# A new chapter begins for JDT in 2016

# Winning the AFC Cup was a high for the Southern Tigers in 2015

# Failure to reach the Malaysia Cup semi-finals was a low

# Watch the Southern Tigers scale new heights in 2016


The pristine pitch at the Larkin Stadium described as the best football pitch in the country is the home of Johor Darul Takzim – simply known as JDT or Southern Tigers. 

JDT have firmly established themselves as the best football club in Malaysia and also among the upper echelon in the Asian region after achieving a historic win in when they scooped up the AFC Cup 2015 even though it is only a second tier tournament in the region.

Still it is an achievement which the Malaysian team can be proud of when they became the first team from Malaysia to win an Asian title. It will serve as a launching pad of better things to come from JDT in 2016 as they set their sights on the AFC Champions League.

JDT are the reigning Malaysian Super League champions – a title which they retained in 2015. At the start of the 2015 season, the Southern Tigers won the Charity Shield – M-League’s curtain raiser by defeating Pahang 2-0. The win also counted towards Super League points.

However, JDT failed to land the FA Cup and also failed to get past the quarter-finals in the prestigious Malaysia Cup – Malaysia’s oldest football competition and the most sought after silverware in Malaysian football.

The Southern Tigers were knocked out by Felda United in the two-leg quarter-finals 3-2 on aggregate. It was a painful defeat for the Johor outfit because Felda’s 2-1 -win in the return-leg at the Larkin Stadium was JDT’s first at home since October 2013.

This shortcoming was made up by winning the AFC Cup. The Asian meet had until then been dominated by teams from the Middle East.

But this time around JDT clinched a 1-0 win over Istiklol FC in the city of Dushanbe in Tajikistan – which is another feather in the JDT cap. It signals of better things to come from the most consistent team in the M-League.

JDT have made minimal changes to their squad for the 2016 and coach Mario Gomez can work on continuity as he has a big squad at his disposal with Paulo Rangel as the latest addition to replace the much loved Luciano Figueroa who has retired.

Failure to win the Malaysia Cup was a disappointment but JDT’s Royal Patron HRH Brigadier-General Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, winning the AFC Cup was a high in his football transformation that has become the talk of the country.

The Larkin pitch is now the best football facility in the country. The Larkin Stadium is the envy of football teams and fans. The training facilities at the Seri Gelam Sports Complex facing the Johor Straits is second to none in the country.

The football atmosphere and environment is here at Larkin. The Johor fans and the people of Johor have virtually made football a religion. Football is the talk of the town – let it be in coffee-shops, offices, shopping complexes or even at homes.

Football fans and the people of Johor or rather BANGSA JOHOR proudly wear the Southern Tiger colours. They are the backbone of the team. The JDT colours of red and blue have become the hallmark everywhere.

To show their support for the team some business premises have also been painted red and blue while some have even turned their houses red and blue.

Football is has become a craze among the young and old in Johor – let it be towns, kampungs, villages or housing estates. JDT football paraphernalia sells like hot cakes and business is booming.

Come to the Larkin Stadium or the Pasir Gudang Stadium (which is the home of Premier League’s JDT II) on match days and seeing is believing when you see the carnival atmosphere.

Football has become a vital tool in Johor economy. More importantly football has brought the people of Johor together and Bangsa Johor is the pride of the state with HRH Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar the much-loved Ruler of Johor openly hailing Tunku Ismail for the football transformation in the state. 

JDT is set to take their game to a higher level in 2016.

THIS IS LARKIN – the pride of Johor.

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