Season 4 – Penang, Malaysian Super League
Media Prediction – 11th from 14
Title Odds – 300/1
Promising striker – season loan to Johor (MSL cannon fodder) to gain experience
Malaysian Super League
Well. We’d need my strikers to hit the ground running if we’d meet my expectations this season. With 7 games gone, my five strikers had contributed a staggering ONE goal.
However, my midfield had chipped in and we were comfortable in 7th. With six points seperating the top ten, the season could go either way.
Half way through, and we found ourself 5th. The league hadn’t spread out much, with leaders Kelantan on 26 points, 3rd through 5th on 21 points on 8th placed Johor on 19.
My Argentinian had scored one goal, my record signing four, and if they could start hitting the net, we could mount an unlikely assault on the top three.
June saw two games that could define my season. We faced Kelantan (2nd) and Johor FC (1st). Two wins would put us right amongst the title contenders. A 4-1 away hammering of Kelantan showed we meant business, but Johor FC stole the points on our patch.
A mere seven points separated the top five, but we’d now need results to start turning our way.
Four to play and Kelentan had fallen off the place. Johor FC and Terengganu battled it out for the title with 45 points, and in third place, I knew making up a five point defecit would be tough.
Tough became impossible after Selangor beat us 4-2. Still, we’d performed beyond all my expectations.
Obviously the Malaysian FA had been impressed, as I was awarded another Manager of the Year award. Maybe it’s time to think about a trophy cabinet…
P26 W14 D2 L10 F37 A31 GD+6 Pts 44 – 3rd (11 behind winners Terengganu)
1) Selangor MPS 2-1 Agg
2) Felda Utd 2-0 Agg
QF) Selangor PKNS 2-2 Agg, Penang win 7-6 on penalties
SF) Perak 2-0 Agg
And for the second time under my stewardship, we’d contest the Malaysian FA Cup Final. Without my suspended captain.
FA Cup Final – Penang vs KL Plus
My record signing led out the side, and I was hoping he’d live up to his billing. After four minutes he swung in a great corner, which my towering centre half duly converted.
Eight minutes later, both players repeated the trick. 2-0. 24 minutes in and my central midfielder cut wide, whipped in a low cross and my Chinese winger dived in to make it 3-0. Kuala Lumpur Plus weren’t putting up a fight.
In the second half, nothing happened. So in the 93rd minute my reserve right back nodded one in to his own net, just to give KL Plus’ fans something to cheer.
I didn’t care. We’d won the FA Cup for the second time in my career.
Despite a disgraceful start, we clawed our way into 3rd in our group, qualifying for the quarter final as the second best third placed team. Hardly a declaration of intent.
QF) Perak 2-3
And that was that.
And as the season ended, my foreigners decided cup glory and continental football wasn’t enough. My Chinese DMC and Argentinian forward requested transfers, and my Kenyan winger started to eye up the exit.
Next season could be very difficult for the Panthers.
Well, my Chinese DMC had a shocker of a season, and I’ve got a 20 year old replacement coming in. My Kenyan winger is the only Kenyan in history who can’t break into a jog, and the Argie bastard’s scored 4 in 45 league games (loves the Malaysia Cup though).
None are irreplaceable, but it the quality of replacements we can find…
Top Scorer: Record signing Malaysian ST (9)