Celebrations on hold as Negri return to Premier II grind


  • Other Sport
  • Tuesday, 03 Jun 2003

BY ERIC SAMUEL

SEREMBAN: The FA Cup victory celebration can wait for Negri Sembilan. 

The team were back at work at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium in Paroi here yesterday to prepare for the Premier II match against Kelantan TNB in Kota Baru on Thursday. 

Skipper B. Rajinikandh said yesterday they had bigger ambitions and would not be carried away by their success in the FA Cup. 

“It is a good feeling to have earned the tag of FA Cup champions,” he said. “We are a Premier II side but we have seasoned hands. There are five of us from Selangor, who played in Premier I last season and the team have good depth. 

“The seniors will be able to guide the younger ones and I don't think we will lose concentration after the Cup success.” 

Besides Rajinikandh, the former Selangor players are Azman Adnan, Mohamed Aiman Wong, Azlisham Ibrahim and Lim Chan Yew. The other senior players include Khairul Anuar Baharom, Anuar Jusoh and Azrul Amri Burhan. 

There are also four national players in the Negri squad – Under-21 skipper Norhafiz Zamani Misbah, K. Rajan, Mohamed Saiful Sabtu and Redzuan Radzy. 

Negri still have the Premier II title, qualification for the Super League and the Malaysia Cup to play for. 

They are now in second place in the league with 26 points from 13 matches in the 12-team league. They trail Johor by six points. 

Rajinikandh said that were still in with a chance to finish as the Premier II champions, which would put them in the Malaysia Cup and the playoffs for places in the eight-team Super League next season. 

The top six teams in Premier I get automatic places. The remaining two places will be decided in playoffs between the top four in Premier II and the seventh to 10th placed teams in Premier I. 

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