Kuala Lumpur was demoted to the second-tier Premier League after a horrible season last year – finishing at the bottom of the 12-team Super League- and three change of coaches.
However, KL has moved in fast and has lined up a new team that brings a wealth of experience and has a new head coach in Nidzam Adzha Yusof.
The 51-year-old Nidzam was with Melaka United last season as an assistant to Zainal Abidin Hassan. He was also Kedah head coach at one time when Tan Cheng Hoe, the current national coach, left the post vacant after accepting national duty.
Kuala Lumpur FA president Khalid Abdul Samad, who is also the Federal Territories Minister, who attended a signing ceremony for the players at the KLFA Stadium in Cheras on Wednesday said:
“We have the players…players who bring with them a wealth of experience and we should fight for promotion to the Super League for the 2021 season,” said Khalid.
Former international the evergreen Shukor Adan, who skippered Melaka United last season, has signed up for the City Boys at the age of 40. KL has retained another evergreen ex-international Indra Putra Mahayuddin, 38, who has not lost his scoring touch.
Another ex-international who has come on board with KL is S. Subramaniam and Akram Mahinan. Other newcomers in the team include Sean Gianelli and Qayyum Marjoni.
Two foreign players – Brazilian midfielder Paulo Josue who is into his fourth season with the city team while Kyrgyzstan defender Azamat Baimatov a new signing – were among those who penned their signatures on the dotted line on Wednesday.
On the waiting list are two other foreigners – Ivory Coast striker Davy Angan who donned Melaka United colors last season and Frenchman Guy Gnabouyou.
Nidzam has put the duo on the waiting list and will decide on them after Friday’s friendly match against UiTM FC.
For the new season, KL has also lost national defender Irfan Zakaria who has moved to Kedah and hitman Guilherme de Paul who has signed up for Perak.
Two defenders Luke Woodland and Noh Haeng-Seok have also been released.
“It will be a tough journey but I have accepted the challenge to take the team to a top-two finish and gain promotion to the Super League,” said Nidzam. RIZAL ABDULLAH