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Signing a top striker is priority
Published on: Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: Sabah Rhinos head coach Jelius Ating has set his sight on a top quality striker for the only foreign import slot available in the open trial which started on Tuesday.

"Our priority is to look for a quality foreign import – one slot – a striker," he said before the start of the training cum trial session at the Likas Stadium on Tuesday.

Two players including one local imports turned up on Tuesday, and the two foreign strikers are Geison Moura of Brazil and Spaniard Alain Eizigiree while the player from the Peninsula is Shazalee Ramlee who played as midfielder for Penang last season.

More are expected to come in the coming days or weeks for the trials, according to Jelius.

He added that he will try to strengthen the team's defensive strength especially to the left as well.

"We need to find a natural left back and left flanker. At the moment we only have Justin Samaan who is training with us, but he is still raw.

"We need more experienced players especially in the midfield to guide our youngsters. Right now we have many options such as Maxsius Musa and Umareng Bacok on the right."

He also disclosed that former local stalwarts Ronny Harun who last played for Sarawak and Mafry Balang from Penang last season may get the chance to return to the team.

"There is a very good chance that Mafry and Ronny may get to play with us as we need to add depth to our backline and the two will definitely help us in that department with their vast experience."

He also said the coming friendly matches will also give him the opportunity to test the local hopefuls as well as local and foreign imports.

Meanwhile, Barracuda FC Pensiangan and Juta FC Keningau will meet in the semi-final of the Datuk Tawfiq Cup football tournament after their big wins in the quarterfinals over the weekend at the Likas Synthetic Pitch.

Barracuda brushed aside EMD FT Kota Kinabalu 6-1 while Juta crushed Teambau FC Kota Belud 6-2 to book their place in the last four where the matches will be played on December 10 at 4pm.

The other semi-final tie will be between The Blues FC Kota Kinabalu and Terra Queen FC Kota Kinabalu on December 9 at 4pm.

Earlier in the last eight, Terra Queen edged Kelab Reka DBKK 1-0, and The Blues won 5-4 on penalties over Putra United Kota Belud after both teams tied 2-2 at the end of extra time. - GL Oh

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