The Red Giants finished a creditable third in the Super League last season and made the Malaysia Cup semi-finals before bowing out to eventual champions Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) but it was not smooth sailing for Selangor this year.
However, head coach B. Satianathan has plugged the nagging issues of last season and is looking at a smoother run in 2020 and believes he has the material at his disposal to challenge for honors with an eye on making the AFC Champions League.
The return of Spanish hitman Rufino Segovia is a big boost for Satianathan and the company. The 34-year-old Segovia sat out last season due to an Achilles tendon injury but has a contract with Selangor that runs through 2020.
The Spaniard who is best remembered for winning the Super League Golden Boot Award in 2018 and also the Best Foreign Player Award the same year.
The movement of players for the new season Satianathan “buy of the season” must be national footballer Brendan Gan from Perak and Singapore international Safuwan Baharudin who played for Pahang last season.
He has also roped another Perak asset Norhakim Hassan and three players from PKNS FC – Taufik AR Rasyid Johar (goalkeeper), Nicholas Ryan Swirad (centreback), Ghanaian Rodney Celvin Akwensivie (centreback).
Selangor has retained the services of Australian Taylor Regan who is also the team skipper, Nigerian hitman Ifedayo Olusegun, Brazilian striker Sandro da Silva Mendonca.
Training for Selangor began on Dec 10 and the Red Giants will compete in a quadrangular in China from Jan 24-29 as their final lap of preparations. The other teams competing in Meizhou Hakka Cup in Meizhou are Thailand’s Chonburi FC, Korean club Sangju Sangmu and home team Meizhou Hakka FC.
“It has been smooth going into training. I was rather surprised that all the players have kept themselves fit during the break. This is a plus factor as we did not waste time in getting the basics done,” said Satianathan. – BY RIZAL ABDULLAH