The club outfit is primed to go one step better than their quarter-finals appearance in 2013.
Home Ground: Selayang Stadium, Selayang
Nickname: The Giant Killers
Super League: 5th
FA Cup: Second Round
Last Season's Malaysia Cup: Quarter-finals
What happened in the league?
From languishing among the bottom four and struggling to avoid relegation, debutants Sime Darby FC rose from eighth in the league standings to a respectable fifth place finish, largely due to an excellent record at home, winning seven out of 11 contests at Selayang Stadium. Their season highlight came away from home, though, when they beat defending champions LionsXII at Jalan Besar.
League debutants bereft of big names that would become easy pickings for the top guns.
A cohesive unit that finished above the past two Super League champions, Kelantan and the LionsXII, they certainly achieved a no mean feat especially with less heralded players such as K. Prabakaran, Syukur Saidin, Fairuz Abdul Aziz, Fahrul Razi Kamaruddin and Azmirul Azmi as regulars in the starting line-up.
Strong team spirit and the presence of ex-internationals Yosri Derma Raju and Juzaili Samion at the back and Fadzli Saari in attack complements Uzbek schemer Dilshod Sharofetdinov’s moves, with Mateo Roskam’s signing in April the icing on the cake.
Without William Mensah, their defence lacks the physical strength and presence to deal with foreign attackers that may prove crucial.
The player to watch
Despite failing to find the back of the net after starring with a hat-trick in his debut against Kelantan, Roskam could very well be SDFC’s answer to Selangor’s Paulo Rangel.
A quiet figure off the pitch, Ismail Zakaria does things in an understated manner but commands respect from his players. In the process Ismail has established a respectable unit with a good mix of veterans, little-known players and emerging youngsters – two of them, Azmirul Azmi and Syukur Saidin, emerged from the youth ranks to become regulars in the side.
Group stage fixtures
Aug 14 – PDRM (H)
Aug 20 – T-Team (A)
Aug 23 – Selangor (H)
Aug 27 – Selangor (A)
Aug 30 – T-Team (H)
Sep 3 – PDRM (A)