MARKO BILIC, as Terengganu's Director of Development, may not be enjoying
the limelight than when he was handling Semi-Pro League teams, but he is
nevertheless enjoying his job to the fullest.
The 52-year-old Bilic, who lost his job after only three months as coach
of Div Two Malacca this season, has been with Terengganu since June.
"I am enjoying every minute of my job here because I personally get more
satisfaction working with the young," said Bilic, who had coached Johor
and Perak prior to his move to Malacca.
"Of course at times, I miss the League action, but I must admit that
working with the young is more relaxing and rewarding in the long run.
"Besides, I have been actively involved in youth development when I was
with Sarajevo, a Div One club in the Yugoslav League, before becoming
Bilic said his work involves going to the eight districts in Terengganu
not only to scout for young talent, but also to impart the coaching
syllabus he has prepared so that the youths will be properly coached.
"I have already gone to a few districts and I must say that there is an
abundance of talent.
"In fact, some of the talents I have seen are equivalent to European
youth players, if not better.
"But it is important that these raw talents are coached properly to
reach the highest level."
Bilic believed that in the past, not only in Terengganu but all over
Malaysia as well, many talented players have been lost because they were
either not spotted or coached properly.
"I have prepared a coaching programme which I am imparting to the local
coaches in the district and I hope they will carry it out.
"If the coaching programme is carried out, I see no reason for
Terengganu to depend on foreign players in the near future, because their
home-bred players will be comparable if not better."
Bilic, however, expressed concern that his work might be temporarily
halted because of the monsoon season, which is expected to begin soon and
last for three months.
"I am trying to work something out for some indoor programme and I hope
this will be carried out because the three months' inactivity will put a
spanner in the works."
Besides Bilic's job as youth development director, he also helps out in
But his involvement is only in sizing up their opponents and giving his
knowledge on the teams to Terengganu coach Abdullah Mohamad.
"I have watched several of Terengganu's opponents against other teams
and given my views of their strengths and weaknesses and also how to stop
"It is up to Abdullah whether he wants to use the information or not,
but I am glad that I am able to help the Semi-Pro team in some ways too.
Besides, it helps me to keep in touch with the other teams in the
Occasionally, Bilic helps to coach the goalkeepers, being a former
Bilic, who has a contract with Terengganu until the end of next year, is
certainly a very happy man and his face lights up whenever he talks about
Sunshine and sea breeze aside, Bilic is certainly having a whale of a
time with Terengganu.