KUALA LUMPUR: Felda United’s Brazilian forward, Thiago Augusto Fernandes feels he still ‘owes’ the club as long as they have not won any silverware.
Therefore, he has set the target of lifting at least one piece of silverware for the coming season to repay his debt and also end The Fighters drought.
Thiago is the sole foreign player that has been retained from last season’s squad, and he acknowledges that Felda United have handed him a lifeline quite a few times throughout his career playing in Malaysia, so the time has come for him to repay their faith in him.
“During the 2016 season, even though I picked up a serious injury and was out of action for a lengthy period, Felda still retained my services. When I returned from injury I was loaned out to Kedah with whom I won the Malaysia Cup.
“Last season, they graciously opened their doors for me to make a return, even though initially I was not named in the squad, so it is high time that I repay them for keeping faith with me.
“As long as Felda United have not won any silverware, I consider it as a debt that I need to repay,” stressed Thiago.
He is very confident that the ‘Samba’ network that The Fighters’ now have within their ranks thanks to the recruitment of two other fellow Brazilians in Thiago Aquino Junior and Gilberto Fortunato, will enable them to have more of a positive impact for the coming season.
“My namesake Thiago is well versed with Malaysian football having turned out for rivals Perak for three seasons prior to joining us while Gilberto is no stranger either having played for PKNP last season,
“So there is no need for them to familiarise themselves as the three of us come from a country where the football culture is very strong,” said the 27-year-old who hails from Joinville in Brazil.
Thiago also expressed confidence in Felda’s other foreign import, Iain Ramsay, a Philippine international who has played for a few clubs in Australia’s A-League.
“We’ve got good foreign players in the team which is bolstered by locals such as Shukor Adan, Wan Zack (Haikal Wan Nor), Syamim (Yahya) who are proven seasoned campaigners.
“So I see no reason why Felda cannot win at least one piece of silverware for the coming season, because as a team we are more than capable of doing so,” said Thiago.