Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Crocs prefer Kalle - Sarawak Tribune

KUCHING: The Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) yesterday decided to pick one more Cameroonian, Sone Masue Kalle, to join their Super League squad for the 2012 season.

Out was 32-year-old stocky striker from South Africa, Nkosinathi ‘Toni’ Antonio Nhleko.

Sarawak coach Robert Alberts said the decision to pick the 28- year-old Kalle was arrived at a meeting to discuss the local and foreign imports needed by Sarawak for next season.Kalle joined compatriot and defender Guy Bwele, who was picked three days ago, said Alberts.

“We were actually looking closely at Nhleko but he did not meet all our criteria for selection.We chose Kalle and have given him a year’s contract,” said Alberts.

Sarawak have also decided to hire two locals, both goalkeepers, for next season’s campaign.They are Sani Anuar Kamsani and Saiful Amar Sudar.Others picked are striker and midfielder K.Rajan, Depan Sakwati (midfield, defence), K.

Ravindran (striker), defenders Yosri Derma Raju, Ramesh Laiban Huat, Mohd.Azizan Baba and Mohd.

Rashid Mohd Aya.

Also in are two youngsters discovered during Sarawak’s trip to scout for talent throughout the state recently - midfielder Shahrol Abdul Malek and striker Ronald Denis.
Alberts said the presence of the young players in the state squad will make Sarawak a more potent force in the M-League.

“I will start to work on them through regular training and for now we have no plans to play friendly matches against top Sarawak clubs,” said Alberts.

Sarawak plan to tour Bandung, Indonesia next month to play against top professional Bandung sides.

“We are due to play matches against four top teams in the Liga Super Indonesia (ISL).The teams are Persip Bandung, Persika Bandung, Pelita Jaya and a Bandung Selection,” he said.

Soné Masué KALLÉ


Player's profile

Name:Soné Masué KALLÉ
Place of birth:Limbé
Height:165 cm
Weight:65 kg
Field position:right wing

Football career of Soné Masué KALLÉ

First match:First match in Liga 1:14.10.2006 FCM UTA Arad - Unirea Urziceni 1-0
Last match:-
YearTeamRank in DivisionPlayed matchesGoals
2002 - 2003Vitesse Arnhemrank 14 Division A123
2003 - 2004Vitesse Arnhemrank 16 Division A10
2004 - 2006Hapoel Nazareth Illit -31
2006 - 2007Unirea Urzicenirank 10 Division A60
2006 - 2007FCM Câmpinarank 14 Division B177
2007 - 2008CS Otopenirank 2 Division B3216
2008 - 2009CS Otopenirank 17 Division A151
2009 - 2010CS Otopenirank 6 Division B
2010 - 2011Universitatea ClujA

Football activity of Soné Masué KALLÉ

Liga 121 matches - 1 goal
Liga 149 matches - 23 goals
Eredivisie13 matches - 1 goal

First Match against Mutiara Hitam.

Full name Guy Bwelle
Date of birth 16 February 1979 (age 32)
Place of birth Edéa, Cameroon
Playing position Midfielder
–1998 Cintra de Yaoundé
1998–2000 Apollon Smyrni
2000–2003 Apollon Kalamarias
2003–2004 Kassandra
2004–2006 Olympiakos Volos
2006–2007 Ergotelis
2012-present Sarawak FA

Today's first match in Bandung was against the team Mutiara Hitam. This a team of professional African players that are currently without a contract and now playing to sign a contract with a new club. Some players are ex national players and they play a high level of football. The team is based in Jakarta. The match was played at Std Gunung Boong. And kick off was scheduled at 15.30. However we started only at 16.30 because the team was delayed due to a bad traffic jam on the highway from Jakarta and than they had also problems with the buss.

The first half we played:
GK: Saiful Amar
Def: Rames, Hairul/ Yosri, Sharan, Mazwandi
Midf: Dzulazlan, Sharol Malek, Ronald, Azizan Saperi
Fwd: Khairul. Benedict

The players responded well against a strong physical team. Credit to our young midfield that won many balls and specially Sharol Malek did a great job. We could play better with the flanks and more forward thinking. In the 36th minute there was a great counter attack that was initiated by Mazwandi, who played a good ball to Benedict who was running forward behind the defense and cleverly passed to Khairul in the box who tapped it in. The first half ended in 1 -0.

