In a sudden turn of events newly crowned Malaysia Cup champions Selangor have offered towering Australian defender Robert Cornthwaite a new contract for the 2016 M=League season.
This came in the wake of Cornthwaite confirming earlier that his contract has not been renewed. This drew a strong protest from the Selangor fans who feel that the Australian played a major role for the Red Giants highly successful season. – accomplishing their long awaited “Mission 33” in winning the prestigious Malaysia Cup.
Next season Selangor will also play in the AFC Cup after being elevated to second place in the 12-team Super League when Pahang were docked six points on the orders of FIFA for not paying one of their foreign players.
This relegated Pahang to third place in the Super League.
While it was good news for Cornthwaite there was more good news for the Red Giant fans when team manager Amirudin Shari confirmed on Friday that Selangor have brought on board four key players from Pahang for their campaign next season.
The four are Pahang skipper Razman Roslan (defender), midfielder and dead ball specialist Hafiz Kamal, R. Gopinathan (flanker) and goalkeeper Khairul Azhan Khalid.
Selangor have also retained popular Indonesian international Andik Vermansyah – another key player with the Red Giants – as one of the two foreign players in the team.
In this year’s Malaysia Cup final played at the Shah Alam Stadium on Dec 12 the Red Giants snuffed out Premier League champions Kedah 2-0 with Ahmad Hazwan Bakri scoring both goals.
The signing of the four pillars from Pahang will certainly strengthen Selangor next season and more can be expected from the former kingpins in Malaysian football.
Meanwhile, head coach Mehmet Durakovic who still has a one contract with Selangor which ends at the end of 2016, is still not sure of his job despite winning the Malaysia Cup – the most sought after silverware in Malaysian football.
Former Pahang head coach Zainal Abidin Hassan, who has quit the Elephants, has been linked to his homestate. There are rumours that Mehmet Durakovic could be appointed as the Selangor FA’s coaching director while Zainal will take over the hot-seat.