Red Giants aim for a better season despite smaller budget

Talismanic figure: Mohd Amri Yahyah (centre) will lead the attack for Selangor in the M-League next season.

Talismanic figure: Mohd Amri Yahyah (centre) will lead the attack for Selangor in the M-League next season.

PETALING JAYA: Selangor will make do without any big-name signings for next season’s M- League.

The cash-strapped Red Giants will operate on a modest budget again, relying on their youngsters for the Super League, FA Cup and Malaysia Cup.

Selangor, who lost seven key players, managed to finish sixth in the 12-team Super League last season. The record 33-time Malaysia Cup winners only managed to reach the quarter-final stage of the country’s most prestigious competition and were knocked out in the FA Cup second round.

Despite not having any stars, coach P. Maniam still aims for a better show next season.

“We will operate on a smaller budget so it will be hard to compete with the big spenders. But we’re still ambitious and will not take things lying down,” said the former international striker.

“I was a Selangor player before and I know very well that our fans have high expectations on us. My target is to do better than last season. I think it’s achievable.

“We have promoted six players from our Under-23 team (which won the President’s Cup last season). So, it’s not fair to expect them to deliver instant results. But I think we can be one of the dark-horses next season.”

Besides retaining Spanish striker Rufino Segovia, Selangor have signed three new faces – Brazilian centreback Willian Pacheco and Indonesian midfielder Evan Dimas and striker Ilham Armaiyn – as their foreign imports.

The Klang Valley outfit have also signed two former internationals – versatile striker Azamuddin Akil and midfielder Joseph Kallang Tie – to add experience to their side.

“There are no stars. And I expect everyone, including our imports, to work hard to earn their place in the team,” said the 49-year-old Maniam.

“Azamuddin and Joseph have the advantage in terms of experience. I expect them to guide the younger players together with our talismen Mohd Razman Roslan and Mohd Amri Yahyah.”