KUANTAN: Howdy, mate!
Say hello to Pahang’s latest recruit – 20-year-old Australian-born Malaysian defender Matthew Davies.
The youngster, who signed from A-League side Perth Glory – is set to on Pahang colours in the M-League once his registration is sorted out by the FA of Malaysia (FAM) and he receives his International Transfer Certificate (ITC).
Pahang coach Zainal Abidin Hassan said that Davies began training with the squad here on Wednesday and “will be ready for action once the documents are in place”.
“We’re delighted to have Davies on board,” said Zainal.
As for Davies, it didn’t take him too long to decide on the switch, especially after he had consulted former Australian players – Scott Ollerenshaw and Alan Davidson, who had plied their trade with Sabah and Pahang back in the 90s.
“I’ve heard a lot about Malaysian football. I decided to come after receiving positive feedbacks from the former Australian players,” said Davies.
“I may not be that familiar with the local language here ... but just give me time to adapt to the new surroundings. It’s not a problem because the players speak English and it’ll be easy to communicate,” said Davies.
Davies made his A-League debut in October 2013 against Melbourne Heart and has made more than 15 appearances for the Australian club. He will be the third Eurasian to feature in the M-League after Brendan Gan (Kelantan) and Junior Eldstal (Johor Darul Ta’zim).
There is a possibility that Davies may be considered for the national Under-23 squad for the Singapore SEA Games or even the national team for the pre-World Cup campaign.
“He (Davies) is a tough boy and should add muscle to any backline,” said Zainal, who has two seasoned foreign pros in the stocky Damion Stewart of Jamaica and Pakistani Zesh Rehman.
Double winners Pahang (2014 FA and Malaysia Cup) have their hands full this season playing on three fronts – FA Cup, Super League and the AFC Cup competitions.
Zainal said his target is for Pahang to qualify for the AFC Cup final. No Malaysian team have gone past the quarter-final stage of the AFC Cup since the inaugural competition 10 years ago.
Pahang are second in Group G with four points – five behind leaders South China FC of Hong Kong. Their remaining fixtures are against South China FC (away) on April 15, Yadanarbon FC of Myanmar (home) on April 29 and Global FC of the Philippines (home) on May 13.In the FA Cup, Pahang are in the driver’s seat to qualify for the semi-finals. On Tuesday, they defeated Premier League side Penang 2-0 in the first-leg of the quarter-finals at the Darul Makmur Stadium in Kuantan.