Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) announced the signing of Ulisses Morais as their new head coach, following the reorganisation within the club that saw former head coach Benjamin Mora being moved back down to Johor Darul Ta'zim II (JDTII).
The 57-year-old Morais is a Portuguese who have spent his managing career exclusively in Portugal in the Primeira Liga. From Beira-Mar to Academica Coimbra to Pacos Ferreira to Estoril Praia - Morais who will also act as the manager of JDT certainly comes with his fair share of experience in one of Europe's top flight.
Morais will be the sixth permanent head coach since HRH Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim (TMJ) took over the team and converted it to a club form. Despite their short time together in Portugal, Nazmi Fariz is at the very least a familiar face for Morais as they cross paths during their time in Beira-Mar.
There are nine more matches in the Super League for Morais to ensure that JDT maintain or extend their lead at the top to land the club their fourth consecutive league title. The Malaysia Cup competition also kicks off in July and that would be something for Morais to aim for.
While it is never ideal for any coach to takeover at midway point into a season, the timing couldn't be better for Morais. With the lead that JDT have in the league, Morais will not need much to push his star-studded side past the finishing line.
Yet the Portuguese will have six months to know his players and to learn his way around the Asian region, which will be necessary should JDT finish as league champions and qualify themselves for the Asian a champions League playoffs in 2018. That elusive competition remains the holy grail for JDT and TMJ - where their participation in the group stage proper is one that would break all sorts of records.
JDT's former head coach:
- Fandi Ahmad (2013)
- Cesar Jimenez (2014)
- Bojan Hodak (2014-15)
- Mario Gomez (2015-17)
- Benjamin Mora (2017)