Sep 12, 2012

Sabah FA drops 14 players for 2013 season

12th September, 2012

KOTA KINABALU: Revolution.

That’s what the Sabah FA has done to its senior team after deciding to part ways with more than half of its players from the current squad, of which, most of them are old guards and top earners.

“We have decided not to renew the contract of 14 players, including the two foreign imports,” said the FA Vice President I Datuk Yusof Kassim after chairing the team management committee meeting late Monday evening.

As revealed by the New Sabah Times Sports, among the 14 dropped are the two former national goal keepers Azizon Abd Kadir and Syed Adney.

Another former national player defender Ronny Harun also saw his return to the state cut short. The Sipitang-born player plied his trade with Kedah and Terengganu for four seasons before returning home early this season.

Former captain and defender Md Reithudin Ag Emran is also not part of the FA’s plan for the new season so are utility man Mafry Balang, defender Mohd Fariss Azlan Mat Isa and midfielder Zuraindey Jumai.

Strikers Bobby Gonzales and Razlan Oto were also shown the exit door followed by defender-cum midfielder Sanjos Sundawat.

Bench-warmers midfielder Mohd Safuan Ibrahim and defender Naim Ahmad hardly made it into the first 18 all season.

The duo completed the list of the 14.

The two foreign players are Australian Brendan Gan and German Hendrik Helmke.

Of the 14 players, six are currently on-loan with teams involving in the on-going Malaysia Cup.

Bobby and Ronny are with Sarawak while Reithudin, Fariss and Zuraindey are donning Perak colours and Mafry in Kelantan … with the latest development, they might as well seek a permanent move to their respective teams.

“We would like to thank them for their contributions while they were with the team, and also we like to wish them all the best on their future endeavors,” Yusof added.

Yusof, who chaired the meeting in the absence of Vice President I Datuk Osman Jamal, who headed the committee said that they came to the conclusion after holding three meetings (team management).

The remaining players, Yusof said will be offered new contracts.

Striker Zainizam Marjan and defender Rosdin Wasli are the only old guards left in the team after being spared the chop.

The rest who still have a future with the team includes leftback-cum flanker Julamri Muhammad, who is one of the few experienced players left.

Goalkeeper Irwan Jamil, Radzi Mohd Hussin, Shahrul Azhar Ture, Sumardi Hajalan, K Thanaraj, Sharudin Yakup, Alto Linus and Jufrey Omopor will all play a part in Sabah’s quest for a quick return to the Super League following Sabah’s demotion at the end of the 2012 season.

Apart from the 11 retained, they will also promote nine players from the junior side that won Sukma gold in Pahang last July.

Five out of the nine will be offered professional contracts while the remaining four amateurs are still eligible to be registered under the President’s Cup challenge.

In fact Yusof revealed that two of them, Md Rozaimi Abd Rahman and Sabri Sahar who are currently on-loan with Selangor and Kedah, have penned their contract.

The other three that will be given similar offers are Leopold Alfonso Otong, Razid Gapar and Mohd Adiafandi Dullah.

The other four are Didie Arizal Ibrahim, Endre S. Tipay, Dendy Lowa and Zul Mansshah Aling.

“These players (nine) will stay with the seniors and we will groom them for the future. With them staying with the seniors, they will be more room for new players in the junior squad,” said Yusof.

On the foreign imports, Yusof said that they will be import players coming for trials at the end of this month.

“Once we are ready, they will be here and probably by the end of this month,” said Yusof.

Secretary General Alijus Hj Sipil, his two assistants Tuan Hj Nizam Datuk Seri Abu Bakar Titingan and Junaidi Ahmad Fauzi, head coach David McCreery, former coach Justin Ganai, supreme council member Juil Nuatim, executive secretary Hasbullah Yahya and team manager team manager Yahya Kassim were among those that attended the meeting.

News source:
New Sabah Times

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