Goal Malaysia takes an exclusive look at the big teams that will be competing for the upcoming season's Malaysian Super League title
|MSL Record||Champions: 2011, 2012
Runners Up: 2010
Head Coach: Steve Darby
Goalkeepers: Muhammad Syazwan Yusoff, Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, Mohd Shahrizan Ismail
Defenders: Tuan Muhammad Faim, Mohammad Faiz Suhaimi, Obinna Nwaneri, Nik Shahrul Azim, Mohd Farisham Ismail, Abdul Aziz Ismail, Nazri Ahmad, Aizat Jaini, Zairol Fitree, Faizol Nazlin
Midfielders: Brendan Gan, Tengku Hasbullah Raja Hassan, Wan Zaharulnizam Zakaria, Amar Rohidan, Fakri Saarani, Badhri Radzi, Mohammed Shawky
Forwards: Ahmad Shakir Ali, Francis Forkey Doe, Mohammed Ghaddar, Famirul Asyraf, Muhammad Rahimi
Kelantan's biggest strength ultimately lies in their offensive department. Francis Forkey Doe can and will bring them goals and its just a matter of whether Ghaddar adapts and forms a partnership with him or not. Considering that Obinna and Shawky are crucial names, the remaining one spot in the starting line-up will be contested by Forkey Doe and Ghaddar, meaning that there should be a healthy competition between them.
Will the ammunition be good enough? Looking at the likes of Piya, Wan Zaharulnizam and Shawky, I would say yes because these are top notch players who will create chances for the Red Warriors.
While their attacking prowess is indisputible, questions can be raised about their defence. Obinna will play a huge part, but besides him and Nik Shahrul, their defensive line is a cause for concern. The departure of Daudsu could also hurt them.
Moreover, replacing a defensive midfielder of Shakir Shaari's calibre with Amar Rohidan isn't the most convincing move. The former has been pivotal to most of Kelantan's success in recent times, and it will be interesting to see how Amar takes on the job of being the protective shield in front of the defence.
The one major problem that Kelantan have had to deal with is the massive exodus of good players from their team. Names like Shakir Shaari and Norfarhan, who consistently performed well for them last year, have all left. Lets not joke around, they will feel the effects of it.
Having said that, I think the Kelantan FA management have done a pretty decent job of revamping the squad, considering how volatile and inflated the market actually is. Forkey Doe's track record is more than enough to justify his ability, and Shawky comes in with a big reputation as well. While their pre-season fixtures have not gone so well, this squad has plenty of potential to be a title challenger, especially with such an experienced head coach in the form of Steve Darby.