JOHOR BARU: Pahang’s Brazilian coach Ralf Borges Ferreira is confident that he will have players who are in good shape – physically, technically and tactically – for the challenges in Premier I this year.
Ferreira is aware of what to expect in the M-League after having seen the three champions of last year in action on video. The defending champions this season are Perak (Premier I), Penang (FA Cup) and Selangor (Malaysia Cup).
“I have seen videos of the three teams and I know what to expect from them,” said Ferreira from Kuantan yesterday.
“But I am not the least concerned with others. My interest is in my team and I want Pahang to be ready for the challenges when the season kicks off next month.
“We are not ready yet but we are on the way. Things are falling nicely in place for us. The presence of five national players from tomorrow will give me a full squad to work on for one month.”
Pahang have signed on three national players from Terengganu – Hairuddin Omar, Subri Sulong and Rosdi Talib. The trio chose to leave their home state following disputes with their FA over the late payment of salaries. The other two national players in the team are Juzaili Samion and Fadzli Saari.
In the recent Asean Football Federation's (AFF) Tiger Cup tournament, Hairuddin, Subri and Rosdi commanded first-team places while Juzaili and Fadzli were reserves.
“I have seen some good quality in the Pahang team. I am impressed with the youngsters and with the internationals we should have a formidable team for the M-League,” said Ferreira, who also thanked his predecessor, Yunos Alif, for helping him.
Yunos, who coached Pahang the last two seasons, is now Ferreira’s assistant.
Ferreira is also glad to note that all the players passed the Cooper’s Test, which was conducted recently.
“We have been giving more emphasis on power training to improve our fitness. This has proved very fruitful. We are in a good situation as we build up for the final phase of training,” he said.