PJ City's new faces hope to impress Pan Gon
WHEN the FA of Malaysia (FAM) want national players, where should they look in the M-League? Try PJ City FC as they are the only team around without import.
Being an all-local cast, PJ City players get more playing time in the league, much to the envy of others from rival teams.
In this aspect, PJ City's latest signings, S. Kumaahran and Nasir Basharudin hope to get the attention of new national coach Kim Pan Gon.
For 25-year-old Kumaahran, his last national call-up for the senior team was in 2020 as a reserve, but he was taken out later due to injury.
Previously, the striker had made eight impressive appearances for the national Under-23 team, scoring thrice in two competitions, the 2015 Bangabandhu Cup and 2017 Dubai Cup.
Now, Penang-born Kumaahran, who scored six goals for Melaka United last season, is all fired up to sparkle for PJ City this year.
Kumaahran aims to score at least 10 goals this season to help the Phoenix meet their target of finishing in the Super League top five.
"It is a realistic target. You can't say just because the team don't have any import players, they cannot go far. PJ City proved otherwise last year by finishing a commendable seventh," he said.
"The PJ City team work hard and are disciplined. I am going to work hard, get extra training in dribbling and shooting."
Kumaahran is looking forward to forge a potent PJ City attack with veterans Khyril Muhymeen Zambri, Mahali Jasuli and Darren Lok.
Meanwhile, former Terengganu midfielder Nasir said he hopes to get noticed by Pan Gon for national duty after moving to PJ City.
"For this season, I would like to get more playing minutes. If there is a chance, I would like to get into the national team," he said.
"Terengganu were more on technical play whereas here (PJ City) it's more physical. I think I can click with the team's philosophy.
"I have played with about 40 per cent of the PJ City players before. With consistency, we can finish in the top five."