Romanian Teodor may just be the man for Penang

PENANG: Former Romanian youth international Cristian Teodor could well end the Penang Panthers' search for a third foreign signing for their campaign in this year's inaugural Super League. 

The 30-year-old central defender, a product of U Cluj FC, a Division Two outfit in Romania, is eager to make his debut in Malaysian football. 

Teodor got down to the pitch barely 24 hours after his arrival in Penang on Wednesday and did enough to impress the selectors. 

TEODOR: The Romanian may be Penang's third foreign signing after impressing selectors on Wednesday.

Penang coach Yunus Alif , who is hoping to fortify his defence with a foreign central defender, was particularly taken in by the Teodor's physique. 

“I do not doubt Teodor's skills and experience. But what's outstanding at the moment is his height,” said Yunus after training at the Universiti Sains Malaysia yesterday. 

“Standing at1.90m, he has just the sort of height I expect of my defender.'' 

Yunus, who is on his first year as Penang's coach, however is not about to jump into any deals just yet. 

Although time is running out for the Panthers to complete their line-up before the Super League kicks off next week, Teodor must first be able to show his match temperament before he's taken on board to join Russian striker Melnikov Viatcheslav and Australian midfielder Boris Ovcin in the team. 

“Teodor will have to make use of the last warm-up match against S-League side Tanjong Pagar FC to convince me to take him on,” said Yunus. 

Teodor, despite coming from a very cold Romanian weather where it is now minus 12°C, is confident he will have no problem convincing Yunus to sign him. 

“My desire to play here alone should be enough to help me overcome whatever obstacles there are, despite the humid weather here,'' said Teodor, who came highly recommended by Kedah coach Azman Eusoff.  

“Another added advantage is that I had first hand knowledge of what the Malaysian football league demands. I saw on television the Malaysian teams in action during my short spell in Brunei last year. 

“I was then with Brunei club side DPMM on an invitational basis, preparing for the AFF (Asean Football Federation) inter-club tournament. I also had the chance of playing against Perak in the preliminaries of the tournament at Surabaya and that should help considerably.'' 

If Teodor gets on Penang's payroll he will be the second Romanian player to ply his trade with Penang. The first was nippy midfielder Cristian Mustaca in 1997.