Difficult to get players in top shape if Super League starts early

TERENGGANU FC (TFC) head coach Mohd Nafuzi bin Mohd Zain admits it will be extremely difficult to get his players in top physical condition should the 2020 Super League resume in August instead of September as planned.

But being the true professional that he is, he said TFC will ensure its players will be up and running for the league, irrespective of when it resumes as decided by the Malaysian Football League (MFL).

TFC and Petaling Jaya City FC still have eight matches to go compared to the other 10 teams in the Super League, which have seven games left. The Malaysia League (M-League) was suspended in March following the implementation of the Movement Control Order.

“If the Super League resumes in August, it means we will have between six and seven weeks to train and get ready.

“In terms of training, we will monitor their development from time to time. But if we are allowed to conduct normal training (which includes body contact), then it will be better,” he said when contacted yesterday.

Asked about playing behind closed doors when the league resumes, Mohd Nafuzi said it won’t matter much as the players will be just as committed and determined to win as many matches as possible from their remaining eight games.

TFC currently sits in ninth spot in the 12-team Super League with four points from one win, one draw and one loss.

On a separate note, Perak striker Muhammad Shahrel Fikri Md Fauzi feels that his team is on the right track to challenge Johor Darul Ta’zim FC (JDT) for this season’s Super League title when the M-League resumes.

Perak, which won two matches and drew two in the first four matches before the league was postponed, is in the second spot in the 12-team Super League standings — just two points behind leaders JDT, which have 10 points.

To do that, he is aware that Perak must win their four home matches from the remaining seven games after the MFL changed the format of competition to just 11 matches instead of the usual 22.

“If we can get maximum points from our home games, then our chances (of winning the league title) will be brighter,” the 25-year- old told Bernama yesterday.

But that’s not all that’s on Muhammad Shahrel’s mind as he’s also gunning to bag this season’s Golden Boot award as the top scorer.

TFC’s Abdul Hadi Yahya is the last local player to have won the Golden Boot award when he netted 20 goals in 2011. — Bernama