Saturday November 1, 2003
Englishman is new coach and Jalil switches to developmentBY RIZAL ABDULLAH
JOHOR BARU: Englishman Trevor James Morgan has been chosen to replace Jalil Ramli as Sarawak's coach for next year’s Super League.
The Sarawak FA (FAS) announced on Thursday that Morgan, who is currently based in Perth, Australia, had signed a one-year contract.
PACKING HIS BAG: Jalil Ramli has been replaced by Englishman Trevor Morgan as Sarawak coach next season.
However, Jalil, who has been moved to take charge of development, said in a telephone interview from Kuching yesterday that he has yet to get anything “in black and white” regarding the changes.
“I have only read about Trevor’s appointment in the newspapers. It is okay with me if it is for the good of Sarawak football,” said Jalil, whose contract as coach ends on Dec 31.
The 47-year-old Morgan, who was formerly the head coach of English Premier League club Birmingham City, came highly recommended, with personal references from former Manchester United and Aston Villa manager Ron Atkinson, Leeds United manager Peter Reid and Bolton Wanderers head coach Phil Brown.
Morgan had also scored 200 goals during his 10-year playing career from 1980 with the likes of Bournemouth, Mansfield Town, Bristol City, Exeter City, Bristol Rovers, Bolton Wanderers and Colchester United.
The Englishman, whose last appointment was as head coach of Senkang Marine FC in the Singapore League, is expected to arrive in Kuching soon to select his players when trials begin on Dec 8.
Jalil, meanwhile, said he would not look for another team after five years as Sarawak’s coach.
“For the time being, my loyalty is still with Sarawak. I am still under contract with the FAS until the end of the year. Moreover, there is nothing official from the FAS on my position,” Jalil said.
“I will carry on as usual. To me, development is part and parcel of the job. Coaches come and coaches go. Tapping young talent is vital for a strong team and I see it as an equally important job.
“But I will adopt a wait-and-see attitude before deciding on my future. I don’t know what the FAS have in store for me. Until it is official, I will carry on coaching as stipulated in my contract.
“A lot has been said about me in the local newspapers ... something which I believe is uncalled for. It hurts me but I am glad that Datuk Taha (Ariffin, FAS president) and the rest have stood by me.”
Sarawak finished empty-handed again this year but managed to secure a place in next year’s eight-team Super League via a playoff.