Abdul Jalil Rambli is no stranger to Sarawak football.
The legendary midfielder is well known across Malaysia for his role in football, particularly with Sarawak FA.
These are five things fans of Sarawak football may not know about the legendary midfielder of Sarawak.
1: Awang Mahyan started Jalil’s career as a footballer
Jalil only got into football in 1987 but was selected to play for Sarawak in 1988. According to Jalil, he was spotted when playing in Sarikei, and in 1987, the then head coach of Sarawak FA, Awang Mahyan, called him to represent Sarawak in the Liga Malaysia.
2: Jalil’s long throw
Jalil is known best for his long throws during his playing days. According to Jalil, he had started practicing his long throws ever since he played for LNG Bintulu. His throws are so powerful that it can reach the penalty box easily. During his playing days, Jalil’s long throws were part of his teams set piece and had contributed this had contributed a fair amount of goals fro Sarawak FA.
3: Asked to be Head coach
Although Jalil wasn’t expected to retire, he did. According to Jalil, he was asked by Alan Vest and the late Taha Ariffin to retire from playing football and take up Alan Vest’s position. He agreed and became Sarawak’s coach in 1999. It was Jalil’s first career as a football head coach and he continued on as the head coach of Sarawak until 2003 before leaving Sarawak FA. Jalil however returned to the same post he left for a year in 2005.
4: The only former Sarawak player Football pundit from Sarawak
When Jalil is not coaching, he also goes on television to give his thoughts on Malaysian football matches, particularly those played live. Jalil had been seen during pre-match shows for the Liga Malaysia several times, and was also asked to give his opinion in football for some key internation matches. So far, Jalil is the only former Sarawakian footballer I can remember that had appeared on TV for such role.
5: A true gentleman
Although famous and considered a legend, Jalil himself is very down to earth in person. The humble coach is admired by fans not only for his qualities on the pitch, but also his good personality outside the pitch. This is why Jalil remains a key figure in Sarawak football, and he is well respected and liked by many.
This article is brought to us by our Sports Writers Club resident columnist – Cyril Dason.