JOHOR BARU: Like in the old days, players like Hairuddin Omar, Rosdi Talib and Subri Sulong will be the main drawcards when Terengganu take on neighbours Pahang in a Premier I biggie at Kuala Terengganu's Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium tomorrow.
Unlike the old days, they will not be donning Terengganu colours. The trio, who have been the mainstay of the Terengganu team for years, are now with Pahang. That alone should be enough to make the match an explosive affair.
Hairuddin, Rosdi and Subri joined Pahang in controversy after they severed their footballing links with their home state after running foul of the Terengganu management over non-payment of salaries late last year.
With the fans upset over their “desertion,” Hairuddin, Rosdi and Subri can expect a hot, hostile reception.
Hairuddin said some words used against the trio by some Terengganu FA officials still hurt. And they will be motivated to silence those who had maligned them.
“To me, it is normal for fans to give you a hot reception when you leave your home state to play for another team. I am focused on the match and more than prepared for it,’’ he said.
“This is one match where I want to score for my new team and win. It is a match I have long been waiting for.”
Hairuddin is Pahang's trumpcard. He has scored two league goals for the Elephants so far - one in Pahang's 4-1 win over Kelantan in Kota Baru and one in Pahang's 1-2 defeat at the hands of Perlis at home.
“Even if I don't get to score, I will be more than happy if I can help Pahang win. It means a lot to me.”
Pahang coach Ralf Borges Ferreira was confident the trio could handle the situation well.
“They are experienced internationals. They should not have any problem coping. “ said Ferreira.