IF it was not for the FA of Malaysia's (FAM) circular of Dec 23, Terengganu would have had to start their new season without any foreign signings. Thanks to the letter, which informed of an extension to register foreign players, Terengganu now have Liberian striker Francis Doe Forkey and Brazilian midfielder Erison Da Silva Santos in their squad.
Terengganu FA president Datuk Che Mat Jusoh said that according to the circular, Kelantan were permitted to register a maximum of two foreign players for the domestic league before tomorrow while Terengganu will have until Monday to do the same.
"We caught a break there and our problems regarding foreign players are now solved," said Che Mat at the contract signing ceremony for Terengganu and T-Team players in Batu Buruk, Kuala Terengganu on Tuesday.
Terengganu had originally picked Brazilian midfielder Tercio Nunes Machado and Gambian striker Mohamadou Suamareh just hours before the earlier deadline on Dec 8 but had to let them go soon after that.
"Machado's application to play in the Malaysian League was rejected by the FAM vetting committee while Suamareh failed to fit into the team," said Che Mat.
Che Mat, who is also team manager, said 26-year-old Forkey came highly recommended and Terengganu are lucky to have the services of the former D.C. United and Al Ahly striker.
"We knew he was our man after he went straight into the friendly match against Perlis barely hours of touching down in Kuala Terengganu, and he scored a hat-trick," said Che Mat.
"We hope to win one or two trophies this season and we are glad that Forkey and Da Silva, who is better known as 'Biano', will help us in our quest." Che Mat said Biano, 30, with his vast experience after playing professional football in Brazil, Mexico, Armenia, Romania and Bulgaria, will be an asset to the team.
"We are also playing in the AFC Cup this year, so we are not ruling out hiring another foreign player," added Che Mat, who many believe, was referring to defensive midfielder Antonio Rukavina from Croatia.
The 26-year-old former Rijeka player is currently training with the team but the manager said, Antonio's duty, should he be made a member of the team, will only be for the AFC Cup.