Former Young Tigers and FC Ryukyu player Wan Zack Haikal has confirmed that he will return to Malaysia and play with FA Cup champions Kelantan.
The 23 years old was present during Kelantan’s press conference announcing their new players for April’s transfer window, alongside Fitri Omar and Brendan Gan.
Also being linked with a move to Johor Darul Ta’zim, the winger, who is currently suffering from a cruciate ligament injury, has stated that he cannot wait to play for The Red Warriors.
Speaking after the press conference, Wan Zack said “I am ready to be with Kelantan. However, I have been given freedom until I am fully fit before I can play again in the Malaysia Super League.”
Wan Zack is in the final phase of his recovery and he is expected to return to the pitch as early as June, or not later than August.
Other than Wan Zack, Kelantan Football Association’s (KAFA) advisor Tan Sri Annuar Musa also announced the arrival of fellow new players, national defender from ATM Fitri Omar, and former Sydney FC player Brendan Gan.
Annuar stated that the KAFA has gone through tricky negotiations before they could sign all three players on three year contracts.
“Wan Zack has made the decision to play with us and it does not mean that he took a backward step in his footballing career,” added Annuar.
Other than going through a long negotiation process with FC Ryukyu regarding Wan Zack, Annuar also admitted that the process of signing Brendan Gan was tricky. The player had to be re-registered as a local player after his first application was rejected due to the limited quota of import players set by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM)
Annuar informed media that the signing of Brendan Gan was because of his performances during his time at Sydney FC, while Fitri was at Kelantan six times (on loan) before this and was the Premier League top-scorer back in 2011.
Kelantan are currently performing well in the Super League, they are now second in the league just behind Terengganu with the Turtles having a game in hand. The Red Warriors are also on course for the FA Cup final for a third year in a row, as they will face Felda United in the semi-finals.
However in the AFC Cup, Kelantan are currently in danger of being eliminated as they have only recorded one win out of their first three games.