Safee Sali is buzzing with excitement ahead of his return to the Malaysian Super League after a two-year hiatus. But that isn't the only thing that is exciting him at this moment. The former Selangor man took part in his first training session with Johor Darul Takzim last week and is already impressed with the wealth of talent present within the squad.
"I have to admit that this is the best squad that I've played in, even when compared with Pelita Jaya in the Indonesian league," he told Harian Metro.
"We have a plethora of options upfront, with MatYo and Dani Guiza and this is certainly very positive for me. We are going to be feared by many teams in the league but it's important for us to stay focused and only fight for the victory in every match.
"It will also be crucial for the coach to find the right combination between us for next season."
The Southern Tigers have been rebranded under the new guidance of Crown Prince Tunku Ismail, signing the likes of Dani Guiza and Simone Del Nero for next year's Malaysian Super League. They also snapped up big name local players in the form of Norshahrul Idlan, Muslim Ahmad, Zaquan Adha, Safiq Rahim and Azmi Muslim.
Nevertheless, most of the local players only began training last week, having performed for the national team in the AFF Suzuki Cup. The pressure will now be on head coach Fandi Ahmad, who has to get them integrated into their style of play as soon as possible.
To assist him, the Johor FA have organized a quadruple friendly tournament from the 26th-28th of December, featuring Johor United, Pahang FA and Singapore side Woodlands Wellington.
"We need at least five to six games for these new players to adjust themselves. But I do not think that it will be much of a problem because these are professional players that have been performing consistently at the highest level.
"Teamwork will be fundamental and the quadruple tournament will allow me to analyse and form my core squad of 11 players."