Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Few fans fear

THE Malaysian Super League (MSL) season kicks-off this Saturday with a pall of gloom hanging over many states, who will have to make do without foreign players, and a possible low gate collection.

The stadia, without foreign players to inject excitement, are expected to remain empty, and this spells trouble as states will again struggle to meet their monthly expenses.But Kedah, who won back-to-back trebles, can still afford to smile, thanks to their solid grassroots development.

Kedah, the treble masters of 2007 and 2008, played to capacity 40,000 fans and banked in at least RM7 million for the two seasons.

"We have had a good run for two years and the new team, without foreigners, also delivered and we hope we can maintain the good run," said Kedah coach Azraai Khor.

Azraai was named Coach of The Year for the past two seasons, thanks to his blooding of youth. For this season alone Azraai has promoted seven new faces into the senior ranks.

The youth have been together for the last three years, and judging by the number already exposed, Kedah will start with an age edge over the rest. Azraai has also signed Perak's Shahrul Nizam Mustapa and Farizal Rozali and Penang's Azrul Ahmad to beef-up the squad.

"There is a good combination of juniors and seniors, who are committed in training and looking forward to the new season," said Azraai who was recently appointed as a member of the national team management committee.

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