Kota Kinabalu: Former Rhinos midfielder, Joey Ryan Gundok, is back with the squad after receiving clearance from the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) to play for Sabah again.
Joey last played for the Rhinos in 2006 and joined Perlis in the 2007 season.
Last year he went on short stints with several teams, including Brunei and Melaka.
His return to Sabah is expected to add potency to the team’s strike force.
The team, which has been languishing in the lower half of the Premier League table in recent weeks, will be banking on his experience to deliver more open play in their game and help create better chances in front of goal.
Joey is the latest addition to the team after former Rhinos striker, Zaykiel Leong rejoined his old mates in a move that was completed last month.
Rhinos team manager, Rahman Zakaria said Joey’s presence in the squad will give the team added advantage in the away match against Harimau Muda today (Friday).
“The approval from FAM for Joey to rejoin the team is timely. We recently had a terrible losing streak and frustrating draws, but bounced back with a 3-1 win against the Armed Forces earlier this week.
“This, combined with the advantage we now have from our new player, will hopefully give us the added strength and confidence to go against Harimau Muda in the match,” said Rahman.
Joey’s inclusion in the first 11 will depend on the coach’s decision, he said.
Rahman said playing against Harimau Muda, who are currently second in the league, will not be an easy task.
“They are a good team and their presence at the top is testament to their ability to beat other teams. But then again, I’ve told the boys not to fear their opponents.
“There will be no fear when we face them on the field tomorrow. We will play to the best of our ability and will be looking to steal the points. This is football, anything is possible,” said Rahman.
Zaykiel will not play Friday due to work commitments.
The Rhinos will be coming into this match with fierce confidence although they know the chances of winning are far from great as they face a winning Harimau Muda team.
Sabah are currently in 9th place having picked up only 10 points in nine games, whereas their opponents sit mightily at the top of the league with 31 points, second only to Johor by goal difference.
The Rhinos will face Harimau Muda again at home on Monday, the first game of the second round of the Premier League games.