PETALING JAYA: Home is where the heart is. And coach K. Devan will be dear to the Deer after returning to Negri Sembilan.
To get the ball rolling, Devan is preparing for next year’s Premier League by signing several players who were born in the state – with the aim of getting promoted to the Super League in 2022.
So far, they have snapped up midfielders R. Barathkumar, Ferris Danial, Saiful Ridzuwan Selamat, defenders R. Aroon Kumar, Nasrullah Haniff Johan, Ahmad Tasnim Fitri, Osman Yusoff, Annas Rahmat and goalkeeper Muhaimin Mohamad.
Out of the nine, five - Barath, Aroon, Nasrullah, Annas and Ferris – all Negri-born.
Devan also plans to bring in veteran Zaquan Adha Abd Razak back to the state. If that materialises, Zaquan will be returning to his home state after 10 years.
The national striker, now donning Kedah colours, made his professional debut with Negri in 2006 and left the club in 2012 to join Armed Forces.
“Even though we’ve signed some players, we’re still in the process of forming the team. My priority now is to bring those who come from the state, ” said Devan.
“We’re talking to Zaquan and I hope he can join us. We would love to bring back those Negri boys with Super League experience. Some might see it as a step down, but these boys are here to be part of a project.
“They have the belief that we can play in the Super League in 2022.
“No ifs or buts, we’re aiming to get promoted, and the boys that we got so far are hungry to do so.”
Devan said that he is working on a limited budget but believes he can work with the talents he has in his roster.
Just into his second week on the job, Devan said he also has a shortlist of foreign players that he is eyeing – one being his former player in Petaling Jaya City, South Korean midfielder Bae Beom-geun.
Did you find this article insightful?