Haitian Sony is music to Zainal’s ears

  • Football
  • Saturday, 18 Jan 2020

All ears: Haiti international striker Norde listening to Melaka coach Zainal Abidin's instruction.

PETALING JAYA: Melaka coach Zainal Abidin Hassan has completed his shopping for the 2020 Super League season with the signing of Haiti international striker Sony Norde.

The Mousedeer had previously signed Colombian midfielder Romel Morales, Nigerian striker Uche Agba and retained South Korean centreback Jan Suk-won from last season.

The 30-year-old Norde comes with a big reputation as a stalwart of Indian League heavyweights Mohun Bagan after featuring for the West Bengal side for five seasons from 2014-2019, scoring 37 goals in 88 appearances.

Zainal said Norde had been on his shortlist from day one and added that the Haitian will not shoulder all the goal-scoring responsibility.

“I need to thank the Football Association of Melaka (FAM) president Damian Yeo for obliging my request to sign Norde... he’s joining us with a big reputation he had in India... he has followed the M-League and is keen to play here, ” said the former international.

“There’s no doubt about his abilities as a striker but he’s in a new team, league and country so he will need time to adapt so I don’t think it’s fair for him to carry the responsibility to score all of the team’s goals.

“Besides, I don’t want my team to rely on one player for the goals... I want all the players to contribute with the goalscoring.”

Zainal added that the team would play several friendlies and will have a playing-cum-training tour in Indonesia.

The Mousedeer will play Premier League outfit Negri Sembilan in Paroi on Jan 23 before heading to Indonesia for three friendlies.

“We will come back from Indonesia on Feb 9, if I’m not satisfied with the performances there... we will have more friendlies to polish up the team.”

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