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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

No local applicants for Rhinos’ hot seat yet


KOTA KINABALU: No local coaches seem to be interested in taking up the Rhinos’ hot seat!

So far none have submitted any application to the Sabah FA.

When contacted the FA Executive Secretary Harry Baking confirmed that they have not received any resume from any local coaches.

This may prompt the FA to look elsewhere for the man to lead the Rhinos for the new M-League season that is expected to kick off sometime in January next year.

Nevertheless, the FA is still not giving up in finding the suitable local man for the job.

“We have not set any deadline (for them to submit their entries). But in case that we do not receive any application within the next one or two weeks, then we have no choice but to open our door to local coaches from the Peninsula,” said Harry.

“As we all know, the new season kicks off in about two months or so. So we want to get cracking and preparing the team so that they will be ready when the new season starts.“In fact there is not much time left for us, so I really hope those local coaches out there, who think that they are the man for the job, submit their applications as soon as possible.

“We are aware that there are a few of them who have the criteria and qualification to manage a Premier League team. But we are not approaching anyone of them (local coaches) because we want to give them equal chances to be considered for the job.

“This is also to show that a Sabahan is our top priority as far as hiring a new coach is concerned and we hope we will find the suitable candidate,” said Harry.

“We are giving our local coaches a chance to play a role in the development of the sport in the State,” he added.

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.

The Rhinos’ hot seat was left vacant after the FA decided not to renew the contract of its former coach Croatian Drago Mamic, who left the State at the end of last season’s campaign.

The Rhinos finished fourth in the Premier League (last season) behind Kuala Muda Naza of Kedah, KL Plus and Kelantan.

Kuala Muda and KL Plus have thus been promoted to the Super League following their success story in the Premier League last season.

After hiring foreign coaches for the last few seasons with the hope of getting the Rhinos out of the lower division, the FA has now decided to give a local Sabahan coach a chance to guide the Rhinos back into the country’s top league – the Super League.

Among the foreign coaches to have coached the Rhinos the last few seasons are Portuguese Jose Garrido, Englishman Peter Butler and Drago. Portuguese Jose Luis also had a short stint taking charge of the team.

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.

The Rhinos started their preparations yesterday under the watchful eyes of its former player Burhan Ajui.

Burhan when met over the weekend said that he is concentrating on the fitness of the players for the next one week or so because of the unavailability of a training field.


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