Imran Mohammed: Ali Ashfaq is beyond normal standards

The goalkeeper of the Maldivian champions believes that they can build on the win against Home United as they prepare for their second AFC Cup tie…

The skipper of New Radiant, Imran Mohammed believes that his team will miss the services of star striker Ali Ashfaq who played a crucial role in them winning the local league and cup last season. Ashfaq had quit the club thereafter and plies his trade in the Malaysian second division with PDRM.

Ahead of their AFC Cup clash against Churchill Brothers, Mohammed stated that a player of Ashfaq’s quality is hard to replace but added that their squad is skillful enough to ‘bridge the gap’.

“He will certainly be missed. He is at a level which is beyond normal standards. He got an opportunity to play abroad and he has taken it. With the players that we have, they are very skillful and performance-wise very fit.  So we can bridge the gap,” said Mohammed.

New Radiant haven’t seen much competitive football lately except for the 1-0 victory over Singapore’s Home United in their opening AFC Cup game.

“There are a lot changes to the team since the last season. We had a very successful season last time around. It wasn’t easy at all [against Home United]. We didn’t have much time to prepare and we didn’t have any competitive games. It was very difficult.

“The result which was 1-0 at home tells you that it was not easy at all.  But we take that match as a preparation for this one. The match against Home United gave us a lot of experience that we want to translate into this game,” he signed off.


How do you stay up with football when on the move? With –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.