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Saturday, January 16, 2016

KDM FC confident of mounting strong challenge

By FRANCIS XAVIER Francis@newsabahtimes.com.my

 KOTA KINABALU: KDM FC have opted to carry the underdogs tag when they make their FAM Cup debut this upcoming season. Club President Datuk Peter Anthony said being newcomers in the league, the tag suits them well, as they don’t want to be seen a little too ambitious in their maiden appearance in the league, which is dubbed as the country’s third tier after the Super League and the Premier League.

 However, Peter, who is also the KDM Malaysia President, was confidence his inexperienced side can mount a strong challenge against the rest of the participating teams. “If you look at the team now, our players are in high spirits. Furthermore, in football anything can happen. We will see later how the team performs in the competition, but so far what I can say is that there is no problem with forming combinations and all our players are fit.

 Peter said this at a press conference after witnessing 20 squad players signing their offer letters yesterday. He said the offer letters would automatically be converted into contracts pending successful results from the players’ medical tests, which is to be done today. “All of them signed their offer letters today (yesterday).

The offer letter will automatically be converted into contracts if they pass their medical exams and beep (fitness) tests. The players comprised mostly Murut ethnic descent and included a former state player, while others are mostly new faces although all, Peter said, are hungry for success. Most of the players are of Murut ethnic origin (10), while others are Dusun (5), Malay (1), Jawa (1), Bugis (1), Iranun (1) and Bajau (1).

 Peter said that they are still looking for players to add to the squad and could include one or two individuals who are rejected by the state senior squad. “We also received requests to include players from other districts which we will consider, but at the same time we are also eyeing players who did not make it into the state senior squad,” Peter said.

 “Players will be evaluated by their performance with no special accord for automatic slots so every player will have to prove his worth for a spot in the squad,” he added. On their preparations, he said that they are pretty much on the right track with twice daily training sessions taking place at the Penampang District Council field.

 “We may also be involved in a four-cornered mini tournament which could include the State Reserve and State Under-19 as well as other squads. “We may also take the squad for a pre-season tour to the Peninsular and maybe play some friendly matches in Brunei and Labuan,” he said. Peter is also banking on homeground advantage to spur them to glory in the league.

 “We are creating history of sorts here by parading a majority of Sabah’s biggest ethnic group to compete in the league. So I hope by choosing Keningau as our home venue (Keningau Sports Complex field), it will give us additional advantage over our rivals,” said Peter, as he hopes the club would receive full backing from fans as they close on making the Keningau Stadium their fortress. 

“The Sabah Sports Board has given us the nod and we are confident we will create somewhat of a record when fans start packing the stands to support us play,” he said.

 The 20 players include goalkeepers Endre S Tipay, Mohd Yusri Jamrin, Usman Baalon, strikers Yazili Yunat, Ramadin Anduhut, and defenders Azizul Madirin, Jenius James, Josesua Jubin, Khairol Ampalang, Benerlys Raim and Rezuan Muhammad Radzy. The others are midfielders Hairy Safwan, Helmi Sudin, Helmezey Yonis, Rick Marseel Gueh, Hilter Stephenius Salaw, Jeerians Judin, M Ashrafi Abdan, Faizal Yunus and Dan Joseph Malintau.

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