Sabah to get an import coach
Published on: Friday, October 18, 2019
By: GL Oh
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KOTA KINABALU: An ‘import’ coach is set to take over from Jelius Ating as head coach of Sabah Tambadaus in their Super League campaign next season, said Sabah Football Association (Safa) President  Datuk Peter Anthony on Wednesday.

After weeks of speculation, the newly elected president finally confirmed the status of Jelius who had led Sabah to a historic Premier League title in the just concluded season and a promotion to the Super League.

According to him, the former skipper turned coach does not have the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) pro licensing diploma which is mandatory for all Super League head coaches to have next season.

“I would have preferred Jelius as coach, but with the new ruling, we have no choice but to look for a new coach as Jelius does not possess the licence needed by FAM (Football Association of Malaysia) to coach a Super League team next season.

“We have already made the decision to take in a new coach and he will be coming soon. He is from outside Sabah as we do not have anyone that possesses the said licence here.”

He said they had earlier tried to make an appeal to FAM so that they can retain Jelius as coach next season but to no avail.

“We did appeal to FAM to have Jelius continue as our head coach but it was not successful, and we accepted the decision.

“So for the time being, Jelius will play the role of assistant coach and learn from the new coach who has a vast experience in the field. He (Jelius) can complete the licence in a year or two, and if successful, then he may return as head coach for the State team again,” he said.

He added that the identity of the new coach who has a vision similar to that of Safa, would only be announced later, once all the paper work is properly done.

He also disclosed that names of new players to play for the team next season have been shortlisted.

“However, we cannot make any announcement until an agreement is reached between the players and the association.

“There will definitely be surprises and they may even be better than JDT players,” he said in jest.

He said the list of present players to be retained next season as recommended by Jelius Ating is also available to him, but he reckoned it is best to make the final decision with the new coach.


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