Socceroo Robbie Cornthwaite cut by Selangor ahead of Malaysia Cup
Towering Australia international Robert Cornthwaite has been released by Selangor FA, who cited his poor form and constant injuries throughout the first half of the Malaysia Super League (MSL) campaign.
The 30-year-old centre back had endured a tumultuous six months since being instrumental in helping the Red Giants clinch their 33rd Malaysia Cup triumph last December with a 2-0 victory over Kedah in the final.
Cornthwaite was initially sacked by Selangor, along with Australian coach Mehmet Durakovic, after the Malaysia Cup success, only for the Red Giants to make a U-turn and reinstate the defender 24 hours later following an outcry from fans.
But the former K-League player's ambitions to build on a successful campaign this year hit a snag after he was injured in February's season-opening Charity Shield against Johor Darul Ta'zim, only making a return to first team action in late April.
Despite showing glimpses of his old self and looking solid in the heart of defence with Malaysia international Shahrom Kalam, Selangor have decided to release the man who earned eight international caps for the second time in six months. His replacement has already been lined up by the Selangor management, but with no official announcement.
English-born Cornthwaite grew up in Adelaide and appeared in Adelaide United's run to the 2008 AFC Champions League final, operating mostly as a fullback. He also played 91 times over three years for Korean club Jeonnam Dragons.
Selangor are also reportedly weighing their options whether to keep striker Patrick 'Ronaldinho' Wleh, or send him back to parent club, PKNS FC. The Liberian hitman struck seven goals in the MSL, with blistering early-season form, but his goals dried up and, as a result, Zainal Abidin Hassan's men struggled to find the net.
The Klang Valley giants face a mammoth task when the MSL resumes later this month, as they aim to claw an eight point deficit to table toppers JDT.
Selangor, who lie third on the table, are also in a tough group in the Malaysia Cup along with Kuala Lumpur, Pahang and Kelantan. They host Kuala Lumpur in the Malaysia Cup on July 12, before facing PDRM four days later in the league at Shah Alam Stadium.