Kedah look set to lose two key players at the end of this 2017 season after Ken Ilso and Zac Anderson both announced their coming departure from the team through their respective social media accounts on Saturday.
This comes as a big blow for the Red Eagles and leaves them needing to seek for replacement to bolster their squad ahead of their participation in the 2018 AFC Cup competition.
Both players have played an instrumental part in helping Kedah to lift the FA Cup this season as well as pushing Johor Darul Ta'zim in the Super League campaign.
Ilso in particular has been a real revelation in his first season with the team, quickly adapting to the surroundings to become Kedah's top scorer of the season. Finding the right replacement for a 20-goal a season striker is not an easy task.
Yesterday I made my 24th goal in 28 matches. I have 1 Charity Shield and 1 FA Cup trophy and wonderful memories with the fans, supporters and passionate love from the people of Kedah. I have decided that I will part ways with the club after this season. Where my future ends up, is still yet to be decided however I will try new challenges next season. I will give everything in the last games for Kedah. Thanks to my team mates and staff for making my stay in Alor Setar amazing. It has been a pleasure playing for the Kedahans. All the best, King Ken 👑#legendarisk
The loss of Anderson is also expected to hit Kedah hard. The burly defender has built up quite a reputation with the adoring Kedah fans, often seen leading the fans to chants or cheers after every win.
The Australian centre back seemed to have struck up a good understanding and partnership with Khairul Helmi at the heart of Kedah's defence, with his physical presence helping him to win many a challenge, whether on the ground or aerially.
It's time to take a moment to say thank you to the supporters of Kedah, for the season which we have shared together so far. I've never experienced such love and support from strangers and it's been quite overwhelming. But, I have decided that at this seasons end I will part ways with KFA to explore other opportunities. My future is still undecided, but I hope to stay close with the many amazing friends I have made from the club, changing room, respected fan groups and of course the boys from Alor Setar (you know who you are). But, as you all know, we have one more trophy to secure.. As a true professional I will do everything to help this club finish in the best position possible. Thankyou. #pulunkedahpulun #ZA4 Izinkan saya merakamkan setinggi-tinggi penghargaan dan ucapan terima kasih buat penyokong-penyokong Kedah FA untuk musim ini yang dikongsi bersama. Tidak sama sekali pernah saya dibanjiri sokongan dan dorongan yang begitu bersemangat dari para penyokong kalian - ramai lagi yang masih tidak sempat untuk saya berkenalan. Walaubagaimanapun, dengan hati yang amat berat, saya telah memutuskan, pada hujung musim ini, untuk berpisah jalan dengan KFA untuk mencari peluang-peluang yang baru untuk meningkatkan lagi keupayaan diri saya sendiri. Walaupun masa hadapan saya masih tidak tentu, tetapi saya berharap untuk mengekalkan jalinan-jalinan erat bersama rakan-rakan setugas di dalam dan luar KFA, rakan seperjuangan di dalam dan luar bilik salinan, kelab-kelab penyokong yang saya sanjung dengan penuh hormat, dan terutamanya, rakan-rakan karib yang saya kenali sepanjang kediaman saya di tanah Darulaman. (You know who you are). Namun, tugasan dan perjuangan kita masih belum selesai. Masih banyak lagi kerja dan fokus harus diberikan untuk cubaan kita memastikan Piala Malaysia tidak berpindah tuannya. Sebagai atlit professional, misi saya adalah untuk memberikan sedaya-upaya dari segi kemampuan untuk memastikan musim KFA berakhir dengan sempurna. Dan 'sempurna' di sini bermaksud; Satu lagi piala. Terima kasih. #pulunkedahpulun #ZA4
Both announcements looked a coordinated one with both players posting on their social media account immediately after helping Kedah secure an impressive 3-2 away first leg win over Selangor in the Malaysia Cup quarterfinal on Friday.
However, the two players have vowed that despite their different paths next season, will continue to give Kedah their 100% until the end of the season.