Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Football Association is now ready to face the challenges of next season’s Premier League after five more players signed contracts with them, Monday.
The latest addition to the Sabah FA’s 2010 Premier League squad are Zainizam Marjan, Alto Linus, Rosdin Wasli, Harold John Kathil and Mark Damun.
All of them signed their contracts at the Sabah FA office in Likas here, Monday morning.
Zainizam and Alto will be providing striking services up front, while Rosdin is designated in midfield position. Harold and Mark on the other hand are goalkeepers, with Mark also taking on responsibilities as the team’s goalkeeper coach.
Their signings means that the Sabah FA now has a complete squad of 25 players, of which the names of these players will be submitted to the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) for registration later this week.
Sabah FA secretary general, Alijus Sipil, when commenting on the matter said that the Sabah FA is delighted with the singings of all its players and that it would now look forward to receiving regular reports of their progress in training from here on end.
“We have signed a total of 25 players for next season’s squad and the only thing left to do is submit their names to FAM for registration, and this we will do within this week.
“Once this is done the team can then focus fully on preparations for the new season, which is anticipated to kick-off sometime mid next month,” he said.
He told Express Sports this when contacted Monday.
When asked to comment on the status of Khaliluddin Abdul Razak, who went for the State team try-outs and was successful in making the short list, Alijus said, “he will not be part of the team”.
Khaliluddin, who originates from the Peninsula, is working in Sabah and is attached with the Royal Malaysian Police in Beaufort.
“He will not be joining us. The Royal Malaysian Police Sports Council did not approve his application to play for the State team,” said Alijus.
Alijus also talked about the status of Rhinos guardian, Irwan Jamil.
“Irwan will not be included in the squad because at this moment he is still nursing a long-term injury.
It will be several months before he recovers, after which, the Sabah FA will assess his fitness. Then, if he is deemed fit, the Sabah FA will offer him a contract later during the second part of the season, which will be sometime in May or June.
Alijus also spoke about 18-year-old Leopold Alphonso Otong, who is part of the squad but is registered under the reserve league.
“Leopold is a young player who last season showed good ability in playing up front as striker.
But because of his age the Sabah FA decided it would be best to register him under the President’s Cup league (reserve league).
“This means he will play in the reserve league but will also be able to play in the Premier League as and when he is required,” he said.