Perak bank on Brazilian duo to end title drought

PETALING JAYA: Perak are going for a tried-and-tested formula to end their hunt for silverware this season.

The Seladang, under coach Mehmet Durakovic, have signed two Brazilians – striker Gilmar Filho and midfielder Leandro Dos Santos – to replace Bulgarian forward Vladislav Mirchev and Kosovan midfielder Faton Toski.

The 1.92cm Gilmar played for Kelantan in 2015 and Sarawak last year. He scored 11 goals in 21 appearances with the east coast team and five goals in 15 matches with Sarawak.

Leandro had previously featured under Durakovic with Selangor, winning the Malaysia Cup in 2015. The 30-year-old also played for T-Team in 2014.

Perak’s last success came 13 years ago – winning the FA Cup in 2004 – and are fourth in the 12-team Super League table.

They have 18 points from 13 matches with four wins and six draws. Defending champions Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) lead with 30 points.

The Malaysia Cup, which will begin on July 4, is Perak’s best chance to end their wait for silverware.

Durakovic, who put his new signings through a workout at the TLDM Stadium in Lumut yesterday, reckons that the duo will flourish in the M-League.

“I know these players and I believe they have the qualities which can help improve the team’s performance. We needed a target man and a ball winner in midfield and they fit the bill,” said the 51-year-old Australian coach.

“New imports will need time to settle in with their new teams and new environment, but Santos and Gilmar have been here. They know the culture here and should have no problems blending in. They just have to focus on their performance.

“It’s been some time since Perak won silverware.

“The Super League title will be harder for us, so the Malaysia Cup is a much more realistic target.”

Perak , Mehmet , Gilmar , Leandro