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Friday January 10, 2014 MYT 10:07:00 PM
Friday January 10, 2014 MYT 10:13:58 PM
by k. rajan
Sime Darby unveil their Super League team on Friday. With the team are coach Ismail Zakaria (in white) and team manager Tengku Datuk Seri Ahmad Shah (in suit).
PETALING JAYA: Sime Darby’s Syrian forward Mahmoud Amnah reckons that the top-six target set by the management “is reasonable” although they will be making their debut in the Super League.
“We have a very balanced squad ... with no stars in the team. All the players are willing to work hard as a team,” said the 30-year-old Amnah, who has 80 international caps to his name.
“Every team need a game changer or a key player ... I hope I can be that person who can bring that extra quality to the team. I’m one of the older players in the side and I reckon that my experience will prove invaluable.
“Every top division is tough ... we just need to work harder. But I think we are capable of finishing in the top six.”
Amnah, who featured in Sime Darby’s pre-season tour of Vietnam and Indonesia recently, said that he is getting on well with his new team-mates.
Amnah has also experienced playing in the AFC Champion League, having represented Syrian giants Al-Ittihad in 2006.
Sime Darby were formed in 2010 with the target of playing in the Super League in five years. And they’ve done it in four years – thanks to their runner-up finish in the Premier League last season.
The FA Cup and the Malaysia Cup quarter-finalists last season have bolstered their side with the signing of four foreigners – Wisdom Agblexo and William Mensah of Ghana, Dilshod Sharofetdinov of Uzbekistan and Amnah.
Coach Ismail Zakaria has also signed Harimau Muda B starlets – defender Mohd Nashriq Yahya, 21, and midfielder Nur Areff Kamaruddin, 20 – to add depth to the squad.
Sime Darby team manager Tengku Ahmad Shah said they are all set for a steep learning curve in the Super League.
Sime Darby face a daunting opening round of matches. They will kick off their Super League campaign against FA Cup winners Kelantan in Kota Baru on Jan 18, Malaysia Cup holders Pahang at their home ground, Selayang Stadium, on Jan 25 before travelling to Kuching three days later to take on Premier League champions Sarawak.
“We have retained most of our players from the last season ... we’ve also had an early pre-season tour to get the players to gel as a unit,” said Tengku Ahmad.
“We are known as the giant killers due to our run in the Cup competitions last season. Now, we now need to repeat that form in the Super League.”
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