Once again Sarawak will be chasing their dream of winning the Malaysia Cup.
After winning almost every trophy under the Malaysian sun — from the Borneo Cup to the FA Cup — it will be a dream come true for Sarawak to finally lift the most prestigious piece of silverware in the country.
Coach Robert Alberts believes it is just a matter of time before the East Malaysia side can lay their hands on the elusive trophy and the 59-year-old Dutch coach is not ruling out this year as their lucky year.
“This is the year we won the Premier League title in style, without losing a single game, and I do believe that my boys have what it takes to go all the way to the final and who knows, we may end up as champions.
“But that may just be wishful thinking on my part and as down-to-earth people we have to be realistic of our real chance in the competition being grouped together with Super League champions LionsXII and Perak, another heavyweight from the top league,” said Alberts.
The former coach of Indonesia champions Arema FC said it is fair to say that the team from Singapore are the favourites to go through to the next round and the rest of the teams have an equal chance of making the cut by finishing second.
“Sarawak and Kedah played in the lower league this season and we were pretty much unnoticed all season long by the media and football followers in this country.
“Hopefully, the other teams will not pay too much attention to us too and that may just make our work a little bit easier if we are being underestimated by the rest of the competing teams,” he said.
Alberts, when contacted in Kuala Lumpur yesterday, was full of praise for his players who worked very hard to put themselves back into the Super League next season.
“That was some feat that they achieved and I have no doubt that everybody will provide the same level of commitment in the coming Malaysia Cup tournament.
“We should not feel inferior to those playing in the Super League as I know the gap between the two leagues is not all that wide anymore and we have earned every right to fight for the Malaysia Cup after ending the league on an unbeaten run,” he said.
The coach said none of his players are injured and everyone can hardly wait to make the dream of winning the Malaysia Cup come true. By Zainuddin Muhammad