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Sunday, November 15, 2015

New Rhinos head coach expected by month-end

By FRANCIS XAVIER Francis@newsabahtimes.com.my

 KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah FA could name their man to take charge of their Premier League squad as early as this month end. Its Deputy President II Datuk Lawrence Gimbang hinted that at the moment, they have at least three candidates, both local and foreign, whom they have identified to prepare the team for the new season.

 The Sabah Rhinos hot seat was left vacant following the departure of Mohd Azraai Khor Abdullah, who parted ways on mutual understanding with the FA last week after merely one month and six days in the job. Speaking to reporters after chairing the FA’s annual congress held at a leading hotel in 1 Borneo here yesterday, Gimbang assured that they will do their best in selecting the best candidate for the job.

 “We have two or three short-listed candidates, both local and foreign coaches, and we hope to find a new coach as soon as possible. “We have ample time because the Premier League will only start in March next year so we have until February to prepare. He said that among other issues raised at the congress was for them to find ways to improve the performance of the State teams in the national scene.

 “It is the hope and message of our president, the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman that the Sabah team will play in the Super League in 2017. “We want to improve the team by finding players with calibre and to hire a capable and committed coach who can contribute to the development of football in the State.

 “We also want the team to work harder to be able to gain promotion…that’s the main thing. He added that they are also looking into short-term and long-term plans for football in Sabah. In a related development, Gimbang said that the existing footballers will continue training with the squad since they are still under contract until month end. He said they have more or less finalised the names of players to be retained or dropped but he refused to reveal them. “We can’t reveal the names because if a coach comes in, he may want the footballer in his plan. The footballers will continue to train for now until their contracts end.”

 The congress was attended by the FA’s supreme council members as well as representatives from the respective district affiliate.

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