By Tony Mariadass
Ela rocks with PKNS
E. Elavarasan strives on handling low key teams and taking them to the next level.
Come tomorrow, the 54-year-old coach will again be on the limelight take on when PKNS Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) in the FA Cup final..
The former Selangor defender who always likes to keep a low profile admits that his team has an uphill battle against JDT.
Elavarasan who was better known as a club player as he only played one season for Selangor – in 1989 when they won the League title – has done well as a coach.
When he got his 'A' licence in 1994, he coached his employers for 20 years – Public Bank – where he was a senior sports officer in the sports department.
He helped them win the 2002 FAM Cup, which saw them earn promotion to the Premier League the following season.
They subsequently won the League to earn qualification to the Super League.
Ela as he is affectionately known as in the football circles, strives on challenges.
“I have enjoyed coaching low key teams. My years of experience as a player and coach with Public Bank was my foundation,” said Ela who is in his second season with PKNS.
“We have done well to make the final and if we win it, it will be an icing to the cake and testament on the players dedication, determination and hunger for success.
“It is going to be an uphill task, but anything can happen in a final.”
After Public Bank FC decided to quit the League, Ela had moved to coach Malacca and guided them to Super League in his first year there in first year in 2008.
Subsequently he took the offer from Datuk Goh Seng Chong, the Vice President of Malacca FA to join his organization as the general manager of Cubic Integrated Sport and Recreation where both Arsenal Soccer School and Cubic Academy of Football were under him.
Felda United came calling midway through the 2010 season after their coach, Reduan Abdullah, was suspended by the FAM. Elavasaran guided them to win the Premier League and gain promotion to the Super League for the 2011. Elavasaran also led Felda to the quarter final of the 2012 Malacca.
He then moved to coach Terengganu before he joineing PKNS in 2015.
In PKNS reaching the final, Ela said the luck of draw also played part in their progress.
“In the quarterfinals we played a Premier League team (Sime Darby) and that was a help. But all credit to the players who have since seized the opportunity to beat favourites, Perak, in the semifinals.”
Ela also credited the management team for playing a key role in supporting the team.
“We are all very excited in PKNS and whatever happens in the final, everyone deserves a pat on the back. Of course winning the FA Cup will be a dream come true for all of us.”
Ela said he is also hoping the momentum of reaching the final will help their Premier League position.
They are currently fifth behind leaders Kuala Lumpur, Malacca United, Negri Sembilan and Johor DT 11 after 10 matches.
Having guided Public Bank FC (2003), Malacca (2006) and Felda United (2010) gain promotion from the Premier League to the Super League, it will definitely be another feather in his cap if he achieves it with PKNS.
But for now, Elavarasan is plotting JDT's downfall.