PETALING JAYA: No coach wants his team to be distracted by off-field issues.
But that’s exactly what Perak coach Mehmet Durakovic had to deal with since he arrived in Ipoh from Australia last month.
The team owed the players more than two months salary, while the president and manager resigned due to leadership changes in the management.
It’s not a good start but instead of panicking, the cool and collected Durakovic is hoping for the management to quickly solve matters so that everyone can have peace of mind.
“It is what it is. The state government, through government-linked companies, are doing their best to sort things out.
“We had a meeting, and we hope the dues will be settled soon, ” said Durakovic.
“We are already dealing with the pandemic, we don’t need more issues.”
Durakovic, however, is glad that the government has given the approval for teams to train from today.
“We are allowed to train, although the period is short. I am not going to complain much. We get to feel the ball again... only that matters, ” said Durakovic.
“I can assure everyone that our team are focused and prepared to do the best amidst these issues.”
Durakovic said the team would be based in Ipoh and players would undergo strict home quarantine measures to ensure that training goes smoothly.
“Our players are professional, they’ll follow the rules, ” he said.
“Several standard operating procedures are in place for our own safety.
“We want life to be normal again, but at the same time, some sacrifices need to be made.”
The club have signed new players like keeper Azri Ghani, defenders Shakir Hamzah and Danish Haziq Shamsudin and Durakovic is eager to start training.
“I can’t wait to see my boys face to face again. I hope the new recruits will add depth to our squad, ” he said.
“I’m looking forward to seeing them do the drills and circuit training. Also, we will see how they perform during the friendlies.”