Mat Zan: It's not impossible for Malacca Telekom to finish in top five


PETALING JAYA: Newly promoted club side Malacca Telekom have set themselves an ambitious of a top five finish in their debut season in Premier I. 

Coach Mat Zan Mat Aris said it was not an impossible task for his team, who have several calibre hands with vast playing experience. 

“Malacca Telekom are a new club side but the players come from state teams with strong credentials. I don't think the boys will be intimidated by the state teams. We should be able to spring a few surprises along the way,'' said Mat Zan, who has replaced former coach Kamaruddin Mohamed Noor this season. 

Among the top guns hired by Telekom include former international midfielders Rizal Hassan, Nazzab Hidzan and Imran Ahmad. In defence they have former 1997 Youth World Cup skipper M. Gopalan and Azlan Hussein while seasoned campaigner Assrof Hanafiah will be playing in his second season for the club. 

Former Negri Sembilan goalkeeper Mohamed Yaziz Yassin will be in charge between the posts while former Kuala Lumpur striker Mohamed Farid Dewan is the new man in their search for goals. 

Mat Zan said they would also be counting on Ghanaian striker Isaac Kuffour, their Golden Boot winner in Premier II with 22 goals last year, to lead the assault up front. 

“We are still looking for another foreign player in midfield. Kuffour has been given the task to recommend us a candidate and we hope the two will be able to click,” said Mat Zan, who previously led Terengganu to the Malaysia Cup title in 2001. 

In pre-season matches, Telekom have notched three wins and two defeats. They defeated Selangor MPPJ (2-0), Negri Sembilan (2-1) and Police (2-1) while they went down to Perak (2-3) and Perlis (0-2). 

Last year, Telekom won promotion by virtue of finishing second in the Premier II standings. Kedah finished as champions.  

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