Fans throng a mall in Shah Alam for the unveiling of the new Selangor squad.
SHAH ALAM: New Selangor skipper Bunyamin Umar reckons they can achieve the two-trophy target set by the management for this season.
The Kedah-born player will be the first person who wasn’t born in Selangor to captain the side since Shukor Adan (Malacca) donned the armband in 2008.
The 26-year-old Bunyamin, a versatile defender who joined Selangor in 2009, said that he understands the responsibility that comes with wearing the armband and that he’s ready to help end the team’s three-season title drought.
On Tuesday, nearly 5,000 Selangor fans thronged a mall in Shah Alam to witness the team unveiling their new jersey and to show their support.
“I have captained the national Under-17 and Under-19 teams before, so I know the responsibility. Besides, I have been with Selangor for some time,” said Bunyamin after being officially announced as the team’s skipper.
“The armband comes with added pressure, more so when you are representing a big team like Selangor. But I’m ready and looking forward to leading the team.”
The new-look Red Giants will start the season without talismanic striker Amri Yahyah, defenders Mahali Jasuli and Asraruddin Putra Omar and goalkeeper Norazlan Razali. The four have joined cash-rich Johor Darul Ta’zim.
Selangor, however, have boosted their squad by signing goalkeeper Farizal Marlias, Hamsani Ahmad, Azmi Muslim, Rizal Fahmi Abdul Rosid, Shahrom Abdul Kalam, Abdul Hadi Yahya, Ahmad Hazwan Bakri and A. Thamil Arasu.
Coached by Mehmet Durakovic, the team will be banking on Brazilian forwards Paulo Rangel and Junior Aprecido to lead their attack with Indonesian winger Andik Vermansyah.
Australian Steve Pentelidis is expected to help shore up the defence.
Bunyamin, fondly called Bun by his team-mates, believes they have a better team compared to last season.
“I think our squad is better this season ... we have better depth and there are no stars in the team,” said Bun, who attended a two-week trial with Chelsea in 2007.
“Everyone is fighting hard to make the team and I believe this is the type of commitment that will help us deliver the titles.”