PETALING JAYA: The Cops have some real problems on their hands. Grenadian striker Antonio German has gone AWOL and skipper Mohd Safiee Ahmad is still on duty in Sarawak.
Police coach Mohd Ishak Kunju Mohamed, however, is shrugging off the problems. He said he would rather focus on the players at his disposal as they get set to resume their relegation battle when the M-League resumes on Aug 26.
The men in blue have severed ties with German, who has been missing since March, while the 23-year-old Safiee, a lance corporal still on duty, has yet to rejoin training after going back to his home town in Sarawak. He is not likely to feature in Police’s next Super League match.
The Cops are currently bottom of the 12-team standings with a deficit of two points after four games. They were docked three points by the Football Association of Malaysia for failing to settle their players’ salary.
On top of that, some 60% of the team comprise Police personnel who had served on the frontlines during the movement control order and were not able to join the team in training earlier.
“Antonio (German) has not joined us in training and I was told by the management that he had gone to England to be with his family. The management will sort out the contract issues with him, ” said Ishak.
“He is no longer in my plans. I don’t know his condition and I also don’t know when he will be able to return to the team. We are not in a good position in the league and I can’t be waiting for players to plan for our matches.”
Police will now only have two imports in their line-up – Turkmenistan defenders Serdar Geldiyew and Sohrat Soyunow – for their remaining seven league matches.
Ishak said the situation was not ideal but he will be banking on his professional players – goalkeeper Bryan See, defender Asri Mardzuki, midfielders Dirga Surdi, R. Surendran, K. Satish, and Hidhir Idris – to drive the team.
“I don’t know how it will be when Safiee rejoins training... he might be quarantined when he comes back from Sarawak. The other players will definitely be in better shape since they have been training, so he will have a lot of catching up to do, ” said Ishak.“The good news is that our pro players are in top condition, they are really raring to go and training well. I think they are itching for action after months of home training.
“I really hope they can fire the team up. We have an uphill battle to escape relegation but I believe my players can do something if they keep fighting.”