PETALING JAYA: Kelantan football fans residing in the Klang Valley are in for a treat in the Malaysia Cup competition, which kicks off next month.
The luck of the draw has put the Red Warriors in Group A with defending champions Negri Sembilan, KL Plus and PKNS.
Kelantan striker Hairuddin Omar said that it was a “fans” draw.
“One thing for sure, our strong fan base in the Klang Valley will be behind us for our away matches,” said Hairuddin, who was in the winning Negri side who beat Kelantan 3-1 in the final last year. The scorer of the third goal then for Negri added that his priority now was with Kelantan.
“The fans are hungry for success and we have to deliver after having failed in the FA Cup (second round) and Super League (runners-up) this season. It is still not good enough and we have to pacify them by becoming the Malaysia Cup champions,” he said.
Kelantan have yet to win a major silverware since the days of the “Malaya Cup” way back in 1921. The closest were runners-up finishes in the FA and Malaysia Cup last year. In the FA Cup, they were beaten by Selangor on penalties.
Hairuddin added that although Negri and Kelantan were the favourites to advance from the group, the challenges of KL Plus and PKNS could not be written off.
“Mind you, PKNS held us to a 1-1 draw in a friendly game in Kota Baru recently. It is not going to be easy against KL Plus either,” he said.
The luck of the draw may also see Kelantan playing against Selangor in the quarter-finals. The 32-time Malaysia Cup winners are in Group D with T-Team, Perlis and Premier League champions Felda United.
Group B has Terengganu, Pahang, Kuala Lumpur and Sabah while Group C comprises Johor FC, Kedah, Perak and Armed Forces.
The preliminary round matches will kick off on Sept 14 and the final is slated for Oct 30.