Penang want Puskas Award winner to concentrate on football

  • Football
  • Wednesday, 11 Jan 2017

Fresh faces: Penang football team manager Zairil Khir Johari (centre) and coach Ashley Westwood (fourth from left) posing with the new signings at the City Stadium yesterday. — WAN MOHIZAN WAN HUSSEIN/ The Star

GEORGE TOWN: The Football Association of Penang (FAP) have reiterated they will limit the non-football events for 2016 FIFA Puskas Award winner Faiz Subri when he returns from Zurich today.

The 29-year-old Faiz won the top prize for the most beautiful goal scored at the FIFA awards ceremony in Switzerland on Monday night.

Penang team manager Zairil Khir Johari confirmed coach Ashley Westwood’s comments earlier that Faiz needs to concentrate on getting ready for the start of the Super League season.

“We are proud that Faiz won and the award is a nice recognition for him and Penang,” said Zairil at a press conference to introduce the Panthers’ new signings at the City Stadium yesterday.

“But we must not go overboard in the celebrations when he returns. The awards is history now, and Faiz needs to look forward to playing Selangor (in the opening match) on Jan 21.

“Knowing Faiz, he has been a true professional during his time with Penang ... I’m confident he will show the determination to fight for his place in the starting line-up.”

Zairil and Westwood introduced eight new players yesterday, including three imports.

Penang have signed Papua New Guinea international striker Nigel Dabinyaba, the English-born Hong Kong international Andrew Russell (midfielder) and the former Australian Under-23 player Diogo Ferreira.

The fourth import in the Penang squad is Brazilian defender Reinaldo Lobo, who was retained from last season.

“My only previous experience with Malaysian football before coming here was playing in the two international friendlies against the Malaysia national side last year,” said the former Canterbury United forward Dabinyaba.

“I’m still trying to improve and adapt to the playing style here. I believe that with hard work and good team work, Penang can get good results,”

The new local players signed by the Panthers are national player K. Reuben, national Under-22 player Muhammad Zulkhairi Zulkeply, ex-UiTM FC goalkeeper Amirul Asyraf Suhaidi, Australia-born Shazalee Ramlee and defender Yong Kuong Yong, who returns to Penang after a season with Terengganu.

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