Turtles eye new direction with fresh batch of foreigners

Still thinking: Terengganu’s Sanjar Shaakhmedov (left) is the only foreign player offered a new contract. — Bernama

PETALING JAYA: Terengganu fans were taken by surprise when their foreign legions were released despite their team finishing third in the Super League.

The Turtles decided not to renew the contracts of their English captain and midfielder Lee Tuck, Singaporean winger Faris Ramli and Mauritanian forward Dominique Da Sylva.

Meanwhile, Uzbekistani midfielder Sanjar Shaakhmedov has yet to sign a new contract.

Coach Nafuzi Zain said it’s time for a change as he aims to lead the team in a new direction.

“The imports did an excellent job. They helped us finish third and took us to the AFC Cup. Our skipper Tuck, he has been excellent and whoever gets him, are very lucky. His attitude has and will always be first class but Terengganu have to keep on moving forward, ” he said.

Nafuzi is keen on moulding young Terengganu boys and bringing foreign players who can understand his new ideology... to play attacking possession football.

He now wants his team to convert possession into attacking chances and for that to happen he needs players with great technique.

“For next season, there’ll be new imports. We have some candidates in mind, players with great technique who can fit with my style. I want them to gel with our local boys, especially the young ones.

“We are a side that enjoy our football and size does not matter. That’s why you see lots of diminutive players in my side. They’re are not big but very confident with the ball.

“You also have to understand that we are running the team on a budget. And we must start putting faith in the youngsters.

“Our feeder team, Terengganu II, have lots of potential players as they finished second in the Premier League. It gives me more options.”

Many would expect Terengganu to sign on big-name players for their AFC Cup assault but Nafuzi is unfazed by reputations.

“I do not believe in so-called big or small-name players. As long as you have the potential and suit my style of play, you’re in my team.

“The players that I have right now and the ones we are going to get can do the job in the continental stage.”

Among the players linked to Terengganu are UiTM striker Arif Anwar and Pahang winger Faisal Halim.

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Terengganu , Nafuzi Zain , Super League


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