No positive’s can be gained by discussing the removal of assistant Coach Mark Jones or Head Coach Gary Phillip’s from there posting with the State Senior Team. Rightly or wrongly, the Sabah FA felt a change needed to be made in order to give our beloved Hawks the opportunity to avoid relegation to the 2nd Division ( Premier League). Fair enough.

However, I would like to reflect on the wonderful job performed by coach Phillips, especially in his 1st year in charge whereby he succeeded at the first attempt in getting Sabah promoted to the Super League ( 1st Division ). Make no mistake, this was a wonderful achievement and one that should not be forgotten.

Bear in mind, Sabah had been stuck in the lower profile Premier League for 5 years which was simple unacceptable for a former Footballing powerhouse in the Hawks. The Sabah FA tried everything to escape the quicksand of the Premier League but to no avail. Local coaches & players, foreign coaches & players were all tried but still we languished in the 2nd Division. Finally Gary Phillips was brought in and as they say in the classics, the rest is history.

Unfortunately, this year has not been plain sailing which is not unusual for a newly promoted team. Apart from two games every loss was by a solitary goal and despite creating many chances the goals would just not go in.

Thanks Gary for getting us back into the Super league, if not for you we would still be in the Premier League this year. And who knows, as he has a contract until 2012, we may not have seen the last of Gary in the future fortunes off Sabah football.


I have known Justin Gunai for 18 years now and I consider him a friend. He has been apart off the Sabah Footballing scene in different roles throughout those 18 years.

Four times now he has been thrown into the Senior team hotseat and given the task off improving results with immediate effect. Justin has always accepted his mission with a smile and a minimum off fuss and has gone about his duties to the best of his ability – for that he should be congratulated.

Having said all that, now is the time for Justin to take this latest opportunity with all guns blazing. Once & for all he needs to prove himself as the Head coach of the Senior team and not be known as an assistant or Presidents Cup coach.

Like in many occupations an apprenticeship must be served and after 18 years I believe Justin has served his. The experience off the last 18 years has to shine through now and Justin needs to lead from the front. Your mission Justin is to escape relegation, we don’t care how you do it, just do it.

7 points from 15 available in his first 5 games in charge is a promising start. Good luck my friend


Have you noticed how the successful Footballing teams the world over are the ones who practice calm, transparent and common sense management in combination with long term planning aimed at sustainability.

These teams normally have a long term manager and they don’t panic in a crisis. Instead they publicly support there players & coaching staff. Rather than threaten coaches & players with the sack, they simply ask what they can do to help the team which may involve bringing in new players to improve the squad, improving training facilities or simply convey verbally there best wishes & support to the squad as a whole. Crisis meeting’s are never an option because they know this will create panic and provide negativity within the squad. Football teams don’t win games just because someone tells them they must win – actually this often has the opposite effect and creates fear.

Two examples of successful Football management will compete in this year’s Champions League Final. Barcelona vs Manchester United promises to be a classic.

In one corner we have Alex Ferguson. The legendary Man Utd manager has been at Old Trafford for over 20 years now. He was there for 6 years and still had not won a trophy but far from sack him, the Man Utd board supported him and the results since have been remarkable with the momumentous task off overhauling Liverpool’s 18 League titles now complete.

In the other corner is Pep Guardiolo, a man who played with distinction for Barcelona before becoming there manager. His record speaks for itself with Barcelona over the last 3 years with regular League & Champion’s League titles.

The moral of the story for Football clubs who want to be successful is to find the coach that you believe is the right man for the job and stick with him through the bad times. For history suggests that ultimately you will be rewarded for your faith & patience.


Scott Ollerenshaw played for Sabah from 1994 - 1997 and partnered with Matlan Marjan to become the most feared strike force in the Malaysian league. Became the second highest scorer in the league in his first season with 36 goals in all competition. Then he won the Golden Boot in 1995 and 1996, helping Sabah to win her first ever trophy, the FA Cup and the league title in 1996. He is now married to former Sabah karate athlete Michelle Koh and they have 2 children together. Scott is now residing and focusing on businesses in Kota Kinabalu. He currently owns and manages the KK Futsal centre and Borneo Sports Holidays.

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