Kelantan’s new signing Mohamed Shawky does not believe he will have any problems adapting to life at the Sultan Mohammad IV Stadium ahead of the 2014 Malaysia Super League campaign.
The Egypt international was unveiled last month as one of the Red Warriors’ four foreign signings for the upcoming season, and brings along with him a wealth of experience having spent two and a half seasons with former Barclays Premier League side Middlesbrough.
Apart from his time in England, Shawky also had spells overseas with Turkish side Kayserispor and Iraq’s Al Naft, which bodes well for his ability to adapt quickly to Malaysian football.
However, he does admit that it helps having Lebanon international Mohammed Ghaddar and Liberia striker Francis Forkey Doe around, given he used to play with them at Al Ahly.
“I’m glad to have Ghaddar here with me, along with Forkey Doe,” he told Sports247.my.
“This is an advantage for the three of us as it helps us adjust.”
The 32-year-old also revealed that speaking to Ghaddar prior to his move helped convince him that Kelantan were the right choice as the next chapter of his career.
“Before I came here, I spoke to Ghaddar and he told me Kelantan have many supporters and are one of the biggest teams in Malaysia,” Shawky added.
“That is why I accepted the offer to play for Kelantan.”
The defensive midfielder, who was part of the Egypt side that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2006 and 2008, is also looking forward to learning about Malaysian football from his new team-mates, as well as imparting his own knowledge.
“This is my first time playing in Malaysia and I’ll need to learn the style of play here, including recognising the local players,” Shawky explained.
“It will take time but it’s not a big deal.
“I also bring a bit of experience given I’ve played in other countries and hopefully that can be shared with the local players, once we have strengthened our relationship.”
The fourth player completing the Red Warriors’ foreign quartet for 2014 is Nigerian centre-back Obinna Nwaneri, who has played a key role at the club since joining two years ago.