Devan steps down as Kelantan coach after bumpy ride

PETALING JAYA: Kelantan coach K. Devan has resigned after less than six months on the hot seat.

The much-travelled 55-year-old coach tendered his resignation to the Kelantan Football Association (Kafa) yesterday with immediate effect. He cited personal reasons for calling it quits.

“It was a difficult decision but it’s in the best interest of Kelantan football,” said Devan.

Devan’s quit move brings the coach casualty count to five at the halfway mark of the Super League. Earlier, Datuk K. Rajagopal (Sarawak), Ahmad Shahruddin Rosdi (Pahang), Ahmad Yusof (Terengganu) and Jacksen Tiago (Penang) were told to take a “rest” or stepped down on their own volition.

Devan’s exit did not come as a surprise.

He was under pressure since he took the job in December. With Kelantan being treble winners – FA Cup, Malaysia Cup and Super League – in 2012, he was expected to deliver the goods. But the Red Warriors struggled for form and they were knocked out by Kedah in the FA Cup third round, 5-4 on penalties, after both teams were tied 1-1 in regulation.

In the Super League, Kelantan are now placed sixth out of the 12 teams with 12 points from 10 matches.

Devan said he told Kafa president Tan Sri Annuar Musa of his decision beforehand and thanked the management for their support during his stay.

“It has been a valuable experience. I have no problems with the coaching staff, players and the fans. I wish the team all the best in their future undertakings,” said Devan.

Devan first came into the limelight in Malaysian football when the guided Negri Sembilan to the Super League crown in 2005. He then went on to helm Selangor, winning two Super League titles in 2009 and 2010 before going to Felda United and Penang without any success.

Last season, eight coaches – Datuk M. Karathu (Perak), Azman Adnan (Police), Dutchman Robert Alberts (Sarawak), Abdul Rahman Ibrahim (Terengganu), Dutchman George Boateng and Mohd Azraai Khor Abdullah (both Kelantan), B. Sathianathan (Armed Forces) and Croatian Bojan Hodak (Johor Darul Ta’zim) – were sacked midway through the season after their teams’ poor performances.

Football , Kelantan , Dr Vida , K Devan , Super League