Second half we started with:
GK : Sani
Def: Farees, Hairul, Yosri, Mazwandi
Midf: Rashid, K.Rajan, Azizan bin Baba, Asri
Fwd: Ravindran, Zamri

The players dominated the match. Good combination attacks with some great scoring opportunities. Good width and depth and strong midfield control where Azizan distributed the balls well. However after 30 minutes the referee decided to stop the match due to it was getting darker. He could have played on but we could do nothing about it. Overall it was a good start as both set of players tried to play good combination football and had a positive attitude towards the match. It was the first real test for the players and I was satisfied with the overall outcome.

But now they are in Bandung and will play the next match this coming Monday. This match we play the local team from Bandung, Saint Prima, and on the same venue as today.

Thanks and regards
Robert Alberts

Friday, December 2, 2011

Season 2012 - Liga Super

Setelah sekian lama tidak beraksi dalam liga utama, pasukan Sarawak akhirnya membuat kemunculan semula. Aksi konsisten di liga perdana pada musim lepas dengan menyaksikan Sheikh Zaki dan Robert Albert mengenal pasti 'core player' dalam skuad utama.

Core player yang dimaksudkan adalah terdiri daripada local Sarawakian seperti Asri Chu Chu, Maswandi, Hairol Mokhtar, Dzuladzlan, Shahrol Saperi, Zamri Morshidi, Ben Martins, Azizan Saperi, Fareez Tukidjo..

Dengan adanya 'core player', Robert Alberts dapat mengenal pasti kekuatan dan kekurangan yang ada dalam pasukan Sarawak.

Pada pendapat peribadi saya, Sarawak memerlukan import di bahagian serangan, midfield dan pertahanan tengah.

Antara sebab utama adalah kita kehilangan top scorer pada musim lepas iaitu Bobby Gonzales. Beliau adalah striker yang berupaya bertindak bersendirian yang mana ciri yang tiada pemain lain. Lantas, saya berfikir either ambil import player yang mampu bertindak bersendirian dan mempunyai keupayaan merencanakan gerakan serangan.

Di bahagian midfield pula kita telah lihat di dalam saingan Piala Malaysia kita tidak memiliki pemain yang dapat menjadi general di dalam padang. Kesemua gerakan tertumpu di bahagian sayap melalui Asri Chu Chu tapi tempo dibahagian midfield agak mengecewakan.

Gerakan long ball mudah dibaca oleh pihak lawan. So - dapatkan player import alaa-ala David Silva. If susah gilak ambik balit Junaid Hartley =p

Di bahagian pertahanan pula saya mengimpikan kita mempunyai seorang player import yang mampu bertindak sebagai pertahanan tengah + defensive midfield. Dua watak dalam permainan.

So - realistik target untuk tahun 2012. Saya target Sarawak kekal dalam liga Super.. Tunggak terbalit sik duli asal kekal untuk liga 2013 pasya bok cerita panjang gik..

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Crocs boss fires warning

 by Abdul Hakim Bujang reporters@theborneopost.com. Posted on September 12, 2011, Monday
KUCHING: Although mathematically Sarawak is still having the chance to qualify for Malaysia Cup quarterfinal, the team management is already looking beyond the tournament.
“To me, here we are able to see the crop of players that we have in our team against other teams from Super League, and there is very big gap in quality of players,” admitted Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) president, Datu Sudarsono Osman.
Sudarsono said the telling results from Malaysia Cup were very good indication of what need to be done for next season when Sarawak play in Super League.
Sarawak played twice against Super League team thus far and lost both game – 0-2 to Kelantan at home and 0-1 to KL Felda United.
Those knowing Malaysia football will have no complaint because Sarawak is losing to two team blessed with finest players in Super League.
Kelantan is the richest team in Malaysia that never fail to fill up its stadium to the capacity – powered by the best talent in the country and have been winning Malaysia Cup last year, losing to Terengganu in FA Cup and won Super League in the just concluded season.
KL Felda United is parading current and former Malaysia players from top to bottom – its goalkeeper, defenders, midfielders and strikers – played for Malaysia in recent years at various levels.
Whereas our next rival, Johor FC was the losing finalist of Malaysia Cup last year – leading 1-0 at one point against Kelantan on Saturday before eventually losing 1-2 away in Kota Bahru to give defending champion Kelantan a scare.


