Southern Tigers head to Spain to beef up challenge for new season


Back to the grind: Johor Darul Ta’zim players posing for a photograph at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Sepang. — JDT

PETALING JAYA: Johor Darul Ta’zim’s (JDT) two-week pre-season stint in Spain will serve well for head coach Hector Bidoglio to plan out his squad for the Super League season starting in May.

Before the 10-time league winners start their new season against Selangor in the Charity Shield on May 10, they will be playing seven friendly matches while based at the Melia Villaitana Football Center in Benidorm, Alicante.

Besides the main squad that headed to Spain yesterday, the Venezuelan gaffer has also brought along several reserves and JDT II players.

Among them is Firdaus Ramli, whose involvement in the main squad hints at him being trained to eventually take over the leftback position currently held by La’vere Corbin-Ong.

Firdaus was previously recruited into the main team list for the 2021 Asian Champions League (ACL) and also played for JDT during the 2020 season.

Also among the squad is Sarawak-born attacker Gabriel Nistelrooy, who aided JDT II in reaching the Malaysian Football League (MFL) Cup final last year.

Bidoglio is not only be looking at working his magic with the club in the domestic scene, but also prepare the team for the tough challenge ahead in the Asian Champions League Elite (ACLE) this season.

The pre-season fixtures will also give new signings Jalil Elias, Francisco Geraldes, and Nicolao Dumitru more opportunities to get accustomed to their new squad.

The Southern Tigers had already begun their pre-season with a bang as they won both their previous fixtures before the stint in Spain.

JDT played Singapore League side Lion City Sailors in two international friendly matches, winning 2-1 at the Bishan Stadium on April 4 and 4-0 at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium on April 8.

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Football , Johor Darul Ta'zim , JDT

   

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