I’ll whip you into shape


  • Football
  • Tuesday, 14 Jan 2020

Great potential: Safee believes Kogileswaran has what it takes to become a top player.

PETALING JAYA: Petaling Jaya City veteran striker Safee Sali is ready to mentor the team’s young signings for the 2020 M-League season – and he has his eyes on youngster M. Kogileswaran Raj.

Skipper Safee, one of the most decorated players in the country, has been retained by the Phoenix for their second season in the top-flight Super League.

Safee said Kogileswaran has caught his eyes and believes the former Pahang and national youth player has the quality to be a top player.

“Kogi has shown that he has potential, he has played with Pahang in the Super League since he was 18... he’s very committed in training, a hard worker and very disciplined as well, ” said the 36-year-old Safee.

“He has everything to make it as a top player... he just needs a bit of patience and be ready to grab the chance when it comes.”

“I’ll be sharing my knowledge with him and I’m keen to be a part of his football education. Senior players have a responsibility to help the younger players.”

PJ City finished a creditable eighth in the 12- team Super League standings last season which also saw them earning the bragging rights of handing Johor Darul Ta’zim’s (JDT) their only defeat of the season.

The Phoenix edged six-time Super League champions 1-0 to end their 75-match unbeaten home run since 2012.

However, coach K. Devan’s men struggle for consistency hampered their campaign and for the new season, they have boosted the team by signing several former internationals.

Among their new signings are 2010 AFF Suzuki Cup winners K. Gurusamy and Mahali Jasuli.

Safee added that there’s a higher expectation on the team now and but they have to be realistic as powerhouses like JDT, Selangor, Terengganu, and Pahang are still miles ahead.

“The pressure is on all of us. We are in the second season in the Super League and we aim to improve from last season with the new signings on board, ” said Safee.

“PJ City are still a baby in the Super League, this only the second year for us and you can see that established sides are undergoing extensive preparation. We still have a lot of catching up to do.”

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