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Champs rest key players for final League match

19th July, 2019


KOTA KINABALU: Newly-crowned Premier League champions, Tambadau are set to rest some of their key players when they take on Terengganu FC II in their final match of the season at the Nasiruddin Shah Stadium in Kuala Terengganu on Saturday.

Instead, head coach Jelius Ating will use the opportunity to give some of his reserves some minutes in the 9pm tie. Jelius insisted that his decision to start with his second-strength side is not because they just want to complete the fixtures, but more to the team’s strategy as well as part of their preparations for the Malaysia Cup competition.

“We have quite a number of first-team players who risk suspension if they collect a yellow card in this game. So we will not want to take the risk because we want to kick start our challenge in the Malaysia Cup, which is scheduled to kick off in early August, with our strongest possible team,” said Jelius when contacted yesterday.

“We also have some first-team players carrying slight injuries so we have also decided to rest them.

“I think this is a great opportunity for us to play some of our reserve players so that they will be ready for the Malaysia Cup when we need them.

Among the first-team players that are set to miss the match or being listed in the first 16/18 are goalkeeper Rozaimie Rohim, flanker Alto Linus, midfielder Mohd Azzizan Nordin, flanker Jenius Karib and the team’s leading scorer Rodoljub Paunovic.

Paunovic, Mafry Balang and Dendy Lowa are among those who face suspension if they are to be booked in the Terengganu FC II tie.

Left-back Evan Wensley Wenceslaus will also miss the match due to suspension.

“I was made to understand that the suspension (if any) will be carried forward to the Malaysia Cup but if not yet suspended, all yellow cards will be cleared. This is one of the factors that I have considered when naming my team for the Terengganu FC II match,” said Jelius.

According to Jelius, Robson Rendy Rining will take over from Rozaimi, while Muhammad Mohd Safar will play at the left-back and will form the back-line together with Rawilson Batuil, Park Taesu and Randy Baruh Mohd Azwan Abd Fattah will fill in the vacuum left by Azzizan. He will have Ahmet Atayev, Ricco Nigel Milus and Maxsius Musa manning the midfield, with Aguinaldo Mendes and Rahman Shah Marajeh spearheading the attack.

Rozaimie, Alto, Jenius, Azzizan, Mazlan Yahya, Dendy Lowa and Justin Samaan will also be part of the travelling squad.

For the record, the first meeting between the two sides ended 3-1 in Tambadau’s favour in Likas.

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