PETALING JAYA: Selangor coach P. Maniam has defended the management’s decision to re-sign Mohd Amri Yahyah from Melaka.
The seasoned Amri is the Red Giants’ second signing in the M-League’s second transfer window (May 15-June 11).
Twenty-six-year-old Indonesian winger Andik Vermansyah, whose knee injury saw him being dropped from the squad earlier this season, is Selangor’s first signing in the second transfer window.
But it’s the 36-year-old Amri’s re-signing that has got the Selangor fans up in arms.
Maniam, however, believes that the versatile attacker – with his vast experience and winning mentality – can still be an asset to the 33-time Malaysia Cup champions.
Selangor are fourth in the 12-team Super League with 17 points from 12 matches – ahead of Perak on goal difference. Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) lead with 27 points, followed by Pahang and Kedah, both tied on 21 points.
Selangor, who off-loaded several key local players due to financial constraints at the start of the season, have also qualified for the Malaysia Cup.
“I understand the fans’ concern about Amri’s fitness, but it’s something that the coaching staff can handle. He is still one of fittest players in the M-League ... it’s just that we need to be careful as to how we prepare him for matches,” said Maniam yesterday.
“We are not the Selangor of old anymore ... we are rebuilding and we need a role model the younger players can look up to. I believe Amri can be good mentor to these players.”
Amri joined Selangor as a bright-eyed 20-year-old in 2001. He spent 13 trophy-filled years with the Red Giants, winning the Super League (2009, 2010); Premier League (2005); Malaysia Cup (2002, 2005); and FA Cup (2001, 2005, 2009).
Amri then joined JDT in 2014 and won three more Super League titles (2014, 2015, 2016); the FA Cup (2016); and the AFC Cup (2015).
The 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup winner joined newly-promoted Melaka earlier this year, but his stint with the Premier League champions was a letdown.
He scored only two goals in 10 matches this season and was blamed for the team’s poor form in the top flight.
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