Rhinos must have the right spirit
Published on: Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Kota Kinabalu: There is no reason Sabah Rhinos cannot perform better than last season if the players have the right spirit, according to new Sabah Football Sporting Director Adlane Messelem.The Frenchman said this after the team's evening training session at the Likas Stadium on Monday.

"What we try to instil in this team is the stability that was missing last season. We want a team that can last for many seasons to come and it was proven that there is no point in changing players every year.

"At the moment we have a full Sabahan squad apart from Roy (goalkeeper Rozaimie Rohim) and the foreign imports.

"All parties including the fans must work together to support this team because they must believe that nobody wants the team do well more than the Sabahans themselves. So if the players can have the right spirit then there is no reason why the team this season cannot perform better than the 2016 season."

He added that he is happy with the progress of the players under head coach and fellow countryman Steve Vilmiaire so far.

"We more or less know the players' strengths and weaknesses. We worked on different system and we are still thinking about who are going to be our first 11."

He added that they are still searching for one striker and one defender to strengthen the squad and one former JDT II striker Mohamad Rashid Mohamad Aya and former Rhinos centre back Charles Hardy Parsi are currently on trial with them.

On the 4-0 friendly win against Labuan selection recently, Adlane said it was a good training session for them as most of the players were sick on that day.

"We have (a) fever epidemic in the team and we put few under 21 players and the game was not too bad, and the first half was exactly what we asked from the players," he said.

The goals were scored by Leopold Alfonso with two and one each from imports Sofiane Choubani and Masaya Jitozono.

They will have two more major preseason matches in the coming weeks starting with Sarawak at the Kuching Stadium on Sunday followed by the PKNS match here at the Likas Stadium on January 14 before the opening away match against Negeri Sembilan on January 20.


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