Sudarsono was being realistic when saying Malaysia Cup was an eye opener for the young Sarawak players that were plucked from the local football development programme jointly carried out by FAS and Education Department of Sarawak – one of them is Ashri Chuchu.
“This is a learning experience for the players and what is more important for the management and coach to assess what need to be done for next season in Super League,” he told Borneo Post.
He said the result from the two games and glaring differences in players quality more or less showed the management “what it take to be there” in Super League.
Sarawak he stressed clearly lacked the much needed leadership in the field that were once on the shoulder of Mohd Ali Sapiee or Abdul Jalil Ramli – having nobody in command or being above to motivate the team.
“Some investment needs to be done,” he said, stressing that Sarawak would be recruiting big names or A-rated players from Super League who are willing to be based in Kuching and foreign imports.
Players who were not able to read between the lines would continue to think that the Crocs management were satisfied with their achievement to play in Super League next season.

Unknown to them, Sarawak management want to become serious contender in Super League and not mere participant.
Sarawak want to earn the respect and send shiver to the opponent like what they used to do when winning Malaysia top league under Alan Vest by fielding local talents with helps from the likes of David Evan, John Hunter, Alistair Edwards, Shamsurin Abdul Rahman, Ong Kim Swee and Mazlan Abdul Wahed.
Based on the indication given by Sarawak manager cum chief coach Robert Alberts, Crocs lacked depth and quality players to compete at higher level.
Unlike A-Rated players, average team members in the squad may not be able to undergo strenuous professional training required by top league footballers.
At worst their limited thinking ability may not be able to absorb tactical strategy or further develop it when the need arise due to changing climate or playing difficulties arriving from heavy rain or below par playing surface.
The sarcasm by ASTRO Arena anchor that Sarawak were very successful in defending but give the match away to a lame goal from KL Felda United may not be music in Crocs fans ears.


Those who have long tolerated the far from friendly host at least have reason to continue supporting Sarawak on Tuesday by coming to State Stadium on when we played against Johor FC.
Win, lose or draw – doesn’t really matter because the current young squad need the morale booster from Sarawakian.
Let them know that the fans will be there for them next season to achieve Sarawak ambitious plan of seriously becoming a challenger in Super League.
With new players – A-Rated players as stressed by FAS boss and hopefully highest quality foreign imports that we can afford.
Let the Sarawak Spirit prevail on September 13 – another Tuesday – an insult for low rated team that do not deserve a Saturday night home game!
We are not born loser, and let show the visitors that Sarawak deserve respect.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sarawak tewas 1-0 kepada Felda United

Ulasan peminat-peminat bolasepak Sarawak selepas match menentang Felda United (via Facebook & Twitter):

