Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) Sports Science senior lecturer, Dr. Zulakbal Abdul Karim said, the achievement of such local coaches is an indication of how they too possess a strong mentality and in depth tactical knowledge thanks to such victories.

KUALA LUMPUR: The time has come for teams who feature in the Malaysia League (M-League) not to put foreign coaches on a pedestal, and instead show more appreciation and give chances to local coaches to shine.

This is the opinion and view of Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) Sports Science senior lecturer, Dr. Zulakbal Abdul Karim when asked to comment on the success of four local coaches in guiding their respective teams to the semi-finals of the FA Cup this season.

According to the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) elite lecturer, the achievement of such local coaches is an indication of how they too possess a strong mentality and in depth tactical knowledge thanks to such victories.

“Local coaches have the advantage as if we take a closer look, they are well versed with the local footballing scene and also possess extensive knowledge on Malaysian football, which goes to show that they know what tactics to use and implement according to what is needed in order to win matches.

“Sometimes foreign coaches have their own ego and still insist on implementing their football philosophy which may not be suitable for local matches.

“This also goes to show that local coaches know what it takes, what needs to be instilled for tournament matches such as the FA Cup, and I am of the opinion that the recent achievement of a handful of local coaches shows that they are on par with the foreign coaches,” said Zulakbal when contacted earlier today (Friday).

Four teams advanced to the semi-finals of the FA Cup this season, all led by local coaches, who are Dollah Salleh (Pahang), Abu Bakar Fadzim (Perak SEDC), Datuk K. Rajagobal (PKNS FC) and Muhammad Nazliazmi Mohamad Nasir (Selangor).

In fact, three of these local coaches led their respective teams in getting the better of sides coached by experienced foreign coaches, as Dollah’s Pahang defeated Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) who are coached by Argentinian Raul Longhi, while Rajagobal’s PKNS FC overcame Perak who have Australian Mehmet Durakovic at the helm, while Nazliazmi’s Selangor managed to see off the challenge of Klang Valley arch-rivals Kuala Lumpur who are coached by Brazilian Fabio Maciel.

“Perhaps the local coaches did their homework by getting as much information as they could on the teams that they face, so they are able to plan ahead and arrange to implement the best possible tactics and strategies for matches.

“This just goes to show that local coaches are not just smart but perhaps even better compared to foreign coaches,” Zulakbal pointed out.

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