Friday, September 25, 2015

No to 'floating' foreign coaches


The last thing Malaysian football needs is another short gap measure trying to resurrect the ailing state of the game.
FA of Malaysia’s call for applicants for the senior national coach following the resignation of Dollah Salleh recently following the 10-0 drubbing by the United Arab Emirates in the World Cup qualifier, certainly needs to be reviewed.
Ong Kim Swee has been named interim coach of the national team and his contract ends at the end of the year.
The call for applicants for the national coach post has seen several foreign coaches who have been floating in Malaysia and the Asean region submit their applications.
Do we need to consider these coaches who have either left their previous teams, especially in the M-League, for various reasons? If they are not good enough for the State teams, how can they even been considered for the national coach post.
Robert Alberts one of the coaches who has applied, was once the technical director of FA of Malaysia. He has coached Kedah and Sarawak in the M-League besides having stints in Singapore, Indonesia and Korea.
Others who have applied include Bojan Hodak and George Boateng who have all had stints with Malaysian state teams and have been asked to leave.
Then, we have former Singapore national coach Radojko Avramovic, currently playing his trade in Cambodia. This is not the first time he has applied for the national job.
Question is if these coaches are all that good, why are they plying their trade here in Asia and not in Europe or the big leagues elsewhere?
Malaysia certainly does not need second rated coached or coaches have been in the region for some time.
Then there are also former Cardiff City manager Dave Jones and Ashley Westwood of Bengalaru FC (India) who have applied.
In fact, Malaysia does not need a foreign coach for another short spell – one or two years with an option for renewal.
We have had enough of all these short stints where coaches come and to safeguard their reputation will call up the experienced players – normally the older player – win a few matches or minor tournaments – and when they leave, we are left back at square one – no new or young players to carry on and have to start all over again.
What Malaysian football needs is a football supremo who will be charge of Malaysian football teams as a technical advisor, as Malaysian coaches helm the various national teams.
Coaches like Ong Kim Swee should continue to be part of the FAM coaches set up and probably with the likes of Pahang’s Zainal Abidin Hassan and Kedah’s Tan Cheong Hoe (former national team assistant to K. Rajagobal).
Maybe if FA of Malaysia are serious and want to turn Malaysian football around, maybe they should even consider their two previous national coaches Rajagobal and B. Sathianathan, who both possess a diploma in football coaching from overseas.
This football supremo will not only be responsible for working with the local coaches and guiding them, but will put in place a two-prong attack plan where he will also chart the development of the game and coach education.
Above all this supremo should be hired for a minimum of five-years.
More importantly, this supremo cannot be an ‘anybody’ who is available or comes cheap, but one who is a reputable in the football world and who has a proven track record especially in the development of the game and forte is long term planning.
In fact, FA of Malaysia need not even look far because they can utilise their current technical director, Fritz Schmid.
Schmid has been here for one-and half years but has certainly been underutilised or not at all!
He certainly is qualified, for the 54-year-old Swiss has a UEFA Pro Licence. Currently he is on a three-year contract to assist in the development of football and oversee the progress of the national and project teams.
Schmid, who also holds the highest coaching license of the Italian Football Federation, graduated from ETH Zurich in Sports Sciences and studied English, German and journalism at the University of Zurich. His professional experience extends from teaching to public relations. He also spent five years of his life as a sports journalist
As a coach he has more than 30 years of expertise- in amateur, elite youth and professional football. In his career, he has worked for Tottenham Hotspur as well as Grasshopper Club Zurich, FC Aarau, SC Kriens, FC Zurich. In 2001 Schmid joined FC Basel as assistant coach, where he made a major contribution to the clubs biggest success in their history.
Before coming to Malaysia he has worked as a consultant related to management, coaching and training - among which the position of assistant coach to the National Team of the Austria.
 In the area of coaching education he has worked as a coaching instructor for Swiss Football Association, UEFA and FIFA for 28 years.
Maybe FA of Malaysia should just use Schmid, save a lot money which can be challenged to development programmes.
A right decision needs to be made for the sake of Malaysian football and not a favourite decision just to please some officials.
Will that happen, just like it is always in Malaysian sports, it is a million ringgit question!

TONY MARIADASS is a sports
journalist with more than
three decades of experience
and is passionate about
local sports.
He can be reached at
Twitter: @tmariadass​​

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