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JDT add Rodriguez and Hirose to Premier League squad

4:33 PM GMT+8 08/01/2020
Kei Hirose - Persela Lamongan
Fernando Rodriguez and Kei Hirose was revealed as the two new import signings for Johor Darul Ta'zim II for the new 2020 season.

Johor Darul Ta'zim secured two more new players for the upcoming new season in Spanird Rodriguez and Japanese Hirose where they will at least start the 2020 season in the second tier of Malaysian football in the Premier League with JDTII rather than in the Super League.

Rodriguez is a familiar name in the local scene having featured for Kedah last season where the 32-year-old showed his predatory powers in helping The Red Eagles to a very good season in 2019. Meanwhile Hirose last featured for Indonesian Liga 1 side Persela Lamongan and it described by Goal Indonesia as someone who covers every blade of grass.

"Why we at JDT chose to take these two players is because of their high calibre and their suitability to the club's philosophy. They hold a big responsibility at JDT because they will play with the young players at JDTII and at the same time help those players develop.

"We know JDT have a pack schedule with all the competitions that we are involved in. So there are always possibilities that these players could play with the first team. That was also part of our discussion with the players that should an opportunity arise, they could be asked to play even in the AFC Champions League," said Edwards in the press conference.

The policy changed for the new season with JDTII as bigger effort is being put in place to bring more youngsters through the club system. And that meant a massive overhaul of the JDTII squad with players who have been around the blocks exchanged for teenagers with the likes of Darren Lok, Amer Saidin and D. Saarvindran forced to seek newer pastures.

Without the chance of promotion, JDTII's aim for the season would be to stay in the Premier League as well as to give more exposure to the newer talents with Rodriguez and Hirose being asked to also serve as mentors and teachers to those players. JDTII will start their season with an away trip to face Negeri Sembilan on February 29.

 

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