Malaysia Indian Sports Council- Malaysian Indian Football Association (MISC-MIFA) have appointed J. Dhinagaran as the team manager and hired Jacob Joseph as the coach for the FAM Cup competition starting on March 1.
MISC-MIFA have also shifted their training base to the AIMST University in Sungai Petani, Kedah. Jacob takes over from former international K. Sanbagamaran, whose contract was not extended.
MIFA president Datuk T. Mohan said they had to make the changes following their fairly poor outing in the FAM Cup last season.
“Of course we were aiming high and had ambitious. Unfortunately due to several setback, we were unable to meet the targets. But we are wiser now and have decided to make the changes to make an impact in the new season.
“The team will based in Kedah and Dhinagaran, who is from Penang, is the right choice to helm the team. As for Jacob, he comes with an impressive track record.
“With his experience as a coach in the M-League, we have reasons to be optimistic of a good outing in the FAM Cup,’’ said Mohan.
MISC-MIFA, making their debut in the 12-team FAM Cup, ended the season, in the ninth spot, with 23 points from six wins, five draws and 11 defeats.
Dhinagaran said they were in the final lap of their training programme.
“MISC-MIFA training programme started in November. Jacob has also conducted a series of selection trials to identify players. We had also played some friendly matches.
“Things are looking positive as we are in the midst of finalising the players. We should be ready for the challenge,’’ said Dhinagaran.
Meanwhile 19 teams, including seven from the Klang Valley, have confirmed their participation the FAM Cup. The teams from the Klang Valley are Harimau Muda C, Kuala Lumpur MOF FC, Kuala Lumpur Real Mulia FC, Selangor Megah Murni FC, Selangor Airasia All Stars FC, Kuala Lumpur Felcra FC, Kuala Lumpur Felda United FC and UKM FC.
Perak YBU FC and Sabah Cebagoo FC, who played in the competition last year, have withdrawn from the FAM Cup this season.
The 19 teams will be divided into two groups. Group A will have 10 teams while Group B will have nine. After the round-robin home and away fixtures, the top team in Group A and Group B will meet in the final for the FAM Cup which comes with a RM60,000 cash and also gain promotion to the Premier League.
The teams have until Jan 31 to register their players’ list with the FAM competition committee.
Dhinagaran said MISC-MIFA would also be playing in the FA Cup.
“We have been drawn to meet Sungai Ara FC. Incidentally we had played some friendly matches with the Penang based team. We are looking forward to winning start in the FA Cup,’’ added Dhingaran.
The teams for the FAM Cup: PBAPP FC, Perlis, Shahzan Muda FC, Harimuda Muda C, Kedah Malays Football Association, Malacca, Hanelang FC, Malaysian Indian Sports Council - Malaysian Indian Football Association, MOF FC, Sungai Ara FC, Real Mulia FC, Negri Sembilan Prisons FC, Megah Murni FC, Airasia All Stars FC, Johor Darul Tazim III, Ipoh Football Association, Kuala Lumpur Felcra FC, Kuala Lumpur Felda United FC, UKM FC.