coach to build a strong foundation, which will be done around local talents. “We are happy to have him and with him here, we can build the Sabah team,” Gimbang said after witnessing the signing of contracts of team officials and coaching staff of the various state teams here yesterday.

 “We need time to develop the current squad because it will comprise a lot of young players. As I said previously, most of our players are young Sabahan people and we don’t expect miracles to happen. “Give us two to three years to develop the team, but of course our ultimate aim is to be promoted to the Super League,” Gimbang said.

 He added that they will also be signing local and foreign imports to further strengthen the team. “We will be having trials for local imports from December 14-17 and also hopefully by next week the foreign imports will be here as well. “And we will leave it to the head coach to assess them and he will decide which players to select.

 Gimbang also revealed that Sabah’s former football greats King James Wong and Hassan Sani, will be given roles too in the team. “They will be involved with the team next year but we will announce their roles later,” said Gimbang, adding that they are looking forward to the new season and want the fans and the Sabah people to support the team.

 The FA’s Secretary General Alijus Sipil was among those present to witness the signing of contracts. So far, only Rawilson Batuil, Mohd Azzizan Nordin, Jenius Karib, Mohd Badrul Affendy and Maxsius Musa from the 2015 squad have signed their contracts.

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