Aqhari rallies Protectors to win it for club legend JJ as Young Lions await
While the Protectors are ruing the legendary full-back’s absence, they have to focus on the task at hand if they are to get ahead of Tampines Rovers in the race for second spot in the Singapore Premier League (SPL).
BACKGROUND: It was a real body blow for Home, with veteran defender Juma’at ruled out for the rest of the season after breaking his shin bone in a 10-1 friendly win over amateur side Jungfrau Punggol FC last week.
Accumulating 442 appearances in 11 seasons with the Protectors, the 34-year-old played a crucial role in helping the club to reach a second straight AFC Cup zonal final.
His experience will be sorely missed as Aidil Sharin’s men look to kick-start their stuttering SPL campaign and achieve back-to-back league wins for their first time this season.
Home put up a convincing display to down a much-improved Brunei DPMM FC side 3-1 a little over a week ago – a morale-boosting result as they look to chase down Tampines in second spot.
The uniformed outfit trail the Stags by eight points as they sit in fifth with 11 from eight games.
“To have JJ (Juma’at) out for the season affects all of us because he plays such an important role in this team as the father figure,” defender Aqhari Abdullah told FOX Sports Asia.
“Nonetheless we wish him a speedy recovery and we will play 100 percent in every game to get a win for him because I’m sure that’s what he wants us to do.
“It was a great feeling to beat a quality team like DPMM and it vindicated the hard work which we put in training. Albirex are cruising to another title from the looks of it and no one can stop them.
“For us, we aim to finish as high as possible and, of course, to play in the AFC Champions League qualifiers.”