KUCHING: Assistant Sports Minister Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said it all for the fans when Sarawak succeeded in staying up in the Super League for next season.
“Thank God, we beat PDRM 2-1 last night (on Saturday night) and we can remain in the Super League. But to stay in the Super League is one matter and to ensure that we are able to play well consistently and stay at the highest level of competition, we must put in more efforts.
“As we know, the Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) is now still without a president and there is a possibility that this will be settled soon before the new season commences,” he said. “We don’t want to have any hitches along the way.”
In their final Super League match against PDRM (Police) on Saturday night at Stadium Negeri, Petra Jaya, Sarawak’s import player Gilmar da Silva ensured that his team will play again in the Super League next season when he scored the winner via a penalty goal in the 45th minute.
Another import player Teah Denis had put Sarawak in front 1-0 in the 15th minute but the visitors equallised through their import player Guilherme de Paula in the 27th minute.
Meanwhile, Bernama reports that Sarawak’s Super League team lineup for next season will have 80 per cent local players, thereby reducing the recruitment of local imports.
Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) deputy president, Abdul Wahab Rahim said the decision was taken to give more opportunities to young local players and based on current assessment, most of the local players in the team this season would be maintained.
However, he said, the quota for imports of foreign players would be met even though the team will start only with one or two import players initially.
“Maybe we will meet the quota for foreign import players when the players’ transfer gate is reopen in mid-season 2017,” he said. Sarawak, which beat the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) 2-1 at the State Stadium, remained in the Super League tournment next season and is in eighth place with 24 points after six wins, six draws and 10 losses.
Wahab said the Sarawak squad will come up with a modest target for next season.
Meanwhile Sarawak head coach, David Usop, when met after the match on Saturday night, was pleased his team managed to stay in the Super League next season.
He said the team deserved to win the match against PDRM for displaying a more energetic and better performance after resting for a month.
On his position for next season, David who took over as head coach from Robert Alberts in mid season, said he would let the new FAS leadership to decide on his fate.