KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah FA has decided to go local as they begin their search for a man to fill in the Rhinos’ hot seat, following their decision not to renew their ties with the out-of-contract Croatian coach Drago Mamic.
A local Sabahan will be their top priority, but local coaches from Peninsular Malaysia will also be considered. The FA is also looking for a technical director in a bid to put Sabah football on the right track. A goalkeeper coach is also on their list.
But hiring a chief coach for the Rhinos tops their agenda. “Obviously we want to find a suitable candidate to take charge of the team as soon as possible as we will begin our preparations on November 3. “Until we find the right man, Burhan Ajui will take charge of the team,” said the FA Executive Secretary Harry Baking yesterday. He said that due to the current economic situation the FA has decided to give local coaches top priority. “The FA is facing financial constraints and needs to spend prudently. So turning to local coaches is one of the steps taken to minimise our expenditure. “Furthermore, we have been hiring foreign coaches for the last few seasons, but their results were far from encouraging. So this time we want to give a local coach a chance.
“We are looking for a candidate who is not seeking financial gain in wanting the job. “We want someone who has the desire and determination to help us lift the sport to greater heights and our first choice will be a Sabahan. However, we are also opening our door to coaches from Peninsular Malaysia.
The candidate, Harry pointed out, must meet their criteria and requirements which among others must possess a full licence – a FA of Malaysia Licence A holder. On the appointment of the technical director, Harry said they would identify their man when the need arises. “When we appoint a technical director, all our coaches, including the first team coach will report to him.
Harry said that if there are any coaches out there who think they are good enough for the job, they can send their resume to the FA for consideration. Among the local coaches who hold the FA of Malaysia Licence A coaching certificate are former coaches, Justin Ganai, Kelly Tham as well as Stanley Chew, while Mohd Asyraaf Fung Abdullah is the latest man to have earned the FAM’s Licence A coaching certificate.
Among the foreign coaches to have coached the Rhinos the last few seasons are Portuguese Jose Garrido, Englishman Peter Butler and Drago. The new M-League season is expected to kick off in early January.