PETALING JAYA: Newly-crowned Malaysia Cup champions Pahang have named Ron Smith as their new coach.
The 64-year-old former technical analyst for the Australian national team is no stranger to Malaysian football having, coached Sabah (1995-97) and Johor FC (1998-99).
He was also the technical director of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) from 1999-2002.
Dollah Salleh, who coached the Elephants to the Malaysian Cup title after 21 years, has joined Premier League outfit Police next season.
But Pahang have retained both their influential imports – Argentine Matias Conti and Jamaican defender Damion Stewart – for the new season.
The Elephants’ new additions include former Kelantan hotshot Dickson Nwakaeme of Nigeria and former Pakistan international defender Zeshan Rehman, who began his playing career with the Premier League outfit Fulham’s youth team (1995-2003).
The 30-year-old Zeshan comes with strong credentials, having played with English clubs Fulham, Brighton, Norwich City and Bradford City before trying his luck in Asia with Muangthong United (2011-12) and Kitchee FC of Hong Kong (2013).
Pahang FA (PFA) president Tengku Muda Tengku Abdul Rahman Sultan Ahmad Shah said they have a balanced side for the new season and their main aim is to improve their this year’s achievements under the experienced Smith.
They have retained the bulk of the squad, led by Azamuddin Akil, Mohd Razman Roslan, Mohd Amirulhadi Zainal, R. Gopinathan, R. Surendren, Fauzi Roslan and skipper Jalaluddin Jaafar.
Former international Zainal Abidin Hassan will be the assistant coach.