KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 -- UiTM FC’s two import players - Rabih Ataya and Gustavo Almeida Dos Santos - have provided a huge boost to the younger players in the squad to take on other Super League teams this season.
Team captain Muhammad Faizal Mohd Arif said Lebanese right-winger Ataya, and Brazillian forward Dos Santos have been actively helping the ‘Lion Troops’ comprising of UiTM students, to improve their performance.
Statistically, UiTM FC has the youngest squad on average in the league at 24.87 years, followed by Felda United FC (26.35 years) and Kedah (26.72 years).
“Honestly, my friends and I were quite nervous about playing in the CIMB Super League this season as the team has undergone drastic changes, with only 10 to 15 per cent of the senior players retained, while 80 to 85 per cent are UiTM students.
“The situation was different from my previous seasons here where there were not many changes, so the issue of player chemistry did not arise. But as the league began, I saw that our team was able to compete well with the others in the league,” he said in a statement released by the Malaysian Football League (MFL) today.
Ataya, 31, is the eldest player in the squad, while Muhd Nashran Elias, 19, is the youngest.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Faizal said the commencement of the Bundesliga in Germany and K-League in South Korea had given hope for the Malaysian League (M-League) to return, despite the COVID-19 situatuon.
He said the M-League could emulate some of the measures taken by the two famous leagues, and that officials and players here should have no problems adhering to the standard operating procedures.
“For me, there is no issue of playing in empty stadiums or following the other guidelines such as undergoing COVID-19 screening tests,” he said.
UiTM FC led by German coach Frank Bernhardt sits in ninth place in the Super League with four points after four matches.
Malaysia National News Agency
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