IPOH: Perak technical and development director M. Karathu is expected to return as coach of the state’s football team after a lapse of five years.
A Perak FA source said that Karathu had verbally agreed to the appointment and that his first task would be the Charity Shield between Perak and Selangor on Dec 3.
The 63-year-Karathu last coached Perak in 2001, when he took the team to the Malaysia Cup final, which they lost 1-2 to Terengganu.
He then left to coach Woodlands Wellington in Singapore before returning home to take up the technical and development director’s job last year.
Karathu had also guided Kinta Indians Association (KIA) to the FAM Cup final in the late 80s and was also instrumental in Perak's 1990 FA Cup victory.
Karathu, who won the Malaysia Cup as a Perak player in 1967 and 1970, appears keen to take up the coaching post again.
Meanwhile, the Perak players will most likely know their fate during their training at the Perak Stadium this evening.
The players underwent a gym session yesterday morning and most of last year’s players, including centreback K. Nanthakumar, were present.
Nanthakumar, who is set to join MPPJ for the new season, attended the session because he is still under Perak FA’s payroll.
Leftback Chan Wing Hoong, who will also be joining MPPJ, was absent as he is holidaying in Australia.
The other absentees were V. Surendren, Azlan Zainal, V. Thirumurugan, Harizul Izuan Rani and Mohd Nor Ismail, who are all with the national team in Dubai.
Goalkeeper Hamsani Ahmad was also not around as he is in Mecca while Khairul Anuar, Sharulnizam Mustapa and skipper Ahmad Shahrul Azhar were down with fever.
Foreign player Keita Mandjou also showed up. The foreign players who were absent were Frank Seator, Traore Abdoulaye and Marian Juhas.
Coach Toni Netto, who is still in town, was the most notable absentee.