Brendan and De Paula brace for tough fight against former teams


New sides: Selangor’s Brendan and Perak’s de Paula (right) will face off in the Super League at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tonight.

PETALING JAYA: Selangor midfielder Brendan Gan and Perak’s Brazilian striker Guilherme De Paula will be entering familiar territory, but on different sides.

The Australia-born Brendan will be facing off against his former Seladang teammates, while De Paula, who is touted to be the next naturalised player for Malaysia, will have memories of winning the Malaysia Cup with the Red Giants in 2015.

Besides the old ties, the Selangor versus Perak match today will see battles all over the field as the two giants face off at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil in their second Super League match.

Both Brendan and De Paula hogged the headlines with virtuoso performances on matchday one and will be expected to anchor their teams again in this showdown.

The 31-year-old Brendan had a sensational debut on Feb 29 with an assist before scoring the winning goal in the team’s 2-1 win over Pahang.

However, the national player felt he and his teammates could have done even better.

“We did not play to the standards that we have set for ourselves,” he said. “On a positive note, it shows that you can win even if you are not at your best.

“I guess it was our fighting spirit that brought us the win against Pahang. I think it is important for us now to start playing our usual level of football, starting against Perak.”

One would think that sentiments would run high for him after his move this season, but Brendan said as a professional, he is now only focused on doing well for his new club.

“It will be nice to see the boys and the coaching staff, but at the end of the day, I see it as a normal game, and my focus will be on Selangor.

“One thing that I can take into the game is my understanding of Perak’s style of play. I hope that will benefit my teammates.

“Perak may have flown under the radar during the pre-season, but I think they are one of the teams that should be on top.

“Now it is all up to us give our best and come away with a win.”

De Paula’s debut with Perak was also one to remember as he scored twice to help Perak sink Terengganu 3-1.

For the Brazilian, scoring in every first match for his new teams seems to be a norm.

“Since I started playing in Malaysia, I have scored on my debut for every club that I joined. Against Terengganu, I scored two, but it is not because of me, it was my teammates,” said the 33-year-old.

“They were the ones who helped me play to my true level. All my teammates are like brothers. You do not want to disappoint them.”

De Paula also upped the temperatures by suggesting that his teammate Leandro Santos was better than Brendan.

“Brendan is good and will always be appreciated in Perak, but it is different now,” said De Paula. “We have Leandro here. If you ask me to choose between Brendan and Leo, I would 100% go for Leo,” quipped the Brazilian.

De Paula said the plan in Bukit Jalil was to get at least a point but he knows the task ahead will not be easy against Selangor.

One would also be looking forward to his battle with Selangor captain Taylor Regan.

“He is a good player, but there are others in Selangor who are good too. We have to concentrate on our game and make sure the momentum in Terengganu is continued.”

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