Talking Points: Trouble at Kelantan, the lure of Thailand and Figueroa’s return

Here are FFT’s observations from an eventful week which also saw the return of the Malaysia Cup on Saturday.

JDT’S DEPTH TOO HOT TO HANDLE

This could be the year the Southern Tigers finally land the Malaysia Cup, the only piece of silverware missing from their trophy cabinet.

Having disregarded the competition in previous years because of AFC Cup commitments during the same period, the club does not have any distractions after securing a record fourth MSL title and getting knocked out of Asia early this year.

The JDT quartet would waltz their way into many a starting line-up

Portuguese coach Ulisses Morais still did not see it necessary to field his strongest 11 against Selangor, but JDT ended up 3-1 winners anway.

The likes of Hasbullah Abu Bakar, Nazmi Faiz Mansor, Gary Steven Robbat and Junior Eldstal took the field and although the quartet are not part of JDT's strongest team, they would still waltz their way into many a starting line-up.

WANTED IN THAILAND?

There may yet be a silver lining to Malaysia’s commendable run to the SEA Games final, where they fell to three-time consecutive winners Thailand.

Local press reported that the likes of N. Thanabalan, skipper Adib Zainuddin, Adam Nor Azlin, Syamer Kutty Abba, Nor Azam Abdul Azih and Jafri Firdaus Chew are attracting interest from Malaysia’s northern neighbours, who have undoubtedly the best league in the region.

Thanabalan is a player in demand after his SEA Games exploits

This follows the Thailand Premier League’s decision to open its doors to Southeast Asian players and introduce an ASEAN import slot starting with the 2018 season.

Tournament joint-top scorer Thanabalan has already openly stated his desire to move and the rest would be wise to heed offers in coming months.