Pahang Football Association president Tengku Abdul Rahman Sultan Ahmad Shah admitted he would accept all the blame for Pahang’s inept performance last season.
“I am to blame…it was my mistake. I accept all criticism and accusations with an open heart. This year we are going to overcome all obstacles as I have started planning for the past eight or nine months,” said Tengku Abdul Rahman to about 10,000 Pahang fans who had gathered at the Temerloh Mini Stadium.
Tengku Abdul Rahman was speaking after introducing the new set of players for Pahang during the Festival Pahang Super Best at the Temerloh Stadium last night.
He said the clarification was necessary so that fans would continue to support the team that has come under the guidance of former National coach Dollah Salleh.
“During the course of my planning for the new season, there were many hurdles to cross since several senior players were poached by other teams and the players themselves had their own preference in search of greener pastures.
“We cannot blame the players because they were also looking at their future. Several players decided to join other teams but they did not give me a chance to discuss anything.
“However, I am glad that we are still playing in the Super League albeit with a team of young players. I therefore seek the support of the fans to give the young players a chance,” he said.
Dollah who has coached Pahang before, said his first task would be to make sure the players blended together as a team because there are no big names in the team.
“Initially the team was disorganised but after a few friendly matches, especially in Singapore, I can see improvement in all departments,” said Dollah, who was also present at the introduction ceremony.
Pahang has four import players, Mohamadou Sumareh, 23, a striker from Gambia, Julious Oiboh, 26, from Nigeria who had played for Thai Honda FC and BB-CU Thailand, Heo Jae Won, 32, from South Korea and Spain’s Fransisco Insa Bohigues, 28, who played in the Indonesian league.
The 11 new signings are Muhammad Zubir Azmi, 25, Ahmad Nordin Alias, 32, Joseph Kallang Tie, 29, Mohamad Ashari Samsudin, 31, Muslim Ahmad, 32, Wan Zaharul Nizam Wan Zakaria, 25, Ahmad Syamin Yahya, 27, Christie Jayaseelan, 30, Muhammad Nurridzuan Abu Hassan Shaari, 24 and Mohd Afif Amiruddin, 32.
Others in the squad are Wan Muhammad Azraie Wan Teh, 30, Mohd Helmi Eliza Elias, 33, Mohd Saufi Mohamad, 24, Mohd Saifulnizam Miswan, 36, Mohd Ashar Al Aafiz, 21, Mohd Faisal Mohd Rosli, 25, Matthew Thomas Davies, 21, Mohd Faizal Mohd Halim, 19, Mohd Nor Azam Azih, 22, Solomon Raj, 22, R. Dinesh, 19 and R. Kogileswaren, 19.