Sunday, May 25, 2008

SUKMA - No qualms being the underdogs

IT is going to be one rollercoaster ride for Federal Territories soccer coach Razip Ismail. Razip and his squad left for the Malaysia Games (Sukma) in Terengganu with a mission to prove their critics wrong.

“We’re comfortable being the underdogs,” said Razip.

“We have not been given any targets but many believe in us and I’m looking forward to a memorable outing.” The former KL and national player admitted an uphill task awaits him since he has only coached the team for two weeks.

“Most of the players are from KL’s Premier League team, newly promoted Super League’s KL Plus and Felda United,” he said.

“We don’t have any notable stars but the boys are motivated.” Federal Territories, who failed to advance from the group stages of the Kedah 2006 Games, are grouped with Negri Sembilan, Malacca and Perlis.

“It will be tough as it’s an Under-23 meet and most teams are fielding their Super League and national players.” “My target is the quarter finals,” said Razip.

Meanwhile, teams involved in the Malaysia Cup, which starts on June 11, question the poor scheduling as the Sukma finalists will have 48 hours of rest before the tournament starts.

KL are in Group B of the Malaysia Cup with Super League and FA Cup champions Kedah, Johor FC, Penang, Police and Sabah.

Razip dropped 11 players, including former international Ivan Yusoff as the depleted KL prepare for the Malaysia Cup.

KL were second from bottom in the just concluded Premier League

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