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Sabah set to reinforce squad

16th May, 2018


KOTA KINABALU: Sabah FA is set to reinforce its Premier League squad with new foreign signings during the ongoing mid-season transfer window.

The arrival of six hopefuls gives an impression that the soon-to-be out of contract Korean duo of striker Lee Gil Hoon, who could also play in midfield, and midfielder Heo Jaenyeong are heading towards the exit door when their one-year deal with the FA ends tomorrow (May 17).

The six hopefuls that are currently on trials with the Sabah Rhinos, namely two Koreans, Ko Jae Sung, Kim Jeewong, Carlos Calvo Sobrado from Spain, Japanese Keisuke Ogawa, Faysal Shayesteh (Afghanistan) and Aryn Glen Williams from Australia. They are all either attacking or defensive midfielders.

But Sabah are racing against time in getting their target, as their next fixture away to Felda United FC is in about a week’s time.

Failing to meet the deadline may see them play the match with one or two foreign imports lesser against the runaway leaders.

Team manager Datuk Juil Nuatim hopes that they will be able to beat the clock and have everything settled before their tie against Felda United FC.

“We currently have quite a number of players on trials with the team. We are looking for players who are better than what we already have.

“If any of the hopefuls can impress our head coach (Jelius Ating) and his coaching panel, then we will try to complete the signings ahead of our next game against Felda on May 24,” said Juil when met at the team’s training on Monday.

“As for the selection of the players, we will let the head coach make his decision because he knows the quality that is needed to strengthen the team.

“I hope there will be one or two hopefuls that can impress our head coach. If not, then we could be playing with only two foreign players in our next tie,” said Juil.

Sabah Rhinos’ other foreign players are Zambian defender Francis Kasonde and Puerto Rico striker Pito Ramos. Sabah Rhinos are currently fifth in the Premier League standings on 15 points from three wins, six draws and two defeats.

They are level on points with sixth-placed Sarawak and seventh-placed UiTM FC but enjoy a superior goal difference over the two sides.

Felda United are leading the pack on 26 points, followed by the only unbeaten side in the league Felcra FC (18), Police (18) and MISC-MIFA (16).

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