Nov 16, 2012

Who will replace Khairul?

Kota Kinabalu: Khairul Azman Mohd impending departure from the state team has opened the door for a new goalkeeper coach next season.

The former international has recently announced his intention to join Johor next season as their goalkeeper coach although he has yet to sign any paper with his new employer.

If he does leave, the Sabah FA will have to take extra precaution in naming the new coach as it is a very important position for the team who are vying for an immediate return to the Super League.

Last season, the team had let in a total of 52 league goals no thanks to some sloppy goalkeeping which prompted the management to engage the service of veteran coach Awal Taham to give extra coaching to the three goalies towards the end of the season.

The 60-year-old who is the most experienced as well as innovative in his coaching method with goalkeepers is not likely to take up the post as he is more inclined to coach young goalkeepers nowadays.

Sabah reserve team keeper Andre S Tipay who pulled out a string of breathtaking saves to help Sabah to win the Sukma Gold medal in July was one of the products from his hard work.

The favourites to take over the vacant post are likely to be Awal's two former students, ex-national and state goalkeeper Mark Damun Joseph Sagar and Jasrih Jabirin @Jerry.

The former has just returned from Teluk Intan, Perak where he spent the last six months employed by FAM as the Malaysian women team goalkeeper coach for the newly assembled team under Jacob Joseph.

The Kota Kinabalu City Hall employee is understood to be out of contract at the moment as the team is currently taking a break until next year.

Jerry on the other hand is definitely more experienced having passed the exam earlier and he was also the coach for the state premier league team three seasons ago before Khairul took over his place.

But who ever is chosen by the FA, they must do it fast as the pre-season training for the team will start next Monday even though the two new goalies will probably be arrived only at the end of the month.

News source:
Daily Express - 16/11/12

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