Daily Express
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Safa won't rush to sign new players

Published on: Monday, March 24, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Football Association will not press the panic button and sign any player in a hurry during the open window which started on Sunday.

Despite an injury crisis to key players which severely hit the team in the coming matches, Team Management Committee chairman Joehari Ayob said on Sunday that they will not rush out and simply sign any players to fill in the void.

At the first day of the trial held at the Likas Stadium on Sunday, three imports showed up with one South American who could not be named for the time being, former Sarawak hitman Ivan Babic who is from Croatia and the towering 1.91m tall Czech Republic striker David Strihavk who used to played for Norwich City in the English league.

Joehari said the window opens until April 19 and during this period, they will try their best to find the perfect target to fill the available slots and give the team more depth.

"The open window actually allowed us to find the right foreign imports to compensate for the shortcoming of the present squad, with the local imports whom we are interested in are mostly tied to their present employer."

Coach Milomir Seslija also added that they will see more foreign players in the coming weeks and he said the committee will keep their eyes open and try to get the right target that will really beef up the squad in the remaining season.

On the injury front, he said Dzhaidi Khadar has a serious ligament damage to his right knee sustained during the match against KL SPA on Friday.

"It is unfortunate that he has to be out for at least six months and he needs to have the operation done as soon as possible."

He also disclosed that left back Julamri Muhammad will also be out for the next match for his ankle injury picked up during the same match.

"He has a slight injury and may be out for one to two weeks and he will go for a more thorough check-up tomorrow to make sure nothing happened to his ligament as well." Despite the setback, Milomir said it is not a big problem to him or the squad.

"Yes, it is a problem but on the other hand it also opens the door for the youngsters. I know it is a difficult time but we have to work hard and keep pushing. Everybody has a problem that sometimes cannot be prevented and we must try to solve it."

The coach also praised Leopold Alfonso who is trying to make a comeback with the team. "Leopold is on trial with us at the moment and I have to say he is a promising and talented player. Now it is up to him to take his chances if he wants to make the team or not and he knows what he has to do from now on."