Friday, January 8, 2010

Belief S’wak’s 12th man

by Ting Tieng Hee
January 8, 2010, Friday

Young side aim for top four finish in new season of Premier League

KUCHING: Sarawak will qualify for the Malaysia Cup with a top four finish in the 12-team Premier League this season.

They will climb back to the Super League in 2011 if they are good enough to finish among the top three in the second-tier M-League tournament.“Based on the results of the team’s friendly matches in Semenanjung Malaysia last month, I believe the target is achievable,” FAS FMG Sdn Bhd chairman Datu Sudarsono Osman said.

He made the comments after receiving competition, training and travelling attires for the state team, sponsored by Lea Sports Centre and Adidas at Sarawak Stadium here yesterday.

The items were handed over by Lea Holding managing director Raymond Sim and Lea Sports Centre senior operation manager Poh Siok Hoon.

Lea Sports Centre said it was proud to sponsor Sarawak again this year in support of football development in the state.

The largest sportswear company in East Malaysia has been supporting the state team since 1990.

It hoped that the sponsorship would help lessen the financial burden borne by Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) and FAS FMG Sdn Bhd, and contribute towards the success of the state team.

In the friendlies, Sarawak lost 0-2 to Selangor, drew 0-0 with Melaka and Kuala Lumpur, lost 3-4 to KL Plus and beat PKNS Selangor 1-0.

Sudarsono said it was too early to say how Sarawak would fare in the new season as they would be fielding a team of mostly young President’s Cuppers backed up by six imports from Semenanjung Malaysia.

“We will know only after the Premier League kicks off next Monday. We will see how it goes and do a review midway into the season,” he added.

Sarawak coach Mohamad Zaki Shaikh Ahmad said preparations for the new season had gone on smoothly.

“The players showed improvement after each friendly but their finishing still needs polishing up. I have also seen better teamwork … the players are now starting to gel as a unit.”

He said the team would be playing the President’s Cup squad in a friendly at Sarawak Stadium, starting at 4.30pm today.

Meanwhile, FAS FMG Sdn Bhd will be launching sales of corporate seasonal tickets soon.

“For tickets costing RM1,000 each, there is a limit of 80. They come with special seatings, refreshments and car parking passes during home games,” Sudarsono said.

He hoped corporate companies and individuals would purchase the tickets to support the team. 

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