  1. Sarawak menar perlukan pemain seperti "Hamid Termina" dolok. general in midfield yg boleh mengawal tempo permainan. (Ultracrocs Fan Club)
  2. Mok carik player stature mcm tengku hazman, gary steven...serawak perlu congest midfieldnya mun player yg ada mcm tok...tp aku still mok nangga hafizal marzuki main box to box midfield...nya effective lawan atm ari ya...bagus gik dari jaganathan (Syaiffrie Syaiffuddin).
  3. Why RA sik makei position n strategi yg sama masa main liga, ada 2 striker... mungkin RA ada alasan yg tersendiri...dan jugak piala malaysia mungkin plattform untuk belajar bersaing dlm liga super musim depan....teruskan menyokong.... (Yustaka Takenouchi)
  4. Rata-rata penyokong Sarawak mempertikai taktikal RA nengkah bobby gonzalez sbg alone striker, corak permainan defensive. bg saya lah, HARAPAN RAKYAT SARAWAK HARUS DIDENGAR JUAK. jgn kmk org kaong2 tepi padang sik dtg faedah bagi team. tp aku bangga player sarawak ada nunjuk semengat NGAP SAYOT dalam match malam tadik, especially pakey Chun Keng Hong & Aidil Mohammad, Kapten Zamri, dan boleh kata kira semua sekali lah... yg benar2 membanggakan aku secara personally... TQ (Awang Khairul Adzhar)
  5. permainan swk mengecewakan..corak permainan yg sama seperti selasa lepas..apa yg ingin dipamerkan oleh RA? Swk mmg terbukti tidak dpt mengikuti corak single striker..strategi bertahan tidak sesuai dengan nature pemain swk yg dahulunya terkenal dengan corak menyerang..come on, ini sudah match kedua dan swk masih belum lagi mencatat kemenangan..perlu membuat perubahan agar pemain tengah lebih berfungsi dan dpt memberi bola kpd bobby.. Hmmm..alangkah baik sekiranya JKT dan reshafiq bermain utk pasukan kita.. RA! Please do something..ada kita mahukan pasukan swk menjadi pasukan belasahan? (Mohd Sutiadi Hamsawi)
  6. Datuk K Rajagopal, once again turun masa match Felda n Sarawak.. apa agaknya yang bermain kat fikiran nya? Mungkinkah players Sarawak akan diserap masuk teamnya? Ayuh Sarawak! bangkit! Bangun! Kita Ngap Semuanya! Kebangkitan harus bermula! (Garry Danny Lawrence)
  7. Sarawak perlu banyak menyerang, jangan banyak bertahan.... harap next game corak permainan sarawak lebih agresif... jangan biar orang serang kita, tapi biar kita yang kucar-kacirkan pertahanan lawan.. (Ambrose George)
  8. ‎:::sidak2 yang main bol kelak..main bagus2...no pressure...enjoy the game..polah jak attack yg pelik2..jgn malu nk dribble..jgn malu nk merembat mun ada ruang sekecik zarah..bol ya bulat..Ben Martens,Zamri Morshidi,Sharizan Sahari and the geng...agi idup..agik ngelaban..darah RENTAP, nyawa BOYAK..ya nang bUJANG SENANG::: (A Farhan Jamaludin)
Komen Peribadi Admin:
Pemain Sarawak dilihat seperti mengamalkan taktikal displin. Keep the ball, don't let opponent control the game and play their usual tactical. Apa yang menyedihkan peminat di Sarawak adalah setelah ketinggalan 1-0 pemain Sarawak seperti tiada urgency untuk mencari gol penyamaan. Jika tidak kerana kecekapan Aidil Mohamad, pasukan Sarawak akan kalah dengan jaringan yang lebih besar. Walau apapun kita masih dapat layak ke pusingan ke seterusnya dengan syarat akan menang pada SELASA ini menentang Johor FC! There's always light at the end of tunnel

p/s: Add twitter @BisakNet

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Match Preview: Felda Utd vs Sarawak

Salam sejahtera semua pembaca sekalian,

Hari ini adalah penentu kepada hala tuju pasukan kesayangan kita dalam saingan Piala Malaysia! Sebelum itu saya ingin mengucapkan jutaan terima kasih kepada ASTRO kerana menyediakan aksi rakaman perlawanan ini di Channel 801 malam ini! (Jadilah semadi nadai kata kita)

Pasukan Felda United dibarisi oleh ramai bekas pemain kebangsaan. Sekadar menyebut beberapa nama Khaironnisam Shahbudin, Liew Kit Kong, Hamsani Ahmad (GK), Chow Chee Weng, Nizaruddin Yusof dan ramai lagi. 

Khaironnisam Shahbudin

Tapi buat apa kita nak takut. Player mereka mewakili Malaysia tapi masa ya team Malaysia ney ada kuat. Mala kenak bantey ada lah! So - so kita setara kekuatan.. Perlu di ingat, Last match Liga Perdana kita menang 1-0 di tempat sendiri pada 2010.

