GEORGE TOWN: Treble champions Kedah were the latest side to lure away players from the financially-stricken Penang and Perak state teams.
Yesterday, the Canaries signed up Penang strikers Mohd Farizal Rozali and Azrul Ahmad, and also Perak midfielder Shahrulnizam Mustapha.
Kedah coach Mohd Azraai Khor was pleased with the capture of Farizal and Azrul, who can both play upfront as well as on the flanks.
“After the departure of Marlon (James) and Hasmawi (Hassan) at the end of last season, Mohd Khyril Muhymeen was our only experienced striker left in the squad.
“The inclusion of Farizal and Azrul will add stability to the side, and they will also help guide our young forwards Shafiq Jamal and Samransak Kram,” said Azraai.
Shahrulnizam is expected to step into the role vacated by Kedah’s former midfielder Nelson Martin in the heart of the engine room.
The experienced midfielder is the latest senior player to abandon Perak, following Mohd Khalid Jamlus, Azlan Zainal (both Kelantan), Mohd Nasril Nourdin, Mohd Hamsani Ahmad and K. Nanthakumar (all Selangor).
Besides Farizal and Azrul, Penang also lost key players Mat Saiful Mohd and Zulhissyam Jamaluddin to Kedah club side Kuala Muda Naza earlier this week.
Prior to the trio’s signing yesterday, Kedah had already snapped up Police’s Mohd Afif Amiruddin,
Added Azraai: “Although we have signed four new players, the squad is still not complete yet. I am now looking for a good central midfielder.”
Kedah, who successfully retained their Malaysia Cup, Super League and FA Cup titles this year, start their pre-season training next Thursday.