# Australian Gary Philips is new Negri coach
# Negri also sign three Australian players
Negri Sembilan football has been in the dumps over the last few seasons but the former Malaysia Cup champions hope to change that this year after a massive revamp of the team.
The Premier League outfit are also hoping that reverting back to their old name as NEGRI SEMBILAN will bring a change of fortunes for the former Malaysia Cup champions.
Last year Negri Sembilan were known as NS Matrix – named after their main sponsor Matrix Concept Bhd. Matrix, however, remain Negri Sembilan’s main sponsor.
Negri Sembilan won the prestigious Malaysia Cup in 2009 and 2011. They were FA Cup champions in 2003 and 2010.
Australian Gary Philips is Negri Sembilan’s new coach and comes with M-League experience having coached Sabah before.
And Negri Sembilan are also looking at Aussie power for the desired results this year. Gary has signed three Australians and an Englishman for the foreign quota.
The Australians are striker Joel Chianese, who played for Sabah last season, and midfielder Andrew Nabbout, defender Taylor Reagan who has also been appointed the skipper. The 27-year-old Reagan played for Newcastle Jets FC in the Australian League. The Englishman is midfielder Alex Smith.
Also in the Negri Sembilan squad are two JDT II players – Daniel Ting and Kevin Gunter – who are on loan.
With Negri Sembilan going for young blood three players from the Under-21 team have also been promoted to the senior team. They are midfielders R. Aroon Kumar and Nizam Ruslan and striker Rahizi Rasib.
Last year Negri Sembilan could finish sixth in the Premier League under coach K. Devan who is now the coach of Kelantan. In the FA Cup they were second casualties and did not qualify for the Malaysia Cup.
Negri Sembilan FA president Datuk Seri Mohammad Hassan, who is also the Mentri Besar of Negri Sembilan, said for a start he wants the team qualify for the Malaysia Cup.
To add stability to the team Negri Sembilan have also roped in some experienced hands to guide the team. Among them are goalkeeper Syed Adney Syed Hussein, who last played for Armed Forces, defender Nasriq Baharom (from Felda United) and Selangor hitman Afiq Azmi.
“There is lot of passion in the team and I hope to bring back the fans to the stadium,” said Philips.
GOALKEEPERS: Syed Adney Syed Hussein, Afiff Aizad Azman, Kaharuddin Abdul Rahman
DEFENDERS: Taylor Regan, Ashmawi Yakin, Annas Rahmat, Shazlan Alias, Nasriq Baharom, Hariri Mohd Safii, Daniel Ting
MIDFIELDERS: Andrew Nabbout, Alex Smith, Sabri Sahar, Izzudin Zainuddin, R. Aroon Kumar, Khairul Anwar Shahrudin, Shahrul Iqwan Samsudin, Nizam Mohd Ruslan, Norfizzuan Jailani, Kevin Gunter
STRIKERS: Rahizi Rasib, Afiq Azmi, Joel Chianese