Point Penting:
  1. Player mesti fokus 90 minutes!
  2. Jika ketinggalan 1-0 jangan terus berputus asa. Try as best you can level the score.
  3. Corner kick jangan rami gilak bergambar ajak. "Celen kan bol ya! Maka player tinggi-tinggi!" (kata Pak Mat kampung Pulo).
  4. Be confident! Jangan takut try dari jauh.. Jangan malu-malu running off ball.. 
  5. Support Bobby Gonzales cepat.. Jangan biarkan nya lonely seorang di atas.. 
  6. Kita menang game tok - Kita layak ke pusingan kalah mati!
  7. My prediction : Sarawak menang 3-1
  8. P/s: Insya allah ada Live Twitter di website.. Rajin-rajin visit website tok malam kelak

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Penyokong Sarawak kembali! Gugup punca kekalahan

NGAP SAYOT! Photo from Ultracrocs Fan Club
Malam semalam merupakan malam bersejarah buat sukan bolasepak di Sarawak. Setelah menyepi hampir sepuluh tahun - Stadium Negeri kembali bergema dengan sorakan dan sokongan dari penonton.

Cuba anda bayangkan saya turun 7:30 malam dari semariang, tepat jam 8:15 baru dapat masuk ke Stadium. Mujurrr tak lepas kick-off. Orang ramai parking dari bangunan STIDC sehingga ke bangunan wisma SESCO!! Seperti dijangkakan penuh 20,000 orang penonton, TYT Sarawak pun turun padang!
Stadium Penuh!! Camera hp my wife..

Tiket saya beli di Lea Centre, Hopoh!

Photo: Nizam H Fansuri
Tentang game saya tak nak komen panjang sebab kita memang tahu standard pasukan Kelantan memang a par ahead. Permainan tersusun disamping pemain-pemain mereka sudah biasa dengan crowd yang ramai seperti ini.

Sarawak menggunakan formasi 4-5-1 dengan meletakkan Bobby Gonzales sebagai penyerang tunggal. Menggunakan pendekatan menyerap asakan Kelantan dan mengharapkan serangan balas serta set pieces dari sepakan sudut.

First half, Sarawak berjaya mengekang asakan Kelantan dengan Norshahrul Idlan Taha dikawal ketat oleh Chun Keng Hong (No jersi 31). Tiada percubaan bahaya daripada pasukan Kelantan pada separuh masa pertama!

Photo: Nizam H Fansuri

Sarawak memperoleh beberapa peluang menerusi Bobby Gonzales akan tetapi percubaan lemah dan mudah ditangkap oleh penjaga gol Mohd Shahrizan. 

Wing kiri Sarawak iaitu Asri Chu Chu tidak menampilkan aksi garang seperti biasa. Beliau kelihatan gugup beraksi di hadapan ribuan penonton. But its ok.. Good exposure untuk dirinya yang baru berusia 20-an.

Kehebatan pasukan Kelantan sebagai pasukan pilihan terbukti pada separuh masa kedua. Pertahanan mereka lebih kemas, hantaran daripada midfielder serta off ball position yang lebih berkesan. 
Seat penuh! Sanggup nangar dari pagar ajak! Photo: Nizam H Fansuri

Akibat terlalu alpa hantaran ke belakang Hairol Mokhtar kepada Chun Keng Hong telah di hidu oleh Norshahrul Idlan Taha yang mudah menewaskan Aidil Mohamad. 1-0 untuk Kelantan. Beautiful disaster in seconds!

Sarawak bangkit dengan memasukkan Ben Martin menggantikan Jeganathan. Serangan bertubi-tubi ke arah gawang Kelantan, Ben Martin merembat dari luar kotak penalti menggunakan kaki kiri akan tetapi berjaya ditepis oleh Mohd Shahrizan (lepas ya alu eksen injured sakit pinggang, maka nepis makey tangan =p)

Seat penuh di bahagian scoreboard! Photo: Nizam H Fansuri

Sekali lagi kelekaan pemain pertahanan di hukum oleh Norshahrul Idlan Taha (aku dah madah nya tok bahaya).. Hasil serangan balas beliau berdepan 1 lwn 1 dengan Hairol Mokhtar yang membiarkan Mat Yo membuat turning.. Through pass kepada S. Chanturu dan sekali lagi menewaskan Aidil Mohamad 2-0!

Pengajaran penting - silly mistake membawa padah. Jangan fancy gilak main next time.. Sekali sekala sikpa..

