KOTA KINABALU: A Croatian striker is almost certain to don the Rhinos colours for the new season.
He is likely to be the second foreign player to sign for the team after Bosnia-Herzegovina defender Dragic Dalibor.
The striker in question is personally recommended by his countryman, Drago Mamic who is the Rhinos’ head coach.
The New Sabah Times Sport was told that Drago has been given the green light to bring the player.
But due to the unavailability of flights from his home country, his arrival in the State has been delayed.
He is now on the waiting list and would make his journey to Sabah upon the availability of a flight with November 16 probably his departure date from Zagreb.
When contacted yesterday, Drago confirmed that the player in question will be his second signing.
He pointed out that he is expecting the said player, who has been plying his trade in the Croatian First Division League, to arrive in Sabah at the latest end of this month.
Drago is still unwilling to reveal the identity of the said player until everything has been finalised.
“It is still not the right moment,” he said.
“Once he signs for us, then the team management will make an appropriate announcement.
However he insisted that the said player is one of the top strikers in the Croatian First Division League.
“I know him personally and I have watched him play. And I firmly believe that his presence will give the team a big plus.
And if the deal is concluded (with the Croatian striker), the Rhinos will be looking for one more import player to fill in the last quota.
Drago hinted that he is keeping a close eye on an Englishman – Jamie Phoenix – who is currently undergoing trials with the team.
“He has showed us something. He showed us he has something special and quality. But we still need to have a good look at him before offering him a contract.
“For now, what I can say is he is close to landing a deal with the club. We need a good professional not only on the battlefield but also off the field because we have so many youngsters in the team,” said Drago.
Tonight, the Rhinos will be playing against USM in a friendly at the UMS Mini Stadium at 7pm.
And Drago will have another chance to have a good look at Jamie, who is a former Bolton Wanderers player.
He also played for the England Under-17 squad while doing the apprenticeship with Manchester City, who currently occupy the third spot in the English Premiership.