By ERIC SAMUEL
PETALING JAYA: Selangor’s prized signing S. Kunalan is racing against time to be fit for the Super League clash against treble winners Kelantan at the Shah Alam Stadium tomorrow.
The 25-year-old national flanker has been out of action for a month since picking up a groin injury early January.
“It’s a big game (against Kelantan) and the good news is that I’ve been training with the team for about a week now. I’ve made good progress and am eager to see action soon,” said a determined Kunalan.
Selangor coach Irfan Bakti will be keeping his fingers crossed that he’ll be able to field the fleet-footed Kunalan for tomorrow’s plum tie against the defending champions.
Irfan had said that it would make a big difference to have his best set of players available. Defender Bunyamin Umar is down with a knee injury while playmaker K. Gurusamy came on as a late substitute in their 3-0 win over Sabah in an FA Cup second round tie in Kota Kinabalu on Tuesday.
Gurusamy is trying to regain his old form after a nine-month layoff due to a knee surgery last May. He returned to competitive football on Jan 19 but aggravated his knee injury against Pahang.
Kunalan, who scored twice in his only two appearances for Selangor, is confident that the Red Giants will be a formidable force this season.
“I’m comfortable with my new team. I’ve scored two goals in two matches and I think I only managed a couple of goals for Negri the whole of last season. It’s a good start for me with Selangor … had it not been for the injury, I would not have missed the national call-up for the Asian Cup qualifying match against Qatar on Feb 6,” said Kunalan.
“It’s still not too late. I’m a fighter and will work my way up again. There is no pressure on me. I think Francis Doe is a good finisher and I should be able to complement him well in attack.
“It’s a long season and I believe Selangor can win at least one title this year.”
Selangor, who finished empty-handed the last two seasons, will begin their AFC Cup campaign against Kingfisher East Bengal FC at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata, West Bengal, on Feb 27.
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