  1. Secara peribadi bagus lawan Kelantan first game sebab dapat study balit apa weakness and sengan ney kekuatan team kita.
  2. Pemain Sarawak harus sedar yang penonton anytime dapat datang ke stadium if performance team bagus.
  3. Gap between midfielder dengan Bobby Gonzales sangat jelas ( Jaganathan selalu out position, winger lambat support nait). Long ball ke atas then Bobby sorang ajak. Belum sempat Bobby control ball, support belom datang ball dah kembali dikuasai pihak lawan.
  4. Both winger Asri & Zamri tidak mendatangkan bahaya kepada pasukan lawan. Maybe too concentrate ke bahagian winger. Maybe next time try cut inside masuk ke tengah untuk memudahkan hantaran dari Wong Sai Kong & Shahrol Saperi.
  5. Both wingback Maswandi & Dzuladzlan patut dipuji. Fitness tip top and prove that sidak duak dah ready untuk saingan liga Super. 
  6. Set piece banyak. Player kita majoriti tinggi gik dari player Kelantan tapi sik di take advantage. Rugi! 
  7. Mesti menang lawan Felda United Sabtu tok. Mun menang orang akan madah "Ok, lawan Kelantan logic kalah sebab sidak kuat gik" .. Selasa depan confirm penuh lagik stadium lawan Johor!
  8. Sampei minit-63 kita sama kuat dengan Kelantan - just mistake ya team terus down. Tidak sepatutnya berlaku. Contohi Manchester United. Ketinggalan 2-0 lawan team paling mahal Manchester City. Semua player bersatu last sekali dapat menang 3-2!
  9. Yang lain semuanya ok! Supporter Sarawak memang happening!! Tahniah dan terima kasih kepada semua yang hadir ke stadium malam tadik!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Match Preview: Sarawak vs Kelantan (Malaysia Cup)

Man to Watch: Kelantan

Norshahrul Idlan Taha
Tonggak penyerang pasukan Kelantan & Malaysia. Mempunyai vision, body trick serta kemahiran mengelecek. Bagi saya beliau merupakan pemain terbaik Malaysia selepas Safee Sali. Bukan sahaja mempunyai penyudah (finishing) yang superb malah berupaya membuat assist/membuka ruang kepada pemain lain untuk menjaringkan gol.

Man to Watch: Sarawak
Biarlah Rahsia
 Point Penting
  1. Khairul Fahmi (GK Malaysia) confirmed tidak beraksi untuk pasukan Kelantan pada perlawanan ini. 
  2. Weakest point still ke arah Daudsu (nya tok pemanas, mudah layap untuk offside trap, ada sejarah gol dirik pun).
  3. Kedua-dua pasukan tidak pernah bertemu sebelum ini jadi peluang consider 50-50.. Kelantan still pilihan (favourite) kerana menjadi Juara Liga Super 2011.
  4. Berdasarkan rekod perlawanan liga yang lepas kedua-dua pasukan mempunyai jentera serangan yang hebat.
  5. Sama-sama makan nasik, bukannya Superman.
  6. Saya meramal Sarawak menang 2-0! (Optimistik)

Play smart — Robert Alberts

Coach wants Crocs to play thinking game against Super League giants Kelantan
KUCHING: Robert Alberts shout from the sidelines whenever his charges were not doing up to his expectation.

