Football

Published: Sunday December 29, 2013 MYT 8:14:00 PM
Updated: Sunday December 29, 2013 MYT 8:25:46 PM

Arostegui adds firepower to Forces’ trophy bid

Ex-MPPJ hotshot Juan Manuel Arostegui from Argentina has signed for Super League side Armed Forces. - Filepic

Ex-MPPJ hotshot Juan Manuel Arostegui from Argentina has signed for Super League side Armed Forces. - Filepic

PETALING JAYA: Armed Forces coach B. Sathianathan reckons that striker Juan Manuel Arostegui will be a key figure in his bid to land a silverware next season.

The 33-year-old Argentinian is the fourth foreigner in the team. The others are 37-year-old striker Marlon Alex James of St Vincent and the Grenadines, 31-year-old midfielder Bruno Martelotto, also of Argentina, and 28-year-old Australian defender Spase Dilevski.

Arostegui is no stranger to the M-League. He struck 50 goals for club side MPPJ in the 2003 season, including a hat-trick in the 3-0 win over Sabah in the Malaysia Cup final.

The former Boca Junior player proved that he is still a lethal finisher, scoring four goals in two friendlies against Premier League outfit Johor Darul Ta’zim II (2-1) and Super League side T-Team (4-1) earlier this month.

Sathia believes Arostegui will get even better once he gels with the team.

“It will be a difficult season with so many teams being title contenders. We have set a target of a top three finish and winning a Cup,” said Sathia, who led the team to a sixth place finish last season.

“All the teams have strengthened their sides with recruits and are well prepared for the season.

“As for us, we have a better squad this time. Our bench is stronger now and the addition of Arostegui is another plus for us. He’s doing well to fit into the team and I believe he will get better,” added Sathia.

The Gladiators will play four more friendlies against Selangor (on Monday), Negri Sembilan (Jan 3) and Penang (Jan 11) before they start their Super League campaign against Sarawak at the Selayang Stadium on Jan 18.

“We are using the four friendlies to get the right combination of players for our opening match. We have a good mix of old and young players ... we just need to get the players to gel as a team,” added the former national coach.

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