LET’S relive the past and make Perak the best team in Malaysia! This is the challenge set by Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir to the Perak players.
In his speech during the official unveiling of the state team players and official jersey on Sunday, Zambry said he wants Perak to be respected nationally again and to achieve that, he urged the players to be more optimistic and build their self-confidence for the new season.
“If last time we can, why can’t we do it now?” he said to the players and officials during the event.
Zambry said football is something that is close to the people of Perak and it is a game that is loved by many.
“Perak in the past created lots of players of calibre. All the races in Perak have contributed to our football.
“The legends here today like Khalid Jamlus, P. Umaparam, Chan Wing Hoong, M. Nagaraja, Chan Kok Heng and Ahmad Shahrul Azhar did not only make the state proud, but the nation too.
“This is the speciality of Perak. Football is a sport that is loved by all.
“It does not belong to one particular race... Football is not defined along ethic lines. It is for all.”
Zambry hopes that one day, Perak will have players from all races, just like in the 1980s and 1990s.
At the event, Perak also announced sponsorship worth RM7.8mil from 44 companies and government agencies.
The team’s apparel and equipment will be provided by Al-IkhsaN Sports Sdn Bhd in a deal worth RM500,000 for the team.
The team also unveiled the new home and away Jersey for the upcoming Malaysian Super League during the event.
Perak Football Association President Datuk Seri Abdul Puhat Mat Nayan said the team this year is largely from the state Sukma team in 2012 and 2014.
“We are thankful that the players accepted our offer to play for the club.
“Some of them received better offers from other clubs, but they decided to stay put because they want to make Perak a top team again,” he said.
Some of the top players who opted to play for the state include wingers Muhd Nurridzuan, Ridzuan Azly, Hafiz Ramdan and captain Mohd Nasir Basharuddin.
The team also signed left-back Arif Ismail, winger Fazrul Hazli Kadri, utility player Nazirul Naim and midfielder D.Kenny Pallraj for the new season.
Perak have also retained influential Brazilian centre-back Thiago Junio Aguino and added new foreign players in Uzbekistan international Vokhid Shodiev and Brazilian striker Elias Fernandes de Oliveira.
Perak will play Kelantan in their first Super League match on Feb 13 at the Perak Stadium in Ipoh.