KUALA LUMPUR: Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) centre-back, Mohammad Fadhli Shas is confident the Southern Tigers would be greatly boosted by the presence of several new players in their hunt for more titles next season.
The national player believed several new faces, as well as the return of the deadly Southern Tigers duo of Luciano Figueroa and Jorge Pereyra Diaz, could make their front line even more lethal.
JDT who have been the Super League defending champions since 2014 had acquired the services of several young local players such as Mohamed Syamer Kutty Abba of Penang, Adam Nor Azlin (Selangor) and Muhammad Syafiq Ahmad (Kedah) with two new import players, La’ Vere Corbin-Ong (Canada) and Bruno Gabriel Soares (Brazil).
“When the new season begins, we should be ready in tip-top physical and mental condition to take on the challenges,” said Mohammad Fadhli who was quoted in the latest posting on JDT Facebook, The Southern Tigers.
In this regard, the former Harimau Muda player stressed that the objective of the team was to retain the Super League title next season and gain automatic qualification into the group level of the Asian Champions League (ACL) in 2019.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) confirmed Malaysia could gain one automatic slot in the 2019 ACL qualifying round based on the rankings of AFC clubs issued recently which saw Malaysia placed sixth in the Eastern Zone.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Fadhli said there would be three pre-season friendly matches in Thailand next month which would be a good platform for the Southern Tigers to warm-up before facing Thailand Premier League runners-up, Muangthong United in a 2018 ACL qualifying match at the end of next month.
JDT are scheduled to hold friendly matches with three local teams there, namely Army United, Chonburi FC and Port FC. — Bernama