PETALING JAYA: Perak coach Mehmet Durakovic can breathe easy after finally signing striker Guilherme De Paula (pic) for the 2020 M-League season.
Durakovinc has been restless as the Seladang have been forced to rebuild the squad after losing several key players, including skipper Nasir Basharudin, Brendan Gan, Hussin Eldor, Nor Hakim Hassan and Ronaldo Silva – for next season.
Prior to De Paula, the Silver State had only signed winger Hafiz Ramdan.
They had been looking at promoting a few players from their Presidents’ Cup squad and fill up the Asian and Asean slots as they had taken a budget cut for the 2020 season.
But the hiring of De Paula, who played for relegated side Kuala Lumpur last season, has brought the smile back to Durakovic.
He is now the third Brazilian player with Perak as they have retained midfielders Leandro Dos Santos and Careca from last season.
“I’ve coached De Paula when we won the Malaysia Cup with Selangor in 2015 so I know the quality that he can bring to the team. He’ll be one of our key players, ” said the Australian.
“We are starting from scratch again... We need to work on player’s fitness and tactics. There’s plenty to do with the team.
Perak are looking at sending their team to one of these countries – Australia, Singapore and Thailand – as part of their training during the preseason.
The Seladang who, won the Malaysia Cup in 2018, could not defend their title after they were knocked out in the quarter-final stage.
Durakovic’s men reached the final of the FA Cup but were beaten 1-0 by Kedah and could only finish fifth in the 12-team Super League to cap a dismal season in 2019.
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