Armed Forces defender, Amiridzwan Taj Tajuddin believes his team is stronger this season with a few inspired signings. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: Armed Forces came a cropper in the FA Cup first round last season and they don’t want history to repeat itself.
The Gladiators were knocked out 3-2 in a penalty shootout by Selangor. Both sides were tied at 2-2 after extra time.
Coach B. Sathianathan’s Forces once again face a tricky first-round tie against newly-promoted Sime Darby at the Selayang Stadium on Tuesday night.
The club side had edged Forces 4-3 and held them to a 1-1 draw in the Malaysia Cup group stage last year.
Forces defender Amiridzwan Taj Tajuddin believes they are a stronger outfit this season with several inspired signings.
The Gladiators have retained a number of key players and bolstered the team by recruiting Argentinian striker Juan Arostegui and Australian defender Spase Dilevski.
“We have a bigger and a better squad this season. I believe the team will be firing on all cylinders to land a silverware this season. We should be able to beat Sime Darby.”
Taj was full of praise for Dilevski as Forces strolled to a 2-0 win over Sarawak in the Super League opener last week.
The Australian defender raked up an assist with a long range pass from his own box which striker Marlon James deftly lobbed over goalkeeper Sani Anuar Kamsani for the opener in the 15th minute.
“Spase might not have the physique of a typical centreback but he brings another dimension to the team’s defence with his long accurate passes and is a big addition to the team,” said the 27-year-old Taj.
Taj, who is recovering from a minor muscle tear on his left calf, was only used as a substitute in the win over Sarawak.
“I’m ready to return to the starting line-up. I don’t feel any pain in my calf any more,” said the 1.85m tall Taj.
“I want to play from the start but it’s up to the coach to decide based on his tactical plans.”