Selangor coach P. Maniam believes his two Indonesian imports – Evan Dimas and Ilham Armaiyn – will be a hit in the 2018 Malaysia Super League season.
Widely regarded as one of Malaysia’s biggest teams, Selangor are looking to rebound from a disappointing season which saw them finish 6th in the 12-team Super League – 16 points behind champions Johor Darul Ta’zim.
Already, the Red Giants have rung the changes ahead of the new campaign, raiding the Indonesian Liga 1 by signing Evan and Ilham from champions Bhayangkara, as well as ex-Persija Jakarta centre-back Willian Pacheco.
Selangor have a long history of success with Indonesian imports, with legendary names like Elie Aiboy and Bambang Pamungkas still adored by the Shah Alam faithful, while winger Andik Vermansyah was a more recent fan favourite.
And while Maniam believes it is unfair to heap excessive expectations on their newest arrivals, he sees no reason why they cannot play a big part in the team’s revival.
“Of course, if you look at the examples of Bambang and Elie, both were good players who came to us with plenty of experience,” said Maniam, according to Berita Harian.
“We cannot compare them with Dimas and Ilham because both of them are new imports who are still young, and on their way to becoming household names.
“What’s important is that we give them time to continue developing their talent and adapt to Malaysian football.
“I’m confident that Ilham and Dimas will both be Selangor’s new assets because both have a high level of technical ability, with Ilham’s style of play similar to Andik.
“That’s why we have brought both of them here and, at the same time, we hope Indonesians in Malaysia will also come to cheer them on.”
Photo credit: Instagram (@evhandimas)