BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
On Wednesday, former Kelantan head coach Maldives and Kelantan head coach Velizar Popov announced that he has been appointed as Sisaket FC's new head coach, in the Thai Premier League.
Goal managed to get the Bulgarian coach's comments on his appointment, and a few thoughts on his former club and time in Malaysia.
Popov departed Kelantan at the end of the 2016 season, despite having overturned the Red Warriors' performance to guide them to a fourth-place finish in the Super League, citing that the club could not meet his conditions to convince him to extend his contract.
According to the 41-year old coach, his new club have no troubles fulfilling those requirements, especially in terms of the club's finances.
"...the club (Sisaket) are ambitious and have very good conditions and facilities for work - a great new training center, a good stadium that's always full with huge support from the fans, so there's opportunity to improve the club in every aspect.
"...Sisaket are more professional in every aspect, starting with the training center, the stadium, management and what I know so far - no financial problems which can influence my work with the players," Popov told us in an email interview.
Explaining that his contract with them is set to run until the end of this season with the option of extension by mutual agreement, he also added that he has only modest targets for the Dangerous Koupreys, who currently sit in 17th in the 18-team league.
"The first target is to win the next match, and after that - to escape the relegation zone," he explained.
He also told us that after he parted ways with Kelantan, several other Malaysian clubs made initial approaches towards him, but in the end nothing materialised.
"There were some interests but they didn't end in any concrete offers, so I decided to accept this huge challenge to try my best to help Sisaket FC," explained the former New Radiant boss.
But despite him hinting at the idea that Sisaket are a better run club than Kelantan, Popov sees parallels between the two sides and told Goal he is not ruling out a return to Kota Bharu in the future.
"...there's a lot in common actually (between Kelantan and Sisaket) - great fans and huge support, which will be our weapon in our battle to escape the relegation.
"I had a great relationship with Kelantan players and fans - it was a huge honor and great pleasure to work with and for them.
"I definitely like Malaysia and I look forward to to return there someday!" expressed the former Hebar Pazardzhik player.