Seasoned centreback Shukor Adan is gone. But no fear – Razman Roslan is ready to fill the void in the Melaka defence.
The 40-year-old Shukor has joined Premier League side Kuala Lumpur for the 2020 season, forcing Melaka to reshuffle their backline.
The versatile Razman, who can operate as a rightback or a centreback is expected to now man the backline with new signings Curran Singh Ferns, Khair Jones and Mohd Aizulridzwan Razali.
The 35-year-old Razman admitted that losing Shukor was a blow but the team have ample time to rebuild the new-look defence.
“Shukor is one of the greats in the country but I don’t think we are too affected by his departure… this is because we have around two months to prepare before the M-Lea-gue starts on Feb 28, ” said Razman.
“The key to coping with the vacuum left by Shukor is teamwork. We need everyone in defence to support each other.
“We have a number of new players but the good thing is they have played in the Super League before, so we can just focus on building team understanding.”
The former Selangor player is among the decorated players with Melaka. He featured for the Red Giants in two stints from 2005-2012 and 2016-2018, winning the Super League (2009 and 2010), Premier League (2005), Malaysia Cup (2005) and FA Cup (2005 and 2009).
Razman, who skippered Pahang to their FA Cup win in 2014 and the Malaysia Cup in 2013 and 2014, admitted his experience makes up for the lost pace.
He said having former international Zainal Abidin Hassan coaching the team for a second year was another advantage for the team.
“Players like Safiq Rahim, Khairul Fahmi Che Mat, Norazlan Razali have the experience of winning titles and we are still hungry for success and we want to win titles with Melaka, ” said Razman.
“The Melaka team management have assured us that the 2020 season budget is secure. The Melaka Football Association’s new management have settled most of the arrears.
“This season, the players can just focus on their performance as the off-pitch distractions are being solved. I believe we have the quality to challenge the top teams like Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT), Selangor, Kedah and Terengganu, ” said Razman.