KUALA LUMPUR (June 28): In a contest between two rivals familiar with each other, Frenz United Red has an added motivation ahead of the inaugural Frenz Trophy Under-14 final on Sunday.
Their opponents in the final at UiTM Shah Alam Stadium, which will be shown live over Astro Arena 801, are none other than Frenz United Blue, who won 2-1 the last time they met in a warm-up match ahead of the tournament.
With Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin expected to give away the prizes, Frenz United Red will be eager to end the competition on a winning note, especially after notching an impressive series of results en route to the final.
Coached by Mat Dinos Talib, Frenz United Red steamrolled past their group opponents, scoring 54 goals and conceded only two goals against SMK Meru in the semi-finals which was decided by penalty shootout last week.
Mat Dinos will be wary of the threat posed by Frenz United Blue, who overcame stiff resistance from Victoria Institution (VI) in the other semi-final.
Mat Dinos who spent a decade nurturing Selangor’s youngsters at SMK Projek 11 at Shah Alam, has dismissed the notion that the final outcome has been pre-determined.
“That’s nonsense. Nobody likes to lose and for any team that has advanced as far as the final, there’s no way you want to throw everything away,” said Mat Dinos.
“I have reminded my players we lost 2-1 to Frenz United Blue in a warm-up match prior to the tournament, so this final is an opportunity to turn the tables on them,” said Mat Dinos in a press conference ahead of Sunday’s final. Also present Frenz United president, Noor Ihsan A Hamid and Frenz United technical director, Omar Ali.
Central to Mat Dinos’ planning is captain-cum-top scorer, Muhammad Na’aim Abdul Razak, from Penang.
His 15 goals and numerous assists have been crucial to Frenz United Red’s relentless march to the final, aided by his fellow striker Hafizuddin Zuki.
Keeper Hazeq Nordin will need to call upon Mukhlis Nadzir who is set to be flanked by either Nik Shakir Zufayri Nik Min or Hafizi Salleh as the central defensive pairing.
Zolkipli who represented Kuala Lumpur and Malacca in the M-League in the 90s, expects a close encounter.
“We have been staying together since December 2011, the players know each other but friendship will be put aside as we seek a win,” said the former midfielder.
Like Mat Dinos who prefers the conventional 4-4-2 formation, Zolkipli adopts a four-man midfield of two central midfielders and two flankers, with Akhmal Haiqal Azhar, Ruzaini Rusli and Aidiel Nur Nikman Nekmat spearheading the offence while goalkeeper-cum-skipper Haikal Mohd Hisham keeping the opponents at bay.
Winners will receive RM50,000, runners-up RM25,000, third place RM15,000 and fourth place RM10,000.
Victoria Institution will take on SMK Meru in the third place decider on Friday.