THE battle for a starting spot in the Selangor team for the 2013 M-League season is expected to be keen after the former champions went on a major recruiting drive.
Former Liberia international Francis Forkey Doe, last season's top scorer in the Super League with 15 goals who completed his move from Terengganu recently, is among the 11 new signings.
Doe replaces Croatian Bosko Balaban who was not retained despite scoring 17 goals in all competitions last season.
Further strengthening the squad are national trainee S. Kunanlan from Negri Sembilan, S. Veenod (USM), Ramzul Zahini Adenan (Kelantan), Afiq Azmi (Kuala Lumpur), Raimi Md Nor (Felda United), Fairuz Abdul Aziz (Sime Darby), Sharbinee Allawee Ramli and Abdul Shukor Jusoh (Terengganu), and Young Tigers duo Mahalli Jasuli and V. Kavichelvan.
Amri Yahyah will regain the captain's armband while coach Irfan Bakti will wear two hats as he is now also the manager, taking over from Datuk Mokhtar Ahmad.
Others who were retained are Norazlan Razali, Fairul Azwan Shahrullai, Bunyamin Umar, Asraruddin Putra Omar, Nasriq Baharom, Adib Aizuddin Latif, K. Gurusamy, K. Solihin, Fitri Shazwan Raduwan, Wan Hoesne Wan Hussain and Lebanon centre-back Ramez Dayoub.
The Selangor fans are losing patience with their team who have failed to win a title since 2010, but FA secretary Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin is confident the drought will end when the new season starts on Jan 5.
"The newcomers are all quality signings, picked solely by Irfan. I believe we can win at least one title in 2013," said Hamidin yesterday.
"We hope that by giving Irfan full control of Selangor, he can help the team make an impression. Safiq and Azidan Sarudin were offered extensions but the duo decided to pack their bags."
Hamidin picked big spenders Johor, who have signed Spaniard David Guiza, as the favourites next season followed by reigning treble winners Kelantan and Armed Forces.
SELANGOR'S 2013 SQUAD -- Goalkeepers: Sharbinee Allawee Ramli, Norazlan Razali, Mohd Fairul Azwan Shahrullai.
Defenders: Nasriq Baharom, Ramez Jamal Dayoub, Asraruddin Putra Omar, Adib Aizuddin Ab Latif, Bunyamin bin Omar, Mahalli Jasuli, Fairuz Abdul Aziz.
Midfielders: K. Gurusamy Govandar, Fitri Syazwan Raduwan, K. Solihin, Abdul Shukur Jusoh, V. Kavichelvan, Mohd Raimi Md Nor, S. Kunanlan, S. Veenod.
Strikers: Wan Mohd Hoesne Wan Hussain, Amri Yahyah, Muhd Ramzul Zahini Adenan, Afiq Azmi, Francis Forkey Doe.