KAYA FC coach David Perkovic is sticking to the positives with the departure of several of his players especially first-choice goalkeeper Saba Garmaroudi ahead of the opening of the United Football League on Saturday.
In one of biggest surprises in the UFL offseason, veteran Iranian 'keeper Garmaroudi, who had been integral to Kaya’s campaign in the top tier in the last few years, was among those cut along with Danilo de Jong, Scott Baginski, Mitchell Davidson, and Fabien Lewis.
Perkovic explained the decision to drop Garmaroudi, whose recently expired contract was not renewed, saying the player and team are not on the same page.
“Saba has different goals than what was required of him by the club and myself, so therefore we went our separate ways,” Australian mentor told Spin.ph on Monday, refusing to elaborate, although he believes the goalkeeper will transfer to Division 2 side Laos.
“I think along with some of the players we’ve lost before, sometimes it’s better for the squad that some players leave. But I don’t really focus too much on what ‘was’ the squad. I try to look forward and make sure we’re positive about our future.”
“Instead of thinking about what we’ve lost, I try to think about what we’ve gained,” he added of his team, which finished fourth among 10 teams last season.
One of Kaya’s most notable additions is homegrown Filipino Mark Sorongon, who will contend with fellow 'keeper Nick O’Donnell for the starting position.
Kaya has two other Filipino signings in midfielder Miguel Tanton and 19-year-old Filipino-Australian striker Luis Abadia.
Midfielder Richard Greer of Queensland leads the cast of foreign recruits along with Australian Tommy Taylor and Ghanaian centerback Alfred Osei, all expected to boost Kaya, which is still bannered by Azkals OJ Porteria and Chris Greatwich.
“I think we’ll hit the ground running fine, but having said that, we have a lot of hard work to do,” Perkovic said.
Other teams have also been undergoing major revamps, saying the only “stable” squads in the league are newly minted UFL Cup champion Loyola Meralco and Green Archers United.
“The competition’s going to be very interesting because there are a lot of changes to all the teams.”