BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Heading into his second season at Selangor, Australian centre back Taylor Regan will put on another hat at the club.
This year he will takeover the role of team skipper, following the departure of veteran forward Amri Yahyah.
Over the weekend he featured for the Red Giants in the 2020 Asia Challenge, helping the team reach second place in the pre-season tournament that the club organised. He even scored their first goal in the two-day tournament, scoring in the 10th minute of their Saturday encounter against Indonesia's Persib Bandung.
Despite losing in the second match to True Bangkok United 4-2 on penalties, the tough-tackling defender was pleased with how the team's preparations are shaping up.
"We have to be happy. Results-wise, we drew 1-1 against Hanoi FC (another Asia challenge participant) in a separate, closed-door friendly match. We were leading and only conceded a late equaliser when it was mostly the young boys playing in the second half.
"Our performance against Persib (3-0 win) in the first half was dominant. And tonight, we took on a good team composed mostly of mixed-heritage players. We're happy, as we can't really be measured by our success in pre-season, only by how we play at the start of the season. For now we just have to keep working to make sure that when we show up for the first match, we know that we've done everything that we can," said the former Negeri Sembilan man.
Asked by Goal about his new role as team skipper, Regan remarked that he is relishing the chance to help the progress of the younger defenders on their roster, utilising his vocal nature.
"I've always been a bit of a bigmouth and as a kid I used to get in trouble for talking too much. But on the pitch it helps me organise things at the back, and it's always good for me to be able to talk, especially now that I can speak a little Bahasa (Malay). I see myself as a leader, I'm 31 years old, I'm at the back, and I've captained every professional team I've played for; Newcastle Jets, Negeri Sembilan, vice captain at Adelaide United, and now I'm captain at Selangor.
"Don't get me wrong, the captain is rarely the best player... but I'm not scared to say what I have to say, to whoever I have to say it. And it will also help the team to know that if they need somebody to fight for them, then I'll fight for them.
Regan at Newcastle. Photo by Ashley Feder/Getty Images
"Last year I arrived very late in the pre-season, so I was a little bit quiet. But this year I've been here from the first day so I get to speak and help these boys every day. Ashmawi [Yakin], Tamil [Maran], these players understand their roles this year.
"We have a good squad like the coach (B. Satiananthan) said, we want to fight and work together. Right now, I can't tell who'll get to play on matchday one [of the Super League] whereas last season it was a little more obvious. It'll be difficult for the coach to pick his first 11, even first 18. The young kids [Mukhairi] Ajmal, Azrin [Afiq], I've only heard about them one week earlier, but they've come in now and I wouldn't want to be the coach!" he remarked.
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