KOTA KINABALU: Two out of the five Rhinos, who did not turn up for the contract signing ceremony, were given an ultimatum by the Sabah FA yesterday.
The identities of the duo, whose names are being withheld on the request of the Sabah FA, are now facing the axe if they do not show up at the FA office by today!
The other three were given excuses as they have personal problems to attend to.
Twenty out of the 25 players that have been shortlisted to spearhead the State’s challenge for the new season signed their respective contracts at the local hotel during a simple ceremony yesterday.
The ceremony was attended by FA Deputy President Datuk Lawrence Gimbang and Vice President I Datuk Osman Jamal, who is also the Chairman of the Professional Team Management Committee, a committee newly created by the FA.
“Out of the five players, we have given excuses to three of them. They are absent with reason which is acceptable.
“For the other two, they must come and see our Secretary General (Alijus Hj Sipil) by today or forget about the Sabah team,” said Osman.
“We will not tolerate this because we only want players who are sincere, and committed to the team. We will not compromise with indiscipline. We want players who are really serious in fighting and bringing glory to the team.
The 25 players that have been offered contracts are 17 players from last year’s squad while the rest are either ex-Rhinos making a return to the team or new faces.
The old faces are Azrul Ejati Damsah, Joey Ryan Gundok, Mohd Farid Saibun, Julamri Muhamad, Mohd Radzi Hussin, Billyton @ Vun Ket Ming, Mafry Balang, Hardy Charles Parsi, Gasili Pengalot, Mohd June Azral Lala, Hendry Parsi, Irwan Jamil, Mohd Salawi Ahmad Jasad, Harold John, Leopold Alfonso Otong, Zainizam Marjan and Rosdin Wasli.
The remaining eight players are Mohd Farid Idris, Razlan Otto, Bobby Gonzales, Shahrul Azhar Ture, Christopher Musa, Mohd Reithaudin Awang Embran, Madzlan Emoi and Khaliluddin Abd Razak.
Bobby, Mohd Reithaudin, Shahrul, Madzlan are ex-Rhinos, while Razlan Otto is an ex-junior Rhino.
Mohd Farid, Khaliluddin, and Christopher are the three new faces.
For the record, Mohd Farid and Khaliluddin are the only West Malaysian players in the team. However, Khaliluddin is a semi-professional. He is a police officer and based in Beaufort. Mohd Farid played for Johor FC last season.
As for Christopher, he is a Sabahan, but played for Johor FC President’s Cup squad last season.
Meanwhile, Gimbang said that the FA is lucky to have the honourable Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman to lead the association.
The return of Osman, Datuk Yusof Kassim, KH Tan and Haji Shahriman Abdullah into the association will only strengthen the FA.
Gimbang said that their main agenda in the new season is to score as many wins in order to gain promotion into the Super League in 2011.
At the same time, the FA is also in the midst of getting the services of a foreign coach, Gary Phillips from Australia.