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Duo to make debut

READY … from left, Mendes, Atayew and Paunovic seen at their team’s training at the Likas Stadium on Wednesday. - Photo Credit: Media Safa

17th May, 2019


KOTA KINABALU: New signings, Aguinaldo Mendes Veiga and Ahmet Atayew are in line to make their Premier League debut for the Tambadau when they take on UKM FC at the Kuala Lumpur Football Stadium in Cheras, tonight.

The duo is part of Tambadau’s 18-member squad that left for the national capital yesterday.

Tambadau head coach Jelius Ating when met during their training session at the Likas Stadium on Wednesday night said the duo are cleared to make their debut after getting all their necessary documentation, including their International Transfer Certificates (ITC), ahead of tonight’s 10pm tie.

“They will be part of my first team. Mendes will play alongside Paunovic (Rodoljub) in attack, while Atayew will be in the central midfield together with Azzizan (Nordin),” said Jelius.

“However, I don’t think they are in their best shape if we talk about their fitness level, but they should be alright to be included in the first team. I hope they will do their best and help guide the team to victory,” Jelius said, adding that he is expecting nothing less than three points.

“We’ll try not to drop any points from our grip because our next match will also be away (Penang on May 25). So, against UKM FC, we must try to get at least a point, but three points will be our top priority,” he said.

Former Angola international striker Mendes and Turkmenistan man Atayew put pen to paper on Monday after agreeing to terms with the Sabah Football Association (Safa).

They signed an undisclosed deal for the rest of the season. They replaced Brazilian striker Luiz Carlos Junior and Serbian attacker Luka Milunovic respectively.

Junior left the team on mutual agreement while Milunovic returned to his parent club, Melaka United FC. “This is not going to be an easy game because UKM FC are not easy opponents. So, I hope the players know this and give their best in the match,” Jelius said.

For the record, in their first meeting this season, Tambadau won 3-1 at the Likas Stadium on April 20. He revealed that he is unlikely to make any major changes to the side that edged Selangor United FC 1-0 in their last fixture.

“Except for Randy (Baruh), Junior and Rico (Nigel Milus) the rest will be retained. Randy is out of action due to suspension for three yellow-card offences.

“Mendes will replace Junior and Atayew will take over Rico’s role. As for Randy, Dendy (Lowa) will cover for him as the right back,” said Jelius.

The rest of the probable first-team players are Rozaimie Rohim, who will remain as the No. 1 ball stopper, while captain Rawilson Batuil and Korean Park Tae Su will be the driving force at the backline with youngster Evan Wensley Wenceslaus as the left back.

Jenius Karib will be deployed at the left of midfield with Alto Linus on the right.

The rest of the travelling players are Mohd Azwan Fattah, Mafry Balang, Robson Rendy Rining, Rico, Muhammad Mohd Safar, Umareng Bacok and Mazlan Yahya.

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