As the game against Kelantan drew nearer, the Sarawak coach was obviously trying to motivate his players. He stopped training every now and then to give pep talk to the players. His voice was very loud and clear.
He demanded his players to think, nothing less. Alberts want his boys to think to overcome Kelantan.
When the training completed, Alberts gave them a pep talk before the players made a thunderous cheer “Sarawak” echoing in the empty stadium.
Speaking to thesundaypost after the gruelling two hours training, the manager cum chief coach emphasised that there are big gap between Premier League and Super League football.
He stressed that Sarawak have no other choice but to play thinking football to create an upset against Malaysia Cup champions Kelantan at home on Tuesday.
“At lower level in the Premier League they can get away with certain thing (mistakes) but against Kelantan they will kill you if you don’t think,” he nailed.
“They must think very carefully because they are playing against the best team in the country,” he said.
Alberts, who lead Kedah to Malaysia Cup and Super League wins previously, does not minced his words.
“Players, especially at lower level they don’t think. They run a lot and lost a lot of energy, good players run only when they need, that why they have a lot of energy because they think. Like my grandmother and your grandmother always said, if you don’t have it here (pointing to the head), you must have it here (pointing to his knee),” he said.
He insisted that Sarawak will not play negative football or commit fouls in order to stop Kelantan players from playing good football.
“My philosophy is we must play good football to stop the opponent from playing their game and not playing bad football or do bad things,” he stressed.
Alberts was very impressed by the players performance during training and is very optimist that his charges can match Kelantan.
“For our level from the Premier League to play against Kelantan champion of Super League, we are ready. We look forward to the match,” he said.
He, however admitted that there is a very big gap between the two team squad as Kelantan is having a very good depth, whereas Sarawak had very few to choose from.
He had a good laugh reading the newspaper as Kelantan declared crisis when having to play with only two goalkeepers throughout Malaysia Cup.
“Looking at the newspaper, I was having a good laugh today. They said they will only be having two goalkeepers for Malaysia Cup campaign.
“We have gone through whole season with only two goalkeepers. For us that is normal, for them they said it is a crisis. From there you can see the difference,” he said.
The Sarawak squad that start training at 4.30pm at Stadium Negeri on Saturday also saw the arrival of new coach, former Harimau Muda A goalkeeper coach, P Mohan.
While Roberts and Farhan polishing the Sarawak attacking formation finishing touch, Mohan were busy with Mohd Azley Abdullah drilling Aidiel Mohd and Mohd Azlen in between the goalpost.
Also seen training today was Hamidin Manap who undergone an operation recently due to knee injury.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Crocs turning a new page?

Bobby Gonzales

THOSE who do not follow local football in the last five years can be forgiven for not knowing the names of the Sarawak players.
The only familiar name on the list, supplied by the Football Association Of Sarawak (FAS), is Abang Mohd Za’afari Abang Othman. He played during the time of Abdul Jalil Ramlee, Mohd Ali Sapiee and Roslan Ismail under Alan Vest.
Lone ranger
Presently, the only big name in Sarawak team is probably Bobby Gonzales, a Sabahan who has played for Malaysia at all levels of junior football – Under-15, Under-18 and Under-23 – but not in the senior team. Bobby who scored 16 goals for Sarawak so far this season knows he will be a marked man in the Malaysia Cup. Playing as a lone striker, he is very fortunate to have four supporting midfielders who gel very well with him. Bobby who hails from Beaufort, started playing for his home state in 2003 at only 18 years old.
He was Sabah’s top scorer for the 2007-8 season before migrating to Brunei DPMM FC and KL Plus FC. Bobby first appeared for Sarawak in 2005 in a star-studded squad that also included Malaysia’s top striker, Safee Saili, under coach Abdul Jalil Ramli.
Attacking midfielders
Playing on the left flank in midfield for the Crocs is Ashri Chu Chu who comes from Kampung Luagan near Sundar in Lawas. This 20-year-old talented left-footer is the most reliable among the young players in the squad, having won the coach’s trust for a regular place in the first eleven. Ashri is known for his long-range attempts that often caught the opposing custodian napping. He has six goals to his credit so far this season and is targeting at least  two goals in the Malaysia Cup.  On the right flank is team captain Zamri Morshidi who resides in Kampung Telaga Air, a fishing village well known among the local sports anglers.
Zamri is a man of a few words off the field but transforms into a much feared player when leading his charges on the pitch. He scores regularly and is the linkman for  Ashri and Bobby with his great footwork and darting runs.

Sarawak’s engine room is normally manned by Benedict Martin. I have not heard about this guy before since he is new to the local football scene. The reason is very simple. Benedict played in peninsular Malaysia before returning home recently.
He is a product of Sekolah Sukan Bukit Jalil, having once played for Selangor and Perak, and was endorsed by Nike. Yes, you read it right. He was endorsed by Nike while playing for Perak. Another midfield dynamo who normally controls Sarawak’s tempo of play is veteran Wong Sai Kong, a versatile player who can fit into any position.
The former national player first played for the Crocs under Abdul Jalil Ramlee.  Also fighting for a place is Abang Mohd Za’afari.  Just like Benedict and Wong, Za’afari is a quick-thinking  mid-fielder capable of orchestrating attacks and scoring goals. He was not fielded when Sarawak played Kuching Selection on Tuesday but that does not mean he is going to warm the bench throughout the Crocs’ Malaysia Cup campaign.

