Perak FA announced its squad for the 2013 Malaysian Super League season during a specially organised event at the Mydin Mall in Meru Raya recently. Team manager Khairul Azwan and head coach, Azraai Khor Abdullah were present along with almost 800 fans jam-packed in the mall. Foreign signings, Rafael Novais and Karim Rouani, were also there. The occasion provided an opportunity for diehard fans to get a glimpse of their idols. All players were present except for S. Chanturu, who was nursing a knee injury and Farizal Marlias, who was given an extended break after his national team duty in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012.
Having drafted several big names, the Seladangs is geared to make a strong impression in 2013, something that PAFA President, Dato’ Zainol Fadzi, felt was possible with a solid home support. The fans’ presence, said Zainol, would inspire the players.
The following day the squad of 22 players departed for a series of friendly matches in the Northern region of Malaysia. They trashed Perlis FA 4-0 at the Kangar Stadium. However, head coach Azraai Khor Abdullah wasn’t impressed. “The players need time to gel, especially with the two foreign players, Rafael and Karim. It’s too early to judge anyone. So far, I am happy with what I see,” said Azraai to reporters.
There is bad news in store for Perak fans ahead of the start of the new Malaysian Super League season. Football Association of Malaysia requires stadiums to be fitted with 1000 lux floodlights for night play. The Ipoh stadium is fitted with 800 lux floodlights.
Perak FA has brokered a deal to upgrade the facility which will begin in January. This means the Seladangs are likely to play their night home matches at the Lumut Naval Base Stadium until March.
The full Perak squad for 2013 Malaysian Super League season:
Farizal Marlias (GK), Khairul Amri (GK), Mohd Jibrail (GK), V. Thirumurugan, Syazwan Roslan, Hisyamuddin, Rafael Novais, Shahrom Kalam, Khairi Kiman, Noor Hazrul, S. Chanturu, M. Sivakumar, Shahrulnizam Mustapha (C), Mohd Nasir, Rafiuddin Roddin, M. Yoganathan, Yong Kuong Yong, Mohd Failee, Azlan Ismail, Hadi Yahya, Karim Rouani.
The Seladangs’ initiation to this year’s Super League began with a last minute win over Kuala Terengganu’s T-Team at the Lumut Naval Base Stadium on Tuesday, January 8. It was a scrappy 90-minute affair with both teams playing a cautious game. A header by Rafael Novais was deflected by a T-Team player and the ball went straight into the opponent’s net.