MOHAMAD Ramlee, who has been reappointed as chief coach of the Kedah President Cup team, aims to achieve top honours in this year’s competition which kicks off on Jan 27.
This is his second stint as coach after having had success during a 10-year span from 2001 to 2010 when he took the team to two successive finals in 2003 and 2004. They won the cup in 2004 by beating Kelantan 2-0 in the final at the Selayang Stadium in Selangor.
Mohamad, 39, was succeeded by Mohd Nidzam Yusoff in 2011 but Kedah failed to even qualify for the last eight that year.
In 2012, Mohd Radzi Mat Din took over the reins as chief coach for two years but the team failed to get past the quarter-finals stage.
Mohamad was recalled in November last year to handle the team for the 2014 season with Victor Andrag as his assistant. And the duo have assembled a team of 25 players for this year’s campaign, including nine from last year’s squad.
Since then, they have played five friendly matches where they won twice, drawn two and lost one to the PKNS Super League team by 0-5.
Kedah are in the 10-team Group A together with Sarawak, Felda United, Negri Sembilan, Armed Forces, Pahang Sports School, Perlis, Kelantan, Selangor and Terengganu.
The players from last year’s squad who have been retained are Ahmad Mustaffi Jamaluddin, Mohd Muzaimir Abdul Hadi, Mohd Aliff Mohd Puat, Mohd Isyam Syahriza Othman, Abdul Muiz Abdul Talib, Abdul Halim Saari, Mohd Syafiq Ahmad, Adam Aidil Iskandar Rosli and Mohd Ifwat Akmal Chek Kassim.
Kedah will kick off their campaign with a home match on Jan 27 against Sarawak at the Darulaman Stadium in Alor Setar at 4.45pm.
They will complete their first round matches with an away match against Terengganu on March 10 at the Gong Badak Stadium in Terengganu.
They have to finish among the top four in their group to qualify for the quarter-final knockout stage.
“The players are responding well during training and are shaping up during friendly matches. I hope to blend them into a winning combination,” said Mohamad during a recent training session.
Kedah’s 2014 President Cup squad members are: Ahmad Mustaffi Jamaluddin, Mohd Muzaimir Abdul Hadi, Mohd Fahmi Zakaria, Mohd Shahfaif Shahbani, Mohd Norfiqrie Abdul Talib, Mohd Aliff Mohd Puat, Isfarizul Emran Ismail, Mohd Isyam Syahriza Othman, Abdul Muiz Abdul Talib, Mohd Farhan Roslan, Abdul Halim Saari, Visert Sorrachark Seng Kiang, Mohd Hanif Mat Dzahir, Faiz Hanif Adnan, Mohd Muhaimin Zulkifli Mohamad, Mohd Syazwan Tajudin, Mohd Syafiq Ahmad, Adam Aidil Iskandar Rosli, Mohd Syafiq Elias, Mohd Ivaan Hakimi Abdullah, Mohd Norhamizaref Hamid, Mohd Ifwat Akmal Chek Kassim, Mohd Faiz Hakimi Norrizan, Osman Mohd Yusoff and Mohd Yusuf Che Hat.
Officials: Anas Hafiz Mustaffa (manager), Haris Che Mat (asst manager), Mohamad Ramlee (chief coach), Victor Andrag (asst coach), Mohd Rizal Johari (fitness coach), Wan Mohd Ruzaimi Che Rus (goalkeeper coach), Nor Hisham Mat Rani (physiotherapist), Zolkifle Ibrahim (administrator), Mohd Rizal Nordin (kitman), Mazrul Iman Mustaffa (media officer) and Mohd Zaini Safie (security).