Hungry Kedah ‘good for more trophies’, says returning forward Sandro
Sandro was deregistered from Kedah’s squad in the mid-season window last year because of a persistent back injury, one that required surgery back home in Brazil.
The deep-lying forward was among Tan Cheng Hoe’s first of signings when the former Malaysia assistant coach arrived mid-way through the 2015 season. Sandro went on to score eight goals in the Malaysia Cup – joint-top with Thiago Fernandes – as Kedah reached the final, only to lose out to Selangor.
Kedah got their revenge on Selangor in the 2016 edition but by which time Fernandes had arrived on loan to replace Sandro.
Such was his impact prior to his injury that Tan welcomed the 33-year-old back in Alor Setar this season with open arms.
“It wasn’t easy sitting out for so long … football is my life, but it wasn’t easy coming back too. The 2017 opener against Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) was my first competitive action in nine months,” Sandro told FourFourTwo.
“Ironically, JDT were also our opponents in the first match I missed when injured last year. We had won the first-leg of the FA Cup semi-final in Alor Setar but I couldn’t play in the return leg. So to come back to the same stadium and lift the Sultan Ahmad Shah Cup was a nice feeling.
“I feel 100 percent now … it was a small operation in Brazil and I did my rehab there too. I have to regain my match fitness though. That should come as I get more matches under my belt.”
Kedah good for more trophies
Having built a partnership with Carlos Kahe in 2016, Sandro is now paired with Danish new signing Ken Ilso, who arrived from S. League’s Home United with a reputation of being a goal-getter.
The pair did not seem in sync during the 2017 season opener against JDT at the Larkin Stadium on January 20 but still had reasons to celebrate by the end of the night.
Kedah drew with JDT 1-1 in regulation time to deny JDT a 11th straight home win in the Malaysia Super League (MSL) and went on to lift the Sultan Ahmad Shah Cup after prevailing 5-4 in the shootout, denying JDT an eighth trophy under Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim’s control.
Sandro feels the Red Eagles have more fine tuning to do after a few changes in the squad but he believes his teammates are capable of delivering more trophies.
I hope the Sultan Ahmad Shah Cup is the start and we win more trophies
“I hope the Sultan Ahmad Shah Cup is the start and we win more trophies. There are three more competitions and it’ll be great to win at least one of it,” said Sandro.
“There is more pressure because Kedah won the Malaysia Cup last year but that is good and hopefully we can strive under pressure to win matches. Each win brings us closer to trophies … I want us to keep thinking of that and push ourselves.
“I love Kedah. It’s been two great years already. The fans are great, good teammates and the coaches are amazing. Simply put, everything is great and this motivates me.”