Ever since news about Ashley Westwood’s contract termination hit the radar, social media users have been raving about his potential replacement.
Some of the names that have been thrown into the picture include former Penang coach, head coach Merzagua Abderrazzak, Mohammad Bakar, former national coach Azraai Khor, and former Selangor coach Zainal Abidin Hassan, amongst others.
A large chunk of the fans also urged Football Association of Penang (FAP) to switch things up and hire a local coach instead, someone who understands the dynamics of local football and know the local players.
Former national football legend, Datuk Shukor Salleh, shares the same opinion as Penang’s fans. He firmly believes that Penang’s situation can be improved if they hire a local coach.
Penang last had a local coach when Manzoor Azwira Abdul Wahid stepped up as caretaker coach for the northern club, after Brazil-born Jacksen Tiago was “rested” in 2016.
Prior to that, their last local coach was K. Devan, who was named as head coach of Penang FA when they were newly promoted to the 2014 Malaysia Premier League.
“Penang is desperate at the moment, and I’d suggest FAP to hire a local coach if they want to see immediate results.” former national football legend Datuk Shukor Salleh told Harian Metro.
“We have plenty of capable coaches on the country. FAP can look at names like Azraai, Zainal or Mat Bakar.” he added.
“A local coach can adapt faster to the team, they already know how Malaysian football works, and they are familiar with the players, so they can do a better job in fixing the team.”
Datuk Shukor Salleh also added that a foreign coach may be very capable, but they tend to take a longer time to understand the local teams and players. And time is definitely not something that Penang can afford to lose at the moment.
After terminating Ashley Westwood’s contract, FAP has assigned Penang’s assistant head coach, Darren Read, to take over the team at the moment.
“I’m not even sure if Darren Read can get the job done.” Datuk Shukor added, speaking of Penang’s interim manager. “If the head coach couldn’t get the job done, how can the assistant coach do it?”
As of now, FAP has not yet given any hints about who will take over the position of head coach in Penang FA. Will hiring a local coach solve all of Penang’s problems? What do you guys think?