PETALING JAYA: Malaysian Indian Football Association (MIFA) skipper S. Subramaniam is relishing his return to the top-flight Super League next year.
The team, who started in the FAM Cup in 2014, finally earned their place after getting the thumbs up from M-League organisers Malaysian Football League (MFL).
The Nilai-based club finished third in the 12-team Premier League behind champions Felda United and runners-up Felcra. But Felcra were disbanded due to financial constraints and their berth was given to MIFA.
The 33-year-old Subramaniam has plied his trade with top Super League sides – Perak, Kelantan, Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) and Selangor – in his 13-year playing career before joining MIFA this season.
“We came close to winning automatic promotion to the Super League ... we lost out by just two points to Felcra despite the team’s limited budget,” said Subramaniam.
“That’s why I believe we are good enough to play in the Super League and I’m glad that we got the slot. We may be a small team but we have a big heart and we’ll give everyone a tough fight.”
Seasoned campaigner Subramaniam has won trophies with Kelantan, JDT and Selangor, but his biggest success was with Kelantan.
He was a key figure for the Red Warriors, who completed the M-League treble of winning the Super League, FA Cup and Malaysia Cup in 2012.
For their challenge in the Super League, the tough tackling centreback said they will have to hit the ground running.
“We have reached the Super League due to our hard work and we need to double our work to make an impact,” said the Sungai Siput-born.
“I don’t want us to be the whipping boys and get relegated.”