PETALING JAYA: Perlis have settled for African striker Philemon Trequila to deliver the goods for them in Premier I this season.
Coach Norizan Bakar said that they needed an out-and-out striker in the team and hoped that the Zambian would fit the role, which was played by Brazilian Adalberto De Souza, who finished as the team's top scorer last season with eight goals.
“We do not have strong finishers inside the box. This is one area we have to sort out and Trequila looks impressive in trials. But we have not seen him in real match action. We will be looking for another foreign striker,'' said Norizan.
Norizan was previously with the FA of Malaysia as an assistant coach to Englishman Allan Harris. He takes over the Perlis job from Tajuddin Noor, who will handle the Terengganu team this season.
Norizan added that he did not expect much from the present set of players, which is a blend of old and new hands.
Six players from last year's squad have been retained and another six are from the Reserve League squad.
“There have been changes in the structure of the team. All we can hope is to improve our league standing in last year's competition,” said Norizan, who has lined up four friendly matches for his team this month against Malacca Telekom, Selangor Public Bank, Selangor MPPJ and Negri Sembilan.
Perlis, who finished seventh in the 14-team Premier I table last year, will be counting on the new hands Tengku Hazman Raja Hassan (Selangor), Rosli Mat Derus (Terengganu), Khairun Haled Masron (MPPJ) and Rafiz Abu Bakar (Ked) to guide them to a better finish.
National player Mohamed Khaironisam Sahabuddin, who played in the Asean Football Federation's (AFF) Tiger Cup in Singapore and Jakarta last month, is one of the few talented players who have remained faithful to Perlis while former international Annuar Jusoh has left to join Premer II's Negri Sembilan.
The closing date for registration of players in the M-League is Saturday. The league kicks off with the Charity Shield match between Selangor and Penang at the Shah Alam Stadium on Feb 8. Premier I matches have been scheduled for Saturday while Premier II matches will be play on Sunday.