CARDIFF City stole a march on Queens Park Rangers by offering national striker Safee Sali a two-week trial at the Welsh club starting from Monday.Safee will attend the trial with English Championship side Cardiff for two weeks until Sept 27 after having secured the approval of his current club, Indonesian Super League side Pelita Jaya.
Safee Sali has two weeks to impress Cardiff.
"Every Malaysian football fan follows the English game and I'm no different. Even as a kid, I've always dreamt of one day plying my trade in the English league and now I have a chance to do that with this trial.
"The door has been opened for me. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am going to give it my all to prove my credentials," said Safee in a statement yesterday. Cardiff chairman Datuk Chan Teck Ghee confirmed Safee's impending arrival in the Welsh city where he said the striker is in for the time of his life.
"I can confirm that he leaves on Sept 12 till 27 for a full trial," Teck Ghee told Timesport yesterday. "It's a trial with the first team so he's going to have one hell of an experience. He'll know what level he is at and he's really looking forward to it.
"There's a lot of talent back home and it's time we start unearthing the gifted by giving them proper exposure. I think this could be the beginning of a revolution."
Asked how the arrangement for a trial came about, Teck Ghee added: "With hard work and perseverance. We asked the right people and we've done everything above board. "His current club Pelita have also agreed to this trial and they are happy to let him go. It would be a great for them as well, I'm sure."
Safee, who began his career with Kuala Lumpur and also played for Sarawak, only moved from Selangor to Pelita Jaya in February and has scored 10 goals in 15 appearances for the Indonesian club but he is now a man very much in demand.
His stock began to rise when he scored five goals for Malaysia from the semi-finals onwards in the national team's successful AFF Cup campaign last December. Tan Sri Tony Fernandes, chairman of English Premier League club QPR, last month spoke of giving Safee a trial but it appears that Cardiff have got a move on from the London-based club.
Last month, Teck Ghee also offered Safiq Rahim a trial with Cardiff, which the national skipper will undergo after Selangor's interest in the on-going Malaysia Cup ends. QPR manager Neil Warnock rates Safee highly and described the 27-year-old forward as the "David Beckham of Malaysia."
"There's going to be opportunities now with the chairman's contact in Malaysia. It's a very emerging country football-wise, Safee Sali is the David Beckham of Malaysia.
"I think everyone knows him and there is a problem at the moment with regards to the work permit in bringing players in from Malaysia. But that will not stop us from bringing players over," said Warnock in an online conference with Malaysian media yesterday.
If successful, Safee will have done what several previous Malaysian players tried and failed before him including Baddrol Bakhtiar and Bunyamin Umar (Chelsea) and Syed Adney Syed Hussain (Middlesbrough and Darlington)
credit to : NST