Kelantan's Brendan Gan ruled out for season ahead of LionsXII game
Ahead of their much anticipated home season debut against Singapore's LionsXII in the Malaysia Super League (MSL), Kelantan FA have suffered a blow with the news that their Australian-born midfielder Brendan Gan will be out for the rest of the season.
Gan suffered a torn ACL in his right knee soon after coming on as a substitute at the start of the second half of Saturday night's 2-0 victory over ATM FA in Paroi, near Kuala Lumpur.
Scans on Monday revealed the extent of a serious injury that saw the former Sydney FC player carried off the field in the 50th minute. Having already made three substitutions, Kelantan were forced to play the last 40 minutes with 10 men.
Head coach George Boateng admitted that it was an unfortunate setback for his team who had made such an encouraging start to the season. Gan can play in midfield or as a makeshift fullback as he proved several times in the 2014 campaign.
"I am really disappointed for Brendan who is an important member of our squad," Boateng said. "It looked bad when it happened and we now know that he will be out for the season which is really unfortunate."
The 26-year-old Gan made three appearances as an over-age player for the Malaysia U23 side last year. He was called into the initial squad for the senior side's 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup campaign before missing out on the final 22-man list.
With a Malaysian father and Australian mother, Sydney-born Gan first came to the MSL as an import player for Sabah in 2012. Two years later, he was given a Malaysia passport and signed as a local player by Kelantan.
In the A-League, Gan made 41 appearance for Sydney FC and scored five goals between 2008 and 2011 and appeared in their 2011 AFC Champions League campaign.
For the game against LionsXII, Boateng will check on the fitness of midfielder Mohd Noor Hazrul Mustafa and attacker Mohd Norfarhan Muhammad, both of whom were forced off against ATM.
"All the others are minor injures and we can cope easily, so no real problem with them," Boateng added.
Kelantan are expecting a stern test this Saturday against Fandi Ahmad's LionsXII who led 5-0 midway through the second half of their season opener against PDRM before easing to a 5-3 victory.