UKM boss reveals secret behind Varsity Boys' success this season

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University club UKM FC will take on one-time FA Cup finalists Sime Darby in the 2017 FAM Cup final this coming week.


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter


When asked by the press before their first leg FAM Cup final against Sime Darby, UKM FC head coach Sulaiman Hussin said that he wants his players to continue playing for him in the encounter.

According to him, that has been the recipe of his success this season, in taking the university club to the final and winning promotion to the Premier League.

"What I want my players to do is simple; to develop their bond with each other. When there is no distance between a coach and his players, the players will feel close to their boss and they will love him and play for him.

"I prefer to keep my boys near me, so that everywhere I turn I see them. I don't want them to be far from me, I don't want them to form cliques," said Sulaiman in the pre-match press conference on Saturday.

When asked about his line-up in the first leg; which will be held on Sunday with the Varsity Boys as the hosts, he responded that they will be without two key players who are injured.

"We need to win at home, regardless of the scoreline. At the same time we must not concede to Sime Darby.

"We will be without two key midfielders; Nurzaidi Bunari who just underwent an operation for ACL three days ago, and Asnan Ahmad who broke his toe.

"I have to think of their replacements, but I've told the boys that whoever is picked must give their best," he remarked.

When asked about his thoughts on their opponents, Sulaiman responded that Sime Darby have an edge in terms of experience, as compared to UKM who are composed of undergraduates and semi-professional footballers.

"Sime Darby are experienced, they've played in the Super League and the Premier League before. It's an honour for us to face such a good side.

"They have a slight advantage over us as most of their squad members are experienced and fully-professional footballers

"We respect them, but although most of my boys are students, we will match them on the pitch. My team are very motivated to play in the final.

The first leg final match will be held this Sunday, 8.45pm at the Tuanku Abdul Rahman Stadium, Paroi with UKM as the hosts, while the return leg will take place at the Petaling Jaya City Council Stadium next Sunday. The match will determine the third-tier champions, but as finalists both sides have confirmed their promotion to the Premier League next season.

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