Surprise skipper aims high

Come fly with me: Kuala Lumpur’s Paulo Josue is out to hit new heights with the team.

PETALING JAYA: It was a bit of a surprise when Paulo Josue was announced as Kuala Lumpur’s captain for the 2020 Premier League challenge.

Even the Brazilian was taken aback when the management announced that he would lead the team. Many would have expected experienced players like Indra Putra Mahayuddin, Shukor Adan or even S. Subramaniam to take up the leadership role.

Now that Josue has taken up the mantle, he cannot wait to help the team achieve their target of winning the league and getting promoted to the 2021 Super League.

“I was a bit surprised about the announcement. The coach (Nidzam Adzhar) gave me the challenge to lead the team, and I take it with full responsibility, ” said the 30-year-old, who has played for KL since 2017.

“Of course, I cannot be the captain alone. I need help from the team. We have many experienced players like Indra, Subra, Zamir (Selamat) and Shukor.

“As a team, we must help each other.

“We have many experienced players, and this is only good for the team.

“As a captain, I hope I can help the young players and also the management when it comes to team affairs.”

Last season, the creative midfielder played 29 matches and scored seven goals, but it was not enough as the team got relegated to the Premier League.

They have put the disappointment of 2019 behind them and Josue believes the team can win the Premier League and get back into the Super League this year.

“We will do our best to be champions.

“We know where we are headed and I believe in this group of players.

“Yes, it is a bit too early to talk about the team’s preparation because we have 16 new players.

“We are working on chemistry and harmony, and our pre-season has looked pretty good so far. Last season, we had great understanding during training sessions but could not replicate that on the pitch. This must not happen in 2020.”

Even though he has experienced ups and downs with KL, Josue said he has never thought about leaving the team.

“I am pleased to be in this city and club.

“I guess the club have retained me because I have done something right for the team. Now, they have given me another opportunity to do good.”

KL have strengthened the team by signing seasoned hands Akram Mahinan, Shukor, Nik Shahrul Azim Halim and Subramaniam. They have also announced the signing of Kyrgyzstani international centreback Azamat Baimatov for the new season.

Among the local players retained for the new season are Zhafri Yahya, Hafiz Johar, Alif Samsudin and Shafiq Shaharudin.

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