BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
The Red Giants are likely to keep using a young squad in the following season, says its newly appointed vice-president and secretary-general, Johan Kamal Hamidon.
When fielding questions by the press following the final day of their three-day workshop on Monday, Johan revealed that a change of coach is something that the club is exploring, as part of its transformation drive.
"We have been looking at a number of internal and external candidates, including our current head coach as well. The new management has only taken over for three weeks, so we need to assess all of our options, and see if any change must be implemented.
"There are foreign and local candidates, four in total, but I can't disclose who they are yet," he revealed.
Johan Kamal Hamidon. Photo by Zulhilmi Zainal
However, Johan also defended their current head coach Nazliazmi Nasir, who took over from Maniam Pachaiappan earlier in the season.
Although he was able to guide them to the FA Cup final while also securing top-tier safety, the relatively young squad have been inconsistent all season, and some fans have already started calling for his head.
"We feel as if Nazliazmi has been made a scapegoat by the fans. They have to remember that he has inherited a young squad from his predecessor, and this is a huge responsibility. But he has done very well for himself; we've avoided relegation and reached the FA Cup final, while we still have a chance in the Malaysia Cup.
"And for the past three weeks, his newborn child is still being warded in the intensive care unit for a congenital heart disease! Just imagine the amount of professional and personal pressure he's been under. We the board are of the opinion that he's done a great job, but as a young coach he needs more time to mature. Nothing has been decided yet," explained the former amateur league administrator.
Johan also remarked that the club is likely to keep using younger players in the 2019 season, as they have been doing for the past two seasons.
"We have a very good young team," he told the press. "In our final three Super League matches, 90 per cent of the players in our starting line-up were young players, and they managed to defeat PKNP FC and Terengganu FC.
"Our budget for the following season will not be markedly different from this season's, because we employ young players, with the more experienced players complementing the team. We don't need too many senior players; just seven or eight of them on the first team roster."
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