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Saturday, January 16, 2016

Juniors target quarters

By FRANCIS XAVIER Francis@newsabahtimes.com.my

 KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Juil Nuatim has set a quarter-final target for his young side in the President’s Cup challenge 2016. The Junior Rhinos team manager said that will be their ultimate goal for this new season after failing to make the cut the last two seasons. Speaking to reporters at the contract signing ceremony held at the Sabah FA office in Likas here yesterday,

 Juil said anything less than that is unacceptable considering the fact that they have made solid preparations ahead of the new season, which is expected to kick off early March. “Our goal is to reach the quarter-finals. From there we will take a one-match at a time approach,” said Juil. Sabah FA Deputy President II Datuk Lawrence Gimbang, Secretary General Alijus Haji Sipil as well as the State Under-19 team manager Mohd Yassin Aman were also present at the function. Juil went on to reveal that this time around, the squad is made up of more than half new faces as well as from last year’s Under-19 squad.

 “We still have seven players from last year’s squad namely Rahman Shah Marajeh, Masran Masri, Mohd Zul Fadlisham Roseland, Salim Mastar, Randy Baruh @ Samson, Mohd Ikmal Bahari and O’Neil Shanahan Marcelinus Bungkilan. “The rest are new faces, either from the last year’s Under-19 squad or those selected from the selection trials held late last year.

 “I believe that this time around, we have quite a decent side, and we also have an experienced coach in Justin Ganai to guide the team and he is to be assisted by Burhan Ajui,” said Juil. Meanwhile, Gimbang said they have decided to sign 28 players for the new season, two short from the number allowed for each team.

 “We are hoping our young squad will do well, and I also hope that with this contract signing, they can now fully focus on their preparations,” he said. “I’m confident the team will do well. Furthermore, they have an experienced manager, who has been with the team for a few seasons. They also have the most experienced coach Justin Ganai,” Gimbang added.

 For the record, the team have been training for more than a month now, and Justin believes that when the season kicks off, they will be fully ready for the challenge.

 The full squad is as follows – Rahman Shah Marajeh, Presley Lim Chin Foh, Mohd Sakri Masri, Masran Masri, Tekson Tubeng, Mohd Zul Fadlisham Roseland, Ahmad Sabri Ahmaddurayah, Saliun Mastar, Randy Baruh @ Samson, Jahili Mintol, Rexsye Rolland Tamin, Mohd Abdah Awang, Masmilan Matlan, Rickson Pang Tabias, Shahzrin Sidin, Mohd Ikmal Akid Bahari, O’Neil Shanahan Marcelinus Bungkilan, Dexy Mildy Juanis, Malik Jukup, David Ansarui, Mohd Afiq Mustaqin Mazlan, Mohd Azmizan Rusli, Fazriel Hanafi Stepanus, Klinsmon Aribulan, Shakoi Jusit, Mohd Fuad Amin Madlan, Muhamad Zaki Sapri and Mohd Juraidi Lijas.

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