EYE ON TREBLE: With the Super League title and FA Cup in the bag, Kelantan now want the Malaysia Cup
AFTER winning the Super League and FA Cup, Kelantan are out to emulate Kedah's treble of the 2007 and 2008 M-League seasons when the Malaysia Cup kicks off next month.
The east coast side's ambitious target could, however, be affected due to their involvement in the AFC Cup where they face Iraq's Arbil FC in a two-leg quarter-final on Sept 18 and Sept 25.
The Kelantan FA also wants its team to make their mark in the Asian-level competition. For the record, no Malaysian side have ever progressed beyond the quarter-finals.
Coach Bojan Hodak said Kelantan must look ahead following their back-to-back Super League titles.
"We are the strongest side in the M-League but it will not mean a thing if we fail in the Malaysia Cup which is the most prestigious tournament here," said Hodak yesterday.
"Our main target is the Malaysia Cup. But it does not mean we do not want to go far in the AFC Cup. We have a lot of quality in our squad to make impressions on both competitions."
Kelantan wrapped up their season on Saturday by overcoming Sarawak 3-1 in Kota Baru to maintain their unbeaten track record at home since May, 2011.
"It will be tight for us in September as we will be involved in two competitions. I will have to juggle my players to avoid fatigue and injuries. We have signed a Croatian to add depth in midfield," Hodak added.
Kelantan have lined up five imports -- Mohammed Ghaddar (Lebanon), Obina Nwaneri (Nigeria), Denny Antwi (Ghana), Mijo Didic (Croatia) and Keita Mandjou (Guinea) - for the AFC Cup.
They, however, should not be overconfident in the Malaysia Cup as traditional powerhouses Terengganu and Selangor will be strong contenders.
Terengganu will scout for a striker and a midfielder while Selangor have strengthened their strike force by signing Rozaimi Abdul Rahman on loan from Sabah.
"We have yet to decide on anything yet as far as loan signings are concerned but personally speaking, I would rather take a look at players from our President's Cup squad.
"We have quite a number of decent players here and some of them may be ready to be recruited into the first team," said Terengganu coach Peter Butler.
Selangor, meanwhile, will be desperate to win the Malaysia Cup for the first time since 2005 or risk a trophy-less season for a second straight year.
Coach Irfan Bakti will definitely be on his way out if he fails to steer Selangor to their 33rd Malaysia Cup.