By ERIC SAMUEL
PETALING JAYA: High-riding Kelantan are set to unleash their new striker Norsharul Idlan Talaha against Perlis in a Super League match at the Stadium Utama in Kangar tomorrow.
The former UPB-MyTeam FC striker, who played a key role in the national Under-23 squad’s success to win the SEA Games gold medal in Laos last month, was not fielded in Kelantan’s first two matches of the season against Terengganu (0-0) and Johor (3-0).
Coach B. Sathianathan said that he was in no hurry to throw his new star signing into the fray and he was working out a rotation system to utilise all 10 attacking players in the squad.
“We have depth in attacking players this season and I am working on a rotation system with two sets of strikers,” he said from Kota Baru yesterday.
Norsharul, a key figure in K. Rajagopal’s national Under-23 starting line-up at the Laos Games, has been warming the bench together with local hero Mohd Norfarhan Mohd, who single-handedly buried Perlis with a hat-trick in the return-leg of the Malaysia Cup semi-finals last year.
The other two new signings, former internationals Hairuddin Omar and Akmal Rizal Rakhli, featured in the matches against Terengganu and Johor.
“I may use a new set of strikers for the match against Perlis in Kangar,” said Sathianathan.
“It is difficult to gel the star players in a short period of time. It takes time for the strikers to forge a lethal combination. Every player will get his fair share of match time.”
Another new signing from Penang, S. Chanturu, has started in an attacking position on the flank together with skipper Mohd Badri Radzi and Indra Putra Mahayuddin.
The other attacking players in the side are Che Hishamuddin Hassan, Mohd Nizad Ayub and Mohd Ramzul.
“It is going to be a long season and I have not started with a few players in defence as well,” said Sathianathan of Mohd Zairul Fitree and Mohd Rizal Fahmi, who were regulars in the Red Warriors’ squad last season.
Another two regulars who have yet to start are Azlan Ahmad and Mohd Ramzul Zahini Adenan, who are on the mend after undergoing surgeries for knee injuries they picked up last season.
Kelantan also have other new signings in defenders S. Subramanian (Perak) and Azizi Mat Rose (Penang) and goalkeeper Syed Adney Syed Hussein (UPB-MyTeam).