JDTII gets an experienced head for 2018 Malaysia Premier League season

Shakir ShaariJohor Southern Tigers

Shakir was seen training with the JDTII squad in a series of training pictures released by Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) on their Facebook page.

The 31-year-old was signed from Kelantan back in 2014 but has had a diminishing influence on the first team with each passing season since. Injuries have taken its toll on the central midfielder but there are other reasons for his slide downwards.

Hariss Harun's return for the Super League side as well as the emergence of Afiq Fazail meant that Shakir's position slipped a few more rungs below.

However, this does not mean that JDT will not be able to call upon the services of Shakir if required. With JDTII being the development squad for JDT, interchange of players between the two football clubs is permitted throughout the season, which is likely to be the case if injuries mount up with Ulisses Morais' team.

Benjamin Mora, Johor Darul Ta'zim II

Shakir's experience could yet prove crucial, not only to JDTII's performance in the league but also as a mentor to the other midfielders in the JDTII squad. 

Working and using Shakir's knowledge of the game must be drawn out by Benjamin Mora, who by the looks of things, will still be in charge of JDTII for the upcoming 2018 season.

The Mexican was previously in charge of JDT prior to the arrival of Morais. His contract then was up to the end of 2017 but his presence in the pre-season training for JDTII could well indicate a longer stay for Mora.