PETALING JAYA: Pahang’s four new signings from Terengganu are looking for redemption.
The four – Joseph Kalang Tie, Zubir Azmi, Ahmad Nordin Alias and Mohd Ashaari Shamsuddin – could not prevent Terengganu from being demoted to the Premier League after the Turtles finished bottom of the 12-team Super League standings.
Now that they have been snapped up by new Pahang coach Dollah Salleh for the new season, the quartet hope to hit the ground running and prove that they are not “washed-up players”.
“We failed to keep Terengganu up, but there were so many other factors involved ... I hope the Pahang fans won’t judge us based on what happened there,” said the Miri-local Joseph yesterday.
“Pahang have very high ambitions for the new season and are building a strong team. We are all still hungry for success and we want to prove our abilities to the fans and the team management. I’m confident that the team can be title contenders if all our plans go smoothly.
“We all know our responsibilities with Pahang and I can promise that we will all work hard for the team’s success.”
The 28-year-old Joseph, who won the FA Cup with Terengganu in 2011, said that Pahang team are shaping up well ahead of their pre-season tour of Pattaya in Thailand from Dec 12-22.
“The competition for the starting XI will be tough, but that’s good for the team. We look strong with the players we have, but we all need to be on the same page ... that’s why our four friendlies during the pre-season in Pattaya will be very important,” said Joseph.
“We have been having double training sessions in the last few days to build up our strength and fitness. We still need to work on playing as a team and I believe the matches in Pattaya will help us gel as a unit.”
Dollah must be hoping for the same too.
He first coached Pahang from 2009-2013. He guided them to the Malaysia Cup title in his last year there.
Last season he took a step down into the Premier League to coach Perlis.
Now that he’s back for a second stint with the Elephants, Dollah has bolstered his squad with several quality signings.
Besides the Terengganu quartet, he has also signed Muslim Ahmad, Wan Zaharulnizam Zakaria (Kelantan); Ahmad Syamim Yahaya (Felda); Afif Amiruddin (Perlis); Muhd Nurridzuan Abu Hassan (Perak) and Wan Azraie Wan Teh (Terengganu FC II).
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