When news broke out that Sarawak FA was ‘resting’ both its head coach
and assistant head coach, speculations rose of who would be his replacement.
Among those named were
former Sarawak FA player and head coach, Jalil Ramli.
Jalil, now coaching the Sarawak FA under-21 side is not only the one Sarawakian to have ever won silverware for Sarawak, he is also one of three coaches that had done so for Sarawak. The other two coaches are foreigners, namely Alan Vest and Robert Alberts.
To recap, under Jalil, Sarawak lifted the 1997 Liga Premier title and later the Piala Sumbangsih in 1998. If trophies were to be counted, Jalil is by far Sarawak’s most successful head coach by far.
His tenure as head coach
was one of Sarawak’s best seasons despite the fact it is less talked about.
However, should Jalil return to the senior side of Sarawak this time around and take over from rested head coach, Anai Igang?
We feel he shouldn’t for two reasons.
One is the fact that Jalil would be inheriting players he didn’t select, hence making it difficult for him to make tactical changes to the team. This was also the problem Anai had faced as he was only brought in after the local players were selected. Anai was appointed in January 2019, and the list of local players selected was out way before that, hence leaving Anai with little choice but to go with the flow of players he had at his disposal. Jalil would likely suffer the same fate as Anai shall he take over now.
leads the under 21 side today because he believes he is investing in the future
of Sarawak football. Looking at his match reports after every game, it is easy
to conclude that Jalil is trying to build a team for the future with his
assistant Pengiran Bala.
In simpler words, Jalil is currently ‘in his zone’ and making huge strides to improve Sarawak’s grass root football so that one day these youngsters can make an impact on Sarawak and Malaysian football.
Any sudden appointment to take him away from this is a distraction from his ambition and the future needs of Sarawak football.
That said, Jalil should be allowed to continue his football development in Miri with the under 21 team for the future of Sarawak football.
The problems with the current senior team should be dealt without interfering with Jalil’s task in the under-21 side, and hence the need for FAS to appoint another coach which is not Jalil Ramli.
This article is brought to us by our Sports Writers Club resident columnist – Cyril Dason.