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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

McCreery resigns

New Sabah Times
TOP GUNS … from left, Alijus, Yusof, Lawrence, Hasbullah and Junaidi at the SFA Executive Committee Meeting yesterday.
KOTA KINABALU: David McCreery has decided to opt out of the State Premier League team. The former Manchester United man tendered his resignation letter late Monday, citing personal reasons to quit the team, less than a month before his one-year contract ends early next month. McCreery, who is believed to be on medical leave due to an ear infection for the last week or so, could not be reached for comment.

Attempts to contact him since Monday proved futile. Sabah Football Association (SFA) Deputy President Datuk Lawrence Gimbang told reporters yesterday that they have accepted McCreery’s resignation. He was met after chairing the SFA executive committee meeting yesterday. “We have decided to accept David McCreery’s resignation.

He cited personal reasons for stepping down (head coach). “In his letter, he thanked the association for giving him the chance to coach the State team but when a coach wants to resign, we have to make a decision, and the show must go on. SFA Vice President Datuk Yusof Kassim, who is also the team manager, Secretary General Alijus Hj Sipil, Assistant Secretary General I Junaidi Ahmad Fauzi and Executive Secretary Hasbullah Yahya were also present at the meeting.

 At the same time, Lawrence, on behalf of SFA, expressed their sincere thank you to David for his services during his tenure as the head coach of the State Premier League team. “We also wish him all the best in his future undertakings. To a question, Lawrence said their search for a new coach will begin now. “We will look for a new coach as soon as possible.

We have no name yet, but once we found one, we will make an official announcement. “There is no time frame when to get the new man, but the sooner the better so that he can start with the team’s preparations for the new season,” said Gimbang, before naming assistant coach Johnny Dominicus as the caretaker of the team along with fitness coach Andrew Majanggim and goalkeeper coach Mark Damun.

 “They will be in charge of the team until we name a new coach, starting with Friday’s home game against Police,” he said. McCreery was hired in July last year to replace Justin Ganai, about the same time as now, making him the third coach to leave the team towards the end of the season, albeit under different circumstances.

 In 2011, Gary Philips was removed from his head coach job, also at almost the same time as now. The following year, Justin suffered the same consequence following a string of poor results. For the record, Sabah is currently fifth in the 12-team table on 27 points with eight wins, three draws and eight defeats. With promotion to the Super League long gone, the only thing left for them now is to fight for a Malaysia Cup play-off.

 Meanwhile, team manager Datuk Yusof Kassim assured that the players would not be affected by McCreery’s resignation. “I’ve spoken to the players during training this morning (yesterday) ... they were in high spirits despite the resignation. “As players they have to expect the unexpected and they have to carry on with their duties which are to try and win the last three games,” said Yusof.

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