KOTA KINABALU: Joey Ryan Gundok is all set to make his comeback appearance when the Rhinos take on Harimau Muda (Young Tigers) in a Premier League challenge at the Nasional Stadium in Bukit Jalil tonight.
The midfielder is the second ex-Rhino to have signed for the team during the current transfer window, and had just got his playing licence just in time for tonight’s big match against the national Under-19 squad.
Joey, 28, last donned the Rhinos’ colours about two years ago and signed for Perlis. After being released by Perlis last season, he had a short spell with Brunei, and a few more Peninsula-based clubs.
He left for the national capital yesterday to join the rest of the squad who did not return home after their 3-1 victory against Armed Forces last Monday.
“He just got his playing licence from the FAM. And this is good news for the team and I hope his presence will give us the much needed boost especially in the midfield,” said Rahman Zakaria.
“I’m not sure whether he will feature in the first team because I will leave the matter to our head coach (Wathiq Naji Jasim). Nevertheless Joey’s presence would surely give him (Wathiq) more options,” the Rhinos’ team manager added.
Rahman also said that they will still be without Zaykiel Leong due to work commitment.
“He has work commitments to attend to and we have to live without him for this game. The team proved that they can win the battle without him in our last game and I believe they can do it again.
Rahman also reminded the Rhinos not to give too much respect to the high-riding opponents.
He said: “We have to go into the game with a positive mind. There is no reason for us to give too much respect to them. Even though they are currently doing pretty well, but they are not invincible.”
“The most important thing tomorrow is we play our hearts out and give our utmost best and play as a team. To beat an energetic side like Harimau Muda, we have to be at our best.”
Tonight will be the last first round fixtures for the Premier League and Rahman hopes to end their first round campaign on a winning note.
Sabah are currently in 9th placing in the 13-team standings on 10 points while Harimau Muda are second. They are only separated by goal difference from table toppers Johor.