Selasa, 29 Disember 2009

Promotion caught KL coach unprepared

Devinder Singh

KUALA Lumpur got more than they bargained for when they were unexpectedly promoted to the Malaysian Super League as coach Razip Ismail struggles to form a decent side to prevent their immediate return to the Premier League.
The FA of Malaysia's announcement that KL, who finished fourth in last season's Premier League, would take the place of now-defunct Kuala Muda Naza and UPB-MyTeam came only a week before the deadline for registration of players.

The uncertainty in KL's status saw three main players from last season leave for greener pastures even as Razip scrambled to find replacements.

Goalkeeper Saiful Amar Sudar ended an eight-year association with KL to join Premier League side PKNS along with influential defender Khairi Zainudin while striker Hadi Yahya was offered a good deal by fellow promoted side Kuala Terengganu T-Team.

Several fringe players were dropped while midfielder Hairy Azly Mahamad quit football after taking up a job with the International Islamic University.

"At the time we did not know which league we would be playing in so when Hadi received an offer from T-Team we could not stand in their way. Then Amar and Khairi left and that gave us a real problem to find adequate replacements, given the financial constraints we face," said Razip.
KL’s long-serving goalkeeper Saiful Amar Sudar has left for Premier League side PKNS.
KL’s long-serving goalkeeper Saiful Amar Sudar has left for Premier League side PKNS.

That constraint has seen KL players and coaching staff go three months without their wages as the new KLFA leadership settles in following the annual general meeting earlier this month.

But KL still managed to sign seven players -- goalkeepers Norazlan Razali (Johor) and Remezey Che Ros (Pahang), Johor FC trio See Kok Luen, Farid Ramli and Fahruzzahar Ali, Jeremy Matthew Danker from UPB-MyTeam and Fitri Jamaluddin from Kuala Muda -- for their return to the top-flight after seven years in the second-tier.

Defender Farouk Hassan, who played for KL in last season's Malaysia Cup, made his loan move from Felda United permanent while Arman Fareez Ali, Ahmad Jihad Ismail, Syafiq Johari and Syazwan Rani were promoted from the President's Cup side.

KL did gain some encouragement from recent friendly matches against Malaysia Cup champions Negri Sembilan (0-0), Johor FC (0-0) and Kedah (2-1) but some of their frailties were obvious against the lesser likes of PKNS (1-2) and Pos Malaysia (0-0).

"We have a very young team and I thought we came up one year too early. (Midfielder) Azwan Malek is our most experienced player at age 28 and my main worry is about how the young players will cope with the demand of the Super League.

"Of course, now that we are back we certainly don't want to go back down so our main target is finish in the top-12, which will not only ensure we survive but also qualify for the Malaysia Cup," added former KL and national defender Razip, into his second full season as head coach.

KLFA also has a new president in place after Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor returned to the post he vacated in 2007 when former city mayor Datuk Abdul Hakim Borhan stepped aside while Datuk Astaman Abdul Aziz moved up to the deputy president's post.

(Dipetik dari

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