Monday, 28 November 2011

Terengganu coach Mat Zan looking to improve team next season

Mat Zan Mat Aris is a happy man these days. He is back in the Super League, coaching his old team, Terengganu, and his biggest problem now is looking for a place to stay in Kuala Terengganu.

Earlier, the 53-year-old former Pos Malaysia coach, who was hired to replace Irfan Bakti only days after Terengganu lost to Negri Sembilan in the Malaysia Cup final, had to deal with some disgruntled fans who were unhappy with Irfan's sudden resignation.

Then, there were street demonstrations by Terengganu supporters, calling  for the resignation of FA president Datuk Che Mat Jusoh, followed by a petition drive by the same group, asking the state government to look into the affairs of the association.

Mat Zan said he was worried at first when accepting the offer to coach the FA Cup-winning team as he thought the fans were blaming him for  Irfan's departure.

"But things went back to almost normal when we began our first training session almost two weeks ago and I am just glad that it has stayed that way ever since.

"Now, all we talk is about how to improve our team to achieve greater success than this year when the team won the FA Cup, finished second in the Super League and emerged runners-up in the Malaysia Cup," he said.

Mat Zan, who guided the Turtles to the Malaysia Cup crown in 2001, said he will not have to tinker much with the current winning squad as most of the players will be staying put.

"Except for defenders Helmi Remeli and Ronnie Harun, the rest of the players in the team were fringe players only and we are now hoping to sign at least two defenders from the Young Tigers.

"We are now in the process of hiring two foreign players but thus far, a few Russian and Ghanaian players who came here for trials have yet to impress us," he said.

The coach will have a chance to pick good foreign players as Menteri Besar  Datuk Seri Ahmad Said had announced that extra funds would  be made available to the team.

According to Ahmad, the team should hire a top midfielder and striker even if their asking salary is RM100,000 each a month.

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