Oct 22, 2012

Mafry on cloud nine

Mafry with Bojan Hodak
22nd October, 2012

KOTA KINABALU: Outgoing Sabah’s utility player Mafry Balang is on cloud nine after winning his first ever major medal in his football career.

The Kg Long Pasia, Sipitang-born player, was part of the Kelantan side that edged Armed Forces 3-2 in extra time, to lift the prestigious Malaysia Cup crown on Saturday.

Mafry, 28, who was one of the 14 players, including two foreign imports, to be dropped from the Sabah team as the Sabah FA attempts to rebuild a squad for the future, came on in the second half and did his part in the victory over his former team – the Armed Forces (ATM) – at the packed Shah Alam Stadium.


“After playing for many years, finally I have a Malaysia Cup medal to show. So obviously, I’m very, very happy to have finally won a major cum final,” the father of one said when contacted yesterday.

Mafry is believed to be the only third player of this new generation to have won a Malaysia Cup medal after Ronny Harun, who did it with Kedah, and Walter Antahar, who was part of the now defunct Selangor MPPJ side that trounced Sabah 3-0 in the 2003 final.

However, unlike Mafry and Ronny, Walter did not see action.

It is also believed former national great, Hassan Sani, have also won it while playing for Kuala Lumpur.

Mafry, who was on a three-month loan with the Red Warriors as Kelantan are fondly known, said that he was brought in to provide the defensive cover in the intense final clash that saw both teams were deadlocked at two-all after 90 minutes of action.

“While with Kelantan (Malaysia Cup campaign), I played mostly in the second half and made only two starts, and I’m happy to have been given the chance to play in the final.

He admitted that the joy of lifting the Malaysia Cup can at least takes away the pain and disappointment after being dropped by his State team.

On his next move, Mafry said: “I don’t know yet … there are several teams that have approached me, including of course Kelantan, Sarawak, T-Team and Johor have also expressed their interest.”

“But for now, I’ll try to enjoy the occasion, and will decide what is best in a week or two,” said Mafry before hinting that he would prefer a team that is closer to home.

Mafry made his Sabah debut in 2004 with the Reserve League squad before being promoted to the senior side the following year.

After a short stint with the State senior, he signed for Selangor MPSJ, that featured in the FAM Cup League in 2006. He then donned Armed Forces colours for two seasons (2007/2008) before making a return to the State side in 2009 until this season.

News source:
New Sabah Times

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