* Loyalty and love for homestate does not exist for Farhan
* We ‘bailed him out” from JDT last season
* Terengganu aim to win at least one trophy in 2015
TERENGGANU chief coach Abdul Rahman Ibrahim took over the team’s training only recently after returning from Umrah (mini-haj) from Mecca and fondly talks of Terengganu’s hopes and aspiration in the 2015 M-League season after signing three new foreigners to add more depth to the Turtles.
However, one name stands out as he talks about Terengganu football – national striker Nor Farhan Muhammad, 30. The football nomad has returned to neighbours Kelantan for his third stint with the Red Warriors after playing for his homestate Terengganu last season. Farhan turned out to be Terengganu’s top scorer with eight goals in all competitions – seven in the league and one in the Malaysia Cup.
The Turtles finished fourth in the 12-team Super League and reached the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals but were shown the exit by Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) who call themselves as “Southern Tigers” 3-1 on aggregate. The first-leg at the Sultan Ismail Nasiruddin Shah Stadium in Kuala Lumpur ended scoreless but JDT showed their might with a 3-1 win in the return-leg at the Larkin Stadium.
“It’s no point talking about Farhan. He has no loyalty and love for his home-state…he is a ‘businessman’ and let’s leave it at that. He forgot that Terengganu ‘bailed him out’ from JDT (he had also signed up for the Johor outfit apart from Terengganu),” said Abdul Rahman, with a tinge of disappointment.
Apart from Terengganu and Kelantan, Nor Farhan also had stints with Police and T-Team.
“”We are quite disappointed with his move to Kelantan after helping him out when he needed help. However, we are not letting this stand in our hopes and aspirations for the new season. I believe we should be able to win at least one trophy with the present set of players, especially the three new foreigners plus (Vincent) Bikana.”
Abdul Rahman was obviously referring to last season’s Golden Boot winner Paulo Rangel (16 goals) who played for Selangor last year, Lebanese hitman Hassan Chaito and Argentine midfielder Gustavo Lopez. Terengganu have retained the services of Cameroon defender Vincent Bikana.
Paulo comes with a proven track record as a goal poacher while the 25-year-old Lebanese international Hassan, is also reputed to be a deadly finisher. The 31-year-old Lopez last played for Indonesian premier club Arema Cronus.
With Zairo Anuar, Ashaari Samsudin, Manaf Mamat, who were the next top scorers with six goals each last season, Abdul Rahman, popularly known as “Cikgu” is confident the Turtles should be able to hold their own in the M-League. Zairo is also the skipper for 2015 while Ismail Faruqi is the vice-captain.
“We need to work on the fitness and raise our competitive level to match the big guns like JDT, Pahang, Kelantan and Selangor,” added Abdul Rahman, who took over the hot seat last season.
Terengganu won the Malaysia Cup once (2001) and finished runners-up in 1973, 1982, 1998 and 2011. The East Coast powerhouse won the FA Cup in 2000 and 2011 and the Charity Shield in 2001.
In last season’s FA Cup, cleared the first round with ease with a 4-0 win over Shahzan Muda but suffered a surprise defeat in the second round, losing 2-1 to PKNS.