FFT's foreign player survival guide: How to remain wanted in Malaysia

Seen as integral to a team’s fortunes, Malaysia Super League (MSL) clubs always seem to be in search of imported players. Here’s a guide on how foreign players can prolong their Malaysian stay…

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1. Hit the ground running

The over-reliance on imports means they are expected to have a purple patch right from the start of the season.

Make a good start and you are probably safe from the crazy mid-season transfer window, where Malaysian teams actively searching for replacements. Even teams that are strapped for cash and struggling to meet payment deadlines, or have salary arrears, somehow find enough money to make changes.

In 2016, only title contenders Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) and Felda United did not make mid-season purchases. A total of 19 changes were made by the 10 remaining teams.

Even 2015 MSL top-scorer Dramane Traore was shown the exit at Kelantan midway through the season after failing to score regularly since his move to PDRM for 2016. The Red Warriors claimed funds were depleting, but still proceeded with two new signings.

MSL teams are already making plans for the coming transfer window in May, with Felda coming out in the open to say all four imports may be changed, some of whom have only been around for little over three months

Imports that come to Malaysia will not get a honeymoon period. Forget the old cliché of needing time to settle down because there is none in Malaysia, especially when it comes to foreign flair.