A quick chat with assistant coach Farhan Abdullah @ Anai revealed the five regular defenders as Mazwandi Zekeria, Mohd Dzulazlan Ibrahim, Mohd Hairol Moktar, Sahran Abd Samad and Mohd Shahrol Saperi. Against Kuching, Mazwandi showed great maturity for a young player, making a few dangerous breaks from the left side of the field.  At a toss of coin, he switched role to a winger, dribbling past four Kuching players but was unfortunate to have shot wide after doing a “one-two” with Zamri Morshidi. Anai told me Mazwandi was only 17 years old when he first played for Sarawak in Sukma under him in 2006. He is still only 22 now.
The boy has good potential and is lucky to be playing under a tactically-savvy coach like Robert Alberts, according to Anai.
On the right, defender Dzulazlan Ibrahim is a no-nonsense hard tackler who constantly shackled the attackers in the match against Kuching Selection.
His fitness level during the game was superb, running almost non-stop in stark contrast to the opposing side’s need to regularly fall back on the subs.
Kuching Selection played all their 25 players whereas the Crocs stuck mostly with their first eleven, making just three changes to test their playing formation. Kuching Selection’s advantage of having fresh legs (through substitutions) did the test the tired Sarawak defence line.
But it was all for the best because that’s  the kind of pressure the Crocs have to get used to and there will be plenty of it against stronger opponents like Kelantan, for instance.
Overall, the Crocs showed they could play against 25 players (on rotation) in one game – a clear indication of their physical and mental readiness.
What makes the Sarawak back line interesting is that some of the defenders are actually skilful enough to double up as attacking mid-fielders and strikers. Mohd Shahrol Saperi, for example, can play as striker and attacking midfielder.
However, Alberts is using him as a central defender together with Mohd Hairol Moktar and Sahran Abdul Samad.

Sarawak have a safe pair of hands between the posts in Aidil Mohd from Mukah. He has very good reflects and against Kuching Selection, saved a penalty kick to give the Crocs a clean slate.

Absorb and attack
The five defenders will form the backbone of “Sarawak’s patience” football, predicated on absorbing attacks and mounting counterattacks whenever there is a chance. The five-defender formation should be able to contain teams that adopt conventional attacking football.
I’m sure the Kelantan scouts and coach M Karathu are fully aware of this after spying on Sarawak’s friendly matches recently.
One must remember Kelantan is parading National top striker Mohd Norshahrul Idlan and has signed two Pahang strikers Azamuddin Akil and R Surendran for their Malaysia Cup defence.
Karathu’s boys whipped Kuala Lumpur 5-0, Police 2-0 and Selangor 1-0 in their build-up matches. In fact, against Police, Kelantan was fielding only reserve players. New signings The Crocs’ new signing Chun Keng Hong, a central defender, is still nursing an injury he picked up in the friendly against Negeri Sembilan.
The injury is not very serious and Chun is expected to be fully fit for the cruncher against kelantan. The other new signing Jaganathan who played back-up striker against Kuching Selection, was a livewire from the first whistle. He was everywhere, initiating attacks and holding back when Sarawak came under attack.
Jaganathan is already feeling at home in Sarawak and has very good tactical understanding with top striker Bobby Gonzales. He said he had no problems mixing with the other players and is confident the team can make the  second round.

Super sub
What makes this Sarawak team all the more interesting is the coach’s tendency to deploy his super sub in the final 15 minutes. And in a tournament like the Malaysia Cup, many coaches are praying to have a player like striker Khairul Azahar Eidros, brought in for the Crocs from Muar FC. This big forward bears a great resemblance  to John Hunter, the stocky Aussie striker who played for Sarawak under Vest.
The national coach must seriously heed Khairul’s ability to influence the outcome of a game when it really matters. Despite his burly physique, he can bulldoze into the defence, turning and twisting with amazing footwork before slamming home.
Many hardcore fans are hurt by the ‘budak belasahan’ (whipping boy) tag used by some local TV pundits to describe the Sarawak team. It is inevitable because  the present state team is largely unknown.  Furthermore, the Crocs have been in the doldrums for five seasons.


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