JDT set modest target for new M-League season

KUALA LUMPUR: Mighty Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) have set a modest target for the new M-League season, which kicks off on Friday with the Charity Shield match.

Last season, the Southern Tigers were unstoppable, winning all titles at stake with victories in the Charity Shield, Super League, FA Cup and Malaysia Cup.

However, JDT's main focus this season is the AFC Champions League (ACL), which they reached the last-16 last year.

JDT owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim has set a top-three target for the Super League.

For the record, JDT are the defending league champions, winning the title nine straight times.

JDT may sign former Manchester United forward Radamel Falcao to boost their chances in the ACL.

The Colombian's agent, Morris Pagniello, uploaded a picture of him and Falcao, tagging Tunku Ismail on Instagram. The Johor prince replied with a thumbs-up emoticon.

Falcao's inclusion as JDT's ninth foreign signing could become a reality as Brazilian Endrick dos Santos, who has played in the country for the last five season, qualify for Malaysian citizenship.

"This year, we hope to finish top three in the league and reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. We hope to expose our young players in the Malaysia Cup," said Tunku Ismail.

"The move will allow all of our players to get game time. Of course, we want to be competitive in the ACL. We will try our best to get past the group stage, and if luck is on our side, we hope to reach the quarter-finals."

Although JDT have set modest targets for domestic competitions, the club are still the favourites to retain their titles.

Esteban Solari's side will open their campaign in the Charity Shield on Friday against Terengganu at Sultan Ibrahim Stadium.

Solari hopes to officially begin his tenure with a bang with JDT in the season-opening match.

The Argentine coach will likely depend on Bergson da Silva to lead JDT's attack against the Turtles. The Brazilian striker fired 41 goals in 31 matches last season.

Among JDT's new signings this year are Juan Muniz, Dos Santos, Diogo Luis Santo, Oscar Arribas and goalkeeper Ahmad Syihan Hazmi Mohamed.

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