The appointment of Ulisses Morais as the new head coach and manager for Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) is not only a fresh beginning for the team but also one that will give a certain set of players a second bite at the cherry.
Every coach or manager has their preference - be that style of play, formation or players. Some can be properly forgiving or removed from emotional preference while others can close the door completely in some player should they failed to perform in any match.
While Benjamin Mora did more than his predecessors to highlight and be inclusive towards the likes of Afiq Fazail, Azrif Nasrulhaq and Mahali Jasuli - there's a fair few players that seemed to have lost the faith of the coach during his tenure.
Darren Lok, Gary Steven Robert, Shakir Shaari, Junior Eldstal, S. Chanturu and R. Gopinathan are those who should be looking at this managerial and coaching change as one that would potentially give them a path back into the playing squad.
Granted, some of those aforementioned players have found playing time hard to come by because of injuries. The same injuries could also erode the faith and patience of a coach towards the player. That is now in theory a clean slate with the new man in charge.
The competition for places is probably the fiercest it has been at the Southern Tigers since its inception. For Gary and Shakir stands a former Segunda Division player in Natxo Insa. For Darren, the league's top scorer in Mohammed Ghaddar is blocking his path. Given how the team has performed in 2017 - Junior, Chanturu and Gopinathan looks to have a comparatively easier fight on their hands.
The test is there for them to ace it. It's sink or swim time, it's the way it is for football at the elite level. Morais will do well to look at the performances this season and to take the positives out of it but at the same time, should provide equal opportunities for the fringe players to impress him as well.