Kota Kinabalu: Football in Sabah is heading for a new revolution as new man Gary Philips aims to vamp things up at the Rhinos camp and deliver success to the team.
Philips, who will be unveiled as the Rhinos’ new head coach at a contract signing ceremony at the Sabah FA office here, this Sunday afternoon, said that with a new management and some new players as well as a new head coach, some changes will definitely take place.
The Australian coach, who met the State players at the Likas Stadium ahead of a friendly match against Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) here yesterday (Saturday) said, “this can be a very exciting time for everybody”.
“This will be a new revolution for Sabah football and everyone here has a chance to be part of history. I have seen a couple of your games and what I see is some good talent. With the right attitude I’m sure we can have a good season,” he said.
Philips, who met the players for the first time, was accompanied by Sabah FA Secretary General, Alijus Sipil, and Treasurer, Shariman Lee Abdullah.
He hopes to get to know all the players quickly and know their abilities so that he can get the best out of them.
The 40-something former AFC Coaching Development Manager said he has only one problem and that is not being able to field all 25 players for matches.
“I have only one problemÉI have 25 players but only 11 can play at any one time. I hope that the players will take this opportunity to show us that they deserve a place in the first team,” said Philips.
He added that the team must try to get results together.
“I know you have been training but from Monday onwards we will do different aspects of preparation for the new season,” said Philips, who sought the cooperation from everyone including players and officials.
He told the players that if any of them have a problem they are free to come and speak to him.
“My door is always open to all of you. If there is a problem and you need to speak to me about it please be free to do so,” said Philips.
Meanwhile, when met upon his arrival at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport Saturday afternoon, Philips said that there were many factors that influenced his decision to take the job as Sabah head coach.
“The new management here has a good reputation and the team has good potential. In fact the entire State has great potential. “This as well as the football history that Sabah has were some of the reason why I decided to take this job,” he said.
Philips went on to say that this was an exciting opportunity for him and that some of the nice things he heard about Sabah was a factor to his decision.
“It was my friend and former colleague Scott Ollerenshaw who recommended that I take this job. He spoke about the players and the people of Sabah very fondly,” he said.
Philips, who harbours high ambitions to bring Sabah into the Super League, said that he would try his best to repay the faith given to him by the management.