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Pahang Rangers FC president Tengku Fahd Mua’adzam Shah Sultan Ahmad Shah (sitting, centre) with the participants of the AFC Level One coaching course in Kuantan yesterday. PIC BY ASROL AWANG

PAHANG Rangers FC (PRFC) hope to qualify for next year’s AFC Futsal Club Championship.

After finishing second behind Selangor in last season’s Malaysia Premier Futsal League (MPFL), the east coast side have started preparing for this year’s challenge by hiring Spanish-born coach Gerard Ullastre and signing seven national players.

PRFC president Tengku Fahd Mua’adzam Shah Sultan Ahmad Shah hopes his team will be able to win the league and represent the country in next year’s AFC Futsal tournament.

“I believe we can become champions as we have assembled a strong team. It is now in the hands of the players to deliver.

“We were unlucky last season as we lost the title despite starting well. I think other teams are equally prepared for the new season, so we need to be at our best to win it,” he told reporters after opening the AFC Level One coaching course in Kuantan yesterday.

Tengku Fahd said Ullastre, who used to coach Kuwait’s Al Arabi SC, is expected to take charge of PRFC on Jan 28 ahead of the MPFL (March 14-Sept 30).

The new recruits are Khairul Effendy Bahrin, Saiful Nizam Ali, Harith Naim Nasir, Abu Haniffa Hasan, Azwann Ismail, Syafiq Hamzah and Awalluddin Mat Nawi.

The club is expected to sign another national player soon.

Tengku Fahd also revealed that PRFC will sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Spain’s Levante UD in Putrajaya tomorrow.

PRFC will also ink a MoU with Thailand’s Chonburi FC soon.

“These initiatives will allow us to look into ways to improve the quality of our players. We plan to send young players to Spain and Thailand for training stints,” Tengku Fahd added.

“Our coaches will be also sent to Levante to learn about the modern aspects of the game.

“We have big plans for our youngsters in the hope they will develop into better players.”

National futsal coach Chiew Chun Yong praised PRFC for their initiatives to develop the game in the country.

“PRFC have a vision. They want to invest in grassroots development. The MoU initiative will serve as a step forward to help local players progress in the sport,” he said.

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