|Sime Darby FC president Tengku Ahmad Shah sharing a light moment with the players at the Sime Darby Convention Centre in Bukit Kiara yesterday. Pic by Yazit Razali|
SIME Darby FC are aiming for a top two finish in the 2012 Premier League, a target which coach Ismail Zakaria is confident is within reach.
Sime Darby have strengthened their squad and Ismail believes his team will build on last season's experience.
Sime Darby started off well in their debut last season before losing pace and finishing fifth.
Other teams, however, took notice of Sime Darby's potential when they defeated Pahang 6-0 on aggregate in a two-leg play off tie to qualify for the Malaysia Cup.
Ismail said his team were now wiser and stronger.
"We had problems with injuries towards the end of last season, which eventually cost us a fighting chance of earning promotion," said Ismail at the unveiling of the team at the Sime Darby Convention Centre in Bukit Kiara yesterday.
"As for this season, we have strengthened our squad with several new signings in the midfield and forward positions."
Among the new faces are two Liberian internationals -- striker Patrick Ronaldinho Wleh and midfielder Sengbah Kennedy.
On the team's target, Ismail said his team were the favourites to earn promotion.
"It will be tough as not only do we have to be wary of big spenders Armed Forces, we also need to watch out for three state teams -- Johor, Pahang and Perlis," he said.
Ismail said his team's preparation for the season was on track.
"Our players, including the newcomers, are beginning to play as an unit. We had a few good results in friendly matches and it should give my players some confidence ahead of the season.
"However, I need to work on several aspects of the game that they are weak in," added Ismail.
The Premier League kicks off on Jan 9 and ends on July 13. The fixtures will be released on Friday. By Ajitpal Singh