Source : New SabahTimes

14th September, 2007

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah FA will decide on the fate of its current squad next week.

Its Executive Secretary Harry Baking said they will make an official announcement after conducting a team management meeting which is likely to be held any time next week.

Harry said among the agenda of the meeting will be to gauge the performances of the team as well as to look into the reports of the head coach Drago Mamic and also the team manager Rahman Zakaria.

“After going through their reports or recommendations, a decision will be made,” said Harry pointing out that the FA President Datuk Anifah Aman is likely to chair the meeting.

Harry did not rule out of a minor reshuffle to the squad for the new season. He however refused to elaborate into details adding that this is not the right time.

“In order to strengthen the team, of course there will be players leaving and new faces replacing them. However, I don’t think there is going to be a major revamp considering that the team has done considerably well this season,” said Harry.

With this in mind, the axe will definitely fall on at least several players. Among those that are expected to be shown the exit are the local imports-with goalkeeper G. Jeevanatham topping the list.

The former national custodian has been grounded since March 17 and only featured in the President’s Cup. A below par performances against the Police (March 17-Malaysia Cup challenge) proved to be the final straw after he committed two blunders that gifted the Police a 2-1 win at the Likas Stadium.

And since then Tawau-born youngster Irwan Jamil grabbed the chance and is now the Rhinos’ Number One custodian with yet another youngster Harold John acting as the reserve keeper.

Another name that is likely to be erased from the squad is S. Sunder. Like Jeeva, Sunder was left out in the cold after poor performances.

At the local scene, it is not known who will have their one-year contract renewed, but one thing is for sure, youngsters such as Azrul Ejati Damsah, Zulamri Muhammad, Hardy Charles Parsi and Radzi Hussin are highly likely to be retained. The same goes for Irwan and Harold.

Zainizam Marjan (pictured), Ronny Harun, skipper Rosdin Wasli will still be around for the Rhinos.

But the same cannot be said for players such as Clarrey Tabad, David Johnney, Ebby Roy Raimon and Henry Parsi to name a few, they seemed to fail in winning the heart of the no-nonsense Drago.

The fate of veterans, Burhan Ajui and Henry Soimpon are also in the balance and the same goes for Bobby Gonzalez.

As for Salvester Sindeh, his contract has been terminated on mutual agreement due to work commitment.

As for the other local imports, Ahmad Tharmini Saiban and Chow Chee Wing, they proved that they deserve to be in the team. And Munir Imran should make the cut too for the new season. The remaining local import Rezuan Muhammad Radzy looked a little bit shaky at times.

As for the three foreign signings, Nigerian Charles Obi, who scored 21 goals in all competitions, looks certain to be retained. But the fate of Bosnian Dragic Dalidor and the Brazilian striker Felisberto De Oliveira Jr are still doubtful.

Sabah failed yet again this season to gain promotion to the Super League after finishing sixth among the 11 teams.

However, they did fairly well in the FA Cup by reaching the quarter-finals and they also made it into the Malaysia Cup semi-finals.

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