BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
After weeks of speculation, the Malaysian FA (FAM) on Friday has announced the appointment of Malaysia U-23 assistant head coach Brad Maloney as Malaysia U-19 head coach.
The position has been vacant since May, when the association decided against extending Bojan Hodak's contract. The Croatian successfully led the Young Tigers to their first ever AFF U-19 Youth Championship title in 2018, while taking them to the group stage of the AFC U-19 Championship finals in the same year, but his controversial statement regarding the youth system in the country earlier this year partially led to the two parties' parting of ways.
Bojan Hodak. Photo by asiana.my
However, Maloney still retains his position as assistant to Datuk Ong Kim Swee. The Australian first came to Kim Swee's attention back in his home country in 2014, when the now-defunct Harimau Muda competed in a local league in Queensland.
The pair has had a relatively successful run with the U-23 side in the past two years or so; reaching the last sixteen of the 2018 Asian Games and quarter-finals of the 2018 AFC U-23 Championship.
The Australian's appointment has been praised by FAM's technical director Peter de Roo, in the association's announcement.
“Brad has been with us since 2014 and he is familiar with the Malaysian way of football, which makes him the perfect candidate to take charge of the national U-19 side. We want to promote a close-knit and harmonious working relationship between head coaches of all age-groups and I know the appointment of Brad will reinforce our case on this."
The 47-year old trainer will lead the Young Tigers in the coming AFF U-18 Championship 2019 in Vietnam in August, and the qualifying campaign of the 2020 AFC U-19 Championship in Cambodia in November. His contract will begin on July 1, and ends on December 31 this year.
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