Asra joins Selangor training but not squad, insists Satiananthan


BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Although former Malaysia centre back Asraruddin Putra Omar has been seen training with his boyhood club Selangor recently, Red Giants boss B. Satiananthan has insisted that the defender is not joining the team anytime soon.

When met by Goal after conducting practice on Tuesday, the trainer explained that the 31-year old player is only joining their training, having last played professionally in years.

"Many people have got it wrong; Asra came up to me asking for help to lose weight, to get fit again, to train. Out of respect for an ex-national player and a former Selangor captain, I gave him a chance to train with us, similar to what [David] Beckham did at Arsenal (in 2013). And if he returns to his old self, why shouldn't I sign him? But to be honest, he still has a long way to go. 

"I didn't promise him anything apart from a training slot. Many other players have come up to me asking to join my training including foreign players, but were denied. Asra is training with us bearing the risks himself; he's not insured. I respect him and I've worked with him at the [Malaysia] national team

He however admitted to giving a chance to experienced left back Fitri Omar to trial with the club, along with two other experienced defenders.

"It's not just Fitri; there are two more players who are without a team at the moment, and they are on my radar. But what's important is our finances and the board's approval."

His search for more players is understandable, considering the latest addition to Selangor's crock list. Satiananthan revealed to Goal that winger Nor Hakim Hassan is unlikely to play this season, as he is carrying an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. But the trainer declined to go on the record to explain the circumstances behind the former Perak player's injury.

"He (Hakim) is confirmed to be out for the whole season."

Nor Hakim Hassan, Kedah v Perak, Malaysia Super League, 13 Jul 2019

Nor Hakim Hassan. Photo by Sports Regime

Bizarrely, he also took the time to expressed his outrage towards an online Berita Harian story. The January 11 story in Malay was published with the headline "Selangor akan cabar JDT - Sathia" (Selangor will challenge JDT - Sathia), and the former Malaysia head coach was not comfortable with the headline.

"I only told the reporter that we would challenge JDT for the Super League title, as will Perak, Kedah and Pahang, because we won't simply be pushovers. And then the reporter went and wrote [a headline that sounded like] we are throwing down the gauntlet at JDT."


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