Pahang skipper skips away

  • Football
  • Tuesday, 18 Feb 2020

ISKANDAR PUTERI: Matthew Davies has been with the Pahang team for five years, captained the Elephant Army when he was just 21 and led them to FA Cup glory in 2018 – at 23, the youngest skipper to lift the trophy.

Now at 25, the Australia-born player had looked set to lead the east coast side into another exciting season.

But the lure of being among bright stars proved too strong for the Malaysian international. He has joined one of Pahang’s biggest rivals, six-time Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim, on a three-year contract.

The Pahang fans may be left disappointed but Davies said it was a dream come true for him to be playing in a club such as JDT.

Moving south: Matthew Davies showing off his new jersey with JDT. — BernamaMoving south: Matthew Davies showing off his new jersey with JDT. — Bernama

“For a footballer, we want to surround ourselves with best footballers around and JDT have that. I know some of their players very well as we all play in the national team,” he added.

Davies was unveiled as a JDT player by the Southern Tigers’ owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim at the team’s headquarters located at their new home stadium, Sultan Ibrahim Stadium, yesterday.

Besides Davies, JDT also completed the signing of Liridon Krasniqi to add to their array of talented players like Safawi Rasid, Gonzalo Cabrera, Diogo Santo, Syafiq Ahmad, Leandro Velazquez, Natxo Insa and Hariss Harun.

JDT will kickstart their title defence in the curtain-raiser Charity Shield match against FA Cup winners Kedah on Feb 28.

Asked about the transfer fee paid by Pahang to get Davies to move south, Tunku Ismail said it was a matter between both club owners.

He said having Davies in the team was a good long-term investment.

“We have been keeping a close watch on him for the last three to four years but we decided to let him get experience with Pahang before joining a calibre club like JDT.

“He is still young and will improve the squad,” he said, adding that it was an honour for JDT to have a player like Davies.

JDT coach Benjamin Mora welcomed Davies into the side, saying the rightback would be a good addition.

“Davies is a well known Malaysian footballer. He was a good player with Pahang and achieved good results with them.

“He gave us many headaches in the past years playing for Pahang as he is one of the best rightbacks,” he added.

Now, it’s Pahang who will be having the headache.

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