Source : New Sabah Times

KOTA KINABALU: Rahman Zakaria believes the new-look Rhinos are capable to compete and challenge for honours in the Premier League that kicks off tonight.

Rahman said he is confident of the players they have, reckoning that they do have the quality to achieve success.

Speaking ahead of the Rhinos’ opener against Selangor PKNS at the Likas Stadium tonight (kick off time 8pm), the Sabah team manager said: “We have brought in several youngsters into the team as well as signing five new local imports to add to the players that we have retained from last season.”

{mosimage}“We have also recruited three new foreign players and a new coach. So I think our new-look squad looks pretty balanced, and I’m confident this team will be able to carry Sabah’s challenge in any of the competitions in the M-League, including the Premier League,” he added.

“My hope for the team is for them to try their best to compete with any of their opponents.

On the opening game against PKNS, Rahman said: “Of course we are looking for a good start to our campaign, and our target is to collect three points. We are not making any promises, but what I am certain of is the players will fight for the three points.”

He also called on the fans to come in full force to support the team.

“This is only our first match of the new season, but I still hope and urge the fans to come in full force and support the team tomorrow night (tonight). Their presence is certainly needed as it could help boost the spirit of the players on the battlefield.”

Meanwhile, Head Coach Drago Mamic is pretty excited ahead of the match.

“This is our first match of the season and it will be my first match in the Malaysian League, and of course I’m excited about it. And this is also going to be an important match for us, as victory is very important for the team,” said the Croatian.

For the new season, Sabah have promoted Irwan Jamil, Harold John, Ebby Roy Raimon, Azrul Ejati Damsah and Hardy Charles Parsi from the Reserve League side and signed five new local imports namely Ahmad Tharmini Saiban, Rezuan Muhammad Radzy, P. Rajes, S. Sunder and Chow Chee Weng.

They have also signed three new foreign imports – two strikers Nigerian Charles Obi and Namibian Paulus Shitaleni Shipanga – and midfielder Dumisa Ngobe of South Africa.

They have also brought back former players Burhan Ajui and Bobby Gonzalez into the team, while Sabah-born Sylvester Sindeh, who played for Police last season, has also been roped into the team.

Those that have been retained from last season are G. Jeevanatham, Clarrey Tabad, Ronny Harun, Henry Parsi, David Johnny, Julamri Muhammad, Rosdin Wasli, Henry Soimpon and Zainizam Marjan.

All of the 11 teams in the Premier League, with the exception of Kuala Muda Naza of Kedah, will be in action tonight.

Elsewhere, Police will entertain UPB/My Team at the MPS Stadium in Selayang, while Johor Pasir Gudang will take on Shahzan Muda at the Tan Sri Hassan Yunus Stadium in Johor Baru.

KL Plus FC will face their big brother Kuala Lumpur at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium, while Kelantan take on Armed Forces at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium in Kota Baharu.



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