‘Recycling’ foreign players in Malaysian football

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‘Recycling’ foreign players in Malaysian football

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The Malaysian Football League is turning out to be a recycling centre for foreign players that are already in the country.

Those who left their respective clubs after the 2020 season have found it easy to switch teams within Malaysia.

A total of 13 import players will be lining up with a different employer when the 2021 Super League and Premier League campaigns begin in early March.  

Out of the 13, seven will feature in the top flight while another six will be playing in the second-tier Premier League.

Newly promoted Kuala Lumpur United have gone for players with Super League experience by taking on Mauritanian Dominique da Sylva from Terengganu FC and Colombian Romel Morales from Melaka United.

Kedah FC moved quickly to sign Lebanese winger Rabih Ataya, who proved to be a revelation with the surprise package UiTM FC last season. Moving out of Kedah is Singaporean defender Shakir Hamzah, who makes the short journey south to link up with Perak FC for the 2021 season.

The hard-tackling Englishman Lee Tuck, who proved to be a hit with Terengganu in the past two seasons, continues his adventure in the east coast, this time with Sri Pahang FC. Tuck will take over from the slot vacated by the England-born Philippines national player Adam Reed, who will be replacing Ataya at UiTM for the coming season.

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Tuck’s former club Terengganu have also gone for a proven player by taking on Namibian Petrus Shitembi, who had featured for Sabah in the top flight in 2020.

In the Premier League, three of the six ‘recycled’ players have ended up at Sarawak United. The Golden Hornbills signed former Selangor pair Taylor Regan of Australia and Brazilian Sandro da Silva. South Korean midfielder Lee Chang-hoon also joins them from the 2020 Premier League champions Penang.   

There is an ‘exchange’ of foreign defenders between Kelantan United and Kuching City, with Japanese Yuki Tanigawa heading to the peninsular while Brazilian Aylton Alemao crosses the South China Sea to Borneo.

Former Yokohama FC defender Masaki Watanabe of Japan joins Terengganu FC II after a season playing for Kelantan FC.


(Photo: Terengganu FC Facebook page)

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