|Replacement for Salle Kone. Credit to Aiok CanonFreak|
KUCHING: With injury uncertainties hanging over their Cameroon striker Kalle Sone, Sarawak have called up a Croatian striker Vedran Muratovic, 28, as a replacement, pending Kalle’s medical and other agreement.
The need to sign a replacement striker was exacerbated by the groin injury suffered by Kalle, whose absence was greatly felt in the last home defeat to Terengganu.
Before that, Kalle, a Cameroon Olympic striker who had played in the European league in Romania, had been missing in Sarawak’s first match against Kuala Lumpur and Sabah.
Verdan, who had played in France, was available after he called the agent Jules Onana who was a friend to Sarawak coach Robert Alberts of his predicament – after he was given promises to play in Indonesia but the promise was not fulfilled.
“In the interest of the whole team and the new FAM ruling that allowed such a replacement in case of injury to a foreign player, this player was available and the fact that for the last two matches we need a foreign striker badly.
“This Croatian player never played for his national team but he had played at the club level in France and is an out-and-out striker highly recommended by my agent and friend.
“He met all the requirments we look for in a foreign striker.
“He had come to Indonesia to play for the club and they had given him promises but when he arrived, it was all promises, promises,” said Alberts who had seen videos of him and all that is needed to be done is the documents to be submitted to FAM and the medical.
If all is well with the Croatian player, who would be flying in last night (Wednesday night) and only be available in the match after the Chinese New Year against Negri Sembilan, if it goes according to plan.
On Kalle, Alberts said the Sarawak FA management had discussed with him expressing their concern over his injury problem and Kalle understood the situation.
“It was unfortunate, he (Kalle) came to Sarawak but nobody expected this to happen.
“We are all very sad for Kalle as he’d shown the class but we’ve to think of the team as he had already missed three matches and might be missing four or even six matches.
And that will be one-third of the season gone.”