The Sabah Rhinos are a football team from the Sabah state of Malaysia. Founded in 1977, they are named after the endangered Sumatran rhino that lives in the Sabah region and most fans still refer to the team as the rhinos even though they were re-branded as the hawks in 2010. The team is based at the Likas Stadium in Kota Kinabalu, capital of the Sabah state.
Having recently fallen in the league tables, the Sabah Rhinos are now looking to make the team great again with better organization and good players. To find out how well the team are doing at the moment you can use the best sportsbook around at the moment, the Bodog sportsbook at http://www.bodog88.com/en/sportsbook. The need for improvement within the team is discussed in the article ‘Propel Sabah to Greater Heights‘. The article calls on fans to help make the team great again and says that while previous players have brought glory to the state, it’s time to move forward.
But before going any further, it would be best to discuss who are the players that made the Sabah Rhinos great in the first place?
In the beginning there was James Wong, a.k.a. King James Wong or Ah Fook. He has been dubbed the Malaysian Cristiano Ronaldo because of his skills. His most well remembered goal is that of the 1980 Olympic qualifier against South Korea. He couldn’t have scored this goal, however, without the help of Hassan Sani. Hassan Sani played for both the junior and senior Sabah Rhinos teams. He was considered to be very agile and so was nicknamed Lipas Kudung. These two strikers first brought the Sabah Rhinos to fame and were the reason that the team struck fear into the hearts of their opponents. In 1979, having played 8 games in the Malaysian League, winning 3, losing 3 and drawing 2, they then went on to win their next 8 games by huge margins.
Despite these early achievements, the Sabah Rhinos did not become a professional team until the 1990s. During this era it was Matlan Marjan who was their star player. He scored 2 goals against England in 1991, equalling Toni Fritsch’s 35 year-old record of scoring twice against England as a new cap. He helped the Rhinos team to become runners up in the 1993 and 1994 Malaysia FA Cups.
After the team rebuilt their reputation, it was the younger Marjan’s turn to be a star. In 2002, Zainizam Marjan scored 11 goals in 24 matches helping the Sabah Rhinos to secure third place in the Malaysian Premier I League. In 2003 he helped the team to get to the final of the Malaysia Cup. He is the Sabah Rhino’s second highest goal scorer with a total of 62 goals.
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You can find more information and statistics about all of these players at the FIFA website. In the author’s opinion, the players mentioned are the greatest Sabah Rhinos players ever to grace the pitch because they are the ones who contributed most significantly to the advancement of the team within the Malaysian League. From early team members who helped make the team great, to those who made history and those who brought the team back to glory; these are the men who charged the Rhinos towards greatness.
Of course the team dynamics are not solely due to the players. The system, the club management and support from the fans are also vital factors in considering the performance of the team. The players of the 70s may have made the team great but to keep it that way, the Rhinos need to move with the times and keep up with the other Malaysian teams.