PETALING JAYA: Negri Sembilan, based on their impressive pre-season preparation, are set to make great strides in the Premier League this season.
The Deer head coach K. Devan said everything is going well for them, so far.
“The early signs are very impressive and I am happy to see the progress we’ve made,” said Devan.
In their run-up to the new season, Negri won seven and drew two in the nine matches played. They defeated three Super League sides – Armed Forces 3-1, Perak 2-0 and Terengganu 2-0. The other results against top flight teams saw them draw against Lions XII 0-0 and Sime Darby FC 1-1.
Negri were also victorious against third-tier FAM Cup sides – Prisons 4-0, MIFA 6-0, Malacca 1-0 and Felcra 2-0.
The much-travelled Devan was Negri coach in 2004. In 2009, Devan led Selangor to the double – FA and Super League titles. Last season, he guided Penang to third place in the Premier League behind Police and Felda.
Now he is hoping to reap the same success on his return to his home state.
Negri, who were relegated to the Premier League two seasons ago, have roped in Bruno Martelotto from Argentina and Francis Doe from Liberia.
Negri have retained South Korean Kim Jim-ryong and Jean Alexendre from Haiti but dropped Jean Owona from Cameroon and South African Philani Lancelot.
Negri have also recruited seasoned locals Rezal Zambery Yahya, Irwan Fadli Idrus, Ahmad Fauzi Saari, Rudie Ramli, Shahrizal Mohd Saad, Azizi Matt Rose, Mohd Fazliata Taib, Mohd Khyril Muhymeen Zambri and Mohd Helmi Eliza Elias.
Last season, Negri finished sixth out of 12 teams in the Premier League.
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