By Keeshaanan Sundaresan
2013 will be an interesting year for the Seladangs, as they seek to revive themselves after a rather disappointing conclusion to the 2012 season.
|2013 SQUAD LIST|
Farizal Marlias, Jibrail Kamaron Bahrain, Khairul Amri
V.Thirumurugan, Nasir Basharuddin, Shahrom Kalam, Syazwan Roslan, Khairi Kiman, Rafael Novais, Noor Hazrul, Hisyamudin Sha'ari
M. Yoganathan, Shahrulnizam Mustapha, Yong Kuong Yong, M. Sivakumar, Rafiuddin Roddin, Nazri Kamal, S. Chanturu
Karim Rouani, Failee Ghazli, Azlan Ismail, Hadi Yahya
Nevertheless, Perak transmitted an early warning to the other Malaysian teams by moving to secure the signature of several well-known players, who will form the fulcrum of the coaching staff and first team next year.
Former Negeri Sembilan and Kedah coach, Azraai Khor Abdullah has been appointed as the head coach for 2013, bringing along a wealth of experience with him.
In terms of players, the biggest arrival will be none other than Farizal Marlias, who is widely recognized as the best goalkeeper in Malaysia right now, ahead of Khairul Fahmi Che Mat.
Abdul Hadi Yahya is another name that will raise the spirits of the Seladang faithful. The 27 year-old forward is well known for his goalscoring attributes, which saw him win the Super League top scorer award in 2011.
Not to forget that several youngsters like Yoganathan have been integrated into the first team from their highly successful youth set-up.
Meanwhile, Rafael Novais and Karim Rouani have been registered as their foreign players for next season. This is where their major worry lies, as although Rafael has impressed in pre-season matches so far, Karim is still struggling to find his feet.
Fans are already showing concerns over his performances, especially after they were treated to a lackluster opening few months by Lazar Popovic last season. Nonetheless, only time will tell whether Karim can go on to be a success with the Seladangs.
On paper, Perak do have the squad to be formidable opponents, but it will pretty much depend on their forwards. Goals were at times hard to come by last season, and the Seladangs will be looking to improve on that aspect in 2013.
|PERAK FA | Fact File
*Perak will be using the Navy Stadium temporarily, while upgrading works continue at the Ipoh Stadium