PETALING JAYA: High-riding Kelantan are aiming for the double this season.
Skipper Mohd Badhri Radzi said that they can improve on the one trophy they won last year in lifting the prestigious Malaysia Cup for Kelantan for the first time since 1921.
“I won’t be surprise if we achieve the double. We have the fans behind us and we are getting better and better since the start of the season. We should make an impact again,” said Mohd Badhri from Kota Baru yesterday,
Kelantan got off to a great start this season when they defeated Selangor (2-0) to take the Charity Shield in January. In the FA Cup, they are down to play against Selangor in the semi-finals in May.
Mohd Badhri, who is known as Piya by his fans, said that the team under coach M. Karathu had grown in strength and would be making a strong claim for the Super League title as well.
Kelantan are now the leaders in the 14-team competition on 14 points after seven matches on better goal difference against Felda United and Selangor.
“If we get past Selangor in the semi-finals, we should win the FA Cup. We are also in strong contention for the Super League title but it is still early on in the season. But we will not lose focus and be consistent in our performances,” said the influential midfielder.
In fact, Kelantan have an axe to grind in the FA Cup against Selangor, whom they lost to in the 2009 final. Selangor won 4-1 in a penalty shootout after the match ended 1-1 after extra-time.
Mohd Badhri said that the team had not lost their shape this season even after the departure of several seasoned players, including Indra Putra Mahayuddin, Mohd Norfarhan Mohd, Mohd Azizi Mat Rose, Akmal Rizal Rakhli and Hairuddin Omar.
“We have managed well and hope to maintain the strong showing,” said Mohd Badhri, who credited new signings K. Soley and Nurul Azwan Roya, who have fitted in well.
The Kelantan FA (Kafa) expect to rake in a record of more than RM5mil from ticket sales at the Sultan Mohd IV Stadium this season.
Team manager Azman Ibrahim said that they collected RM4mil last season and thus far this year, they have about RM1.5mil from five outings in Kota Baru, which drew an average of 15,000 fans per match.