Selangor coach B. Satianathan is at a loss with the turn of events that have hit the Red Giants with new signing Norhakim Hassan from Perak ruled out for the rest of the season even before the season gets underway next month.
The 28-year-old Norhakim who operates as a left-winger was discovered to be carrying nursing an Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and has yet to fully recover. He sustained the injury while playing for Perak and the injury kept him out of the Perak team towards the end of the season and the Malaysia Cup.
To make matters Spaniard Rufino Segovia who sat out a major part of the 2019 season after picking up an Achilles Tendon tear in March, was to have featured in Satianathan’s match plans this year.
However, an unfit Rufino has not been able to train with the Red Giants. According to Satianathan, the player who has a contract with the Red Giants that runs through 2020 has only been training “on his own” and is unlikely to return to the Super League action.
Selangor’s training has not been smooth either. Two key players – Australian skipper Taylor Regan and new signing, Singapore international Safuwan Baharudin – only joined the team recently after taking time off to be with their newborn in Australia and Singapore respectively.
Meanwhile, Satianathan will use Asia Challenge on Jan 18 and 19 -featuring Selangor, Persib Bandung (Indonesia), Bangkok United (Thailand) and Hanoi Football Club to test his players.
The Red Giants will also play in the Meizhou Hakka Cup tournament in Wunhua, Guangzhou in China later this month as part of the team’s preparations.
It will be a tough, tough start for Satianathan his Red Giants to the new season. The Klang Valley giants will open their campaign with an away match against traditional rivals Pahang on Feb 29, followed by a home match against Perak (March 7) and Terengganu away (March 11).
Selangor will then travel to Alor Setar to play Kedah (March 15).- BY RIZAL ABDULLAH