Trucha wants twin terrors to lead Panthers’ new season


PETALING JAYA: Penang coach Thomas Trucha (pic) has promised his Brazilian striker Casagrande that he would have a partner-in-crime to plunder goals for the new Malaysian League season.

The Czech Republic coach did not reveal the identity of the new signing, but it is learnt that the club are close to sealing the deal with Lebanese striker Hilal Al-Helwe.

Casagrande, 31, was the team’s top scorer in the Super League last year with 12 goals.

Trucha believes the others around Casagrande are capable of scoring goals too.

“I don’t want to rely on Casagrande alone for goals and build the team around him. Others should score too,” he said.

“We will bring in another striker to partner Casagrande to add depth upfront.

“We have been participating in friendlies to polish up our finishing, not just the strikers but players in other positions too.”

If the Al-Helwe deal is confirmed, the Panthers will have an experienced international in their ranks.

The 27-year-old, who was born in Hanover, Germany, has 40 caps and last played for Al-Ahed in the Lebanese League.

Since making his professional debut in 2013, he has played for various German clubs like TSV Havelse, VFL Wolfsburg II, Hallescher FC and SV Meppen.

Al-Helwe can play as a striker, playmaker and winger. The 1.86m tall player is known for his pace and direct runs, and is a good finisher.

On Penang’s target, Trucha wants to prepare the best squad for 2022.

“I want to see hard work from every player, just like how they did in 2021, where they finished third in the Super League.”

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