BY NIK AFIQ Follow on Twitter
Super League side PKNS FC have set a top five target and a trophy for PKNS FC to reach this coming season.
Club president Siti Zubaidah Abdul Jabar said that head coach E. Elavarasan has brought in quality players to the squad, and she believes that with the help of the players who have been retained for this season, it’s not impossible for the Red Ants to reach the target set by them.
“After squad registration was completed, we quickly made plans to build our squad so that we can compete with other teams in the league.
“Elavarasan has recruited 14 new players to the squad, such as (former Malaysia international) Khyril Muhymeen, (goalkeeper) Zamir Selamat, Affize Faisal Mamat and many more.
We also managed to replace the vacancy left by Gabriel Guerra with Lucas Espíndola, Patrick Wleh has also returned (from loan spell at Selangor) and will help other two import players in the squad, which are Matias Jadue and Gonzalo Soto.
“With the combination of current players such as Shahrul Azhar Toure, P. Gunalan, Nizam Abu Bakar and plenty more, we are optimistic that we can at least finish top five in the Super League.
“I also want to challenge the team to capture at least one trophy for themselves, and as well as for the state of Selangor," said Zubaidah in her speech during the team launch event held on in Shah Alam on Tuesday.
Zubaidah also insisted that they have allocated enough budget for the team to compete in the 2017 Super League, and will ensure that with such amount of budget, they can reach their target.
“For 2017, we have allocated sufficient budget for us to face all the challenges in the league. It may not be as big as other teams', and this budget would be for all nine teams under the PKNS FC set up, including our academy.
“Our spending is actually not as big as you think. Of course we increased our budget from last year because we are in the Super League this year.
“I am confident we can reach our target with this budget. Big budget does not guarantee success if there is no strength and teamwork among the players, coaches and the staff.
Zubaidah also insists on taking care of players’ welfare, especially in terms of salary promptness. She added that their priority is to make sure that the players get their salaries.
“We have a platform for players to express their opinions, especially on their welfare. The most important thing is for them to receive their monthly payment on time.”
“These are professional footballers. They play football to earn a living and they also have a family so that is why we always put that as the main priority,” added Zubaidah.
On the matter of PKNS' home venue for the start of the season, Zubaidah explained that they are looking at the Lumut Stadium in Perak, and are still evaluating whether the stadium fulfills the criteria set by Football Malaysia LLP (FMLLP). She explained that the side's last option would be to stay at the Shah Alam stadium, but playing their matches in the late afternoon.