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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Nigerian striker here for trials

By FRANCIS XAVIER Francis@newsabahtimes.com.my
HOPEFUL … Prince Nnake upon his arrival at the KKIA yesterday.
 KOTA KINABALU: Striker Prince Tochukwu Nnake arrived in the state capital here yesterday to attend trials with the Sabah Rhinos, who are still searching for the right man to complete their foreign quota signing. They are hunting for a striker, who they can rely on to spearhead the attack, and on paper, the Nigerian seems to fit the bill as Sabah Rhinos head coach Vjeran Simunic prefers a lanky big man to lead their charge.

 Prince Nnake, 26, is 1.90m-tall, and a glance at his experience, he started his professional career back home with Dolphins FC (2008-2009). He moved to Sharks FC (2009-2010) before being loaned out to Belgium lower league club Royale Union Saint-Gilloise. He played for the Belgium outfit during the 2010-2011 season before returning home and signing for Kwara United (2012-2013).

 He moved abroad again for the second time, but this time he signed for an Egyptian football club based in Giza (2014). Last year, he signed for another Egyptian Premier League club Alassiouty Sports club. Prince Nnake is not alone trying to land a deal with the Sabah FA as two strikers, another Nigerian (Jackson Victor Ogheneochuko), while the second one from Ivory Coast (Gosse Gui Serge Roland), are expected to arrive for trials anytime soon now.

 They were initially scheduled to arrive yesterday, but it is understood that their arrival has been delayed due to visa problems. So far, the FA has already signed three foreign imports, namely midfielder Marco Tulio Gomez of Brazil, Croatian defender Igor Celina and Indonesian midfielder Dedi Kusnandar, who filled in the Asian quota slot. Meanwhile, local football fans will have the first glance at their beloved team at the Safa Tawau Invitational Football Tournament, which will be happening at the Tawau Stadium from January 29 to 31.

 The three-day tournament will see Sabah Rhinos taking on Super League side KL Felda United FC and Brunei’s Under-23 squad. Sabah Rhinos team manager Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan said they will kick off the tournament by taking on Brunei on January 29, while the second day will see Brunei playing host to KL Felda FC. On January 31, KL Felda FC will take on Sabah Rhinos.

 All matches kick off at 8pm. Nizam said they will be bringing a full squad to the tournament, as they will be using this as part of their preparations. Tickets for the match are at RM10 for open air and RM15 for grandstand.

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