Hodak wants better contract
By RIZAL ABDULLAH
KELANTAN’s Bojan Hodak wants a new contract with “better terms and conditions” after taking the Red Warriors to a grand treble – Super League, FA Cup and the much sought after prestigious Malaysia Cup.
However, the Croatian, whose contract expires at the end of November, will have to wait for Kelantan supremo Tan Sri Annuar Musa to return from Mecca where is performing his Haj before knowing his fate.
Annuar was not at the Shah Alam Stadium last Saturday to see Kelantan lift the Malaysia Cup after a nail-biting 3-2 win over Armed Forces after extra time as he left for the Holy Land on Oct 17.
Kelantan team manager Azman Ibrahim said initial talks between Hodak and the management have been held and things do look good.
“But only Tan Sri (Annuar) can decide on Hodak’s new contract. Of course we want to retain Hodak after a fantastic season. At this stage, it is fair to say that his (Hodak’s) demands are negotiable,” said Azman.
Hodak coached UPB MyTeam from 2006 to 2009 in the M-League, before moving on to Cambodia and China. He returned to coach Kelantan this year after Englishman Peter James Butler quit the team in a huff in the early part of the season.
He said his priorities are with Kelantan as he believes he can take the Red Warriors to “greater heights” because the players are now “mentally stronger” to face the challenges beyond the boundaries of Malaysia.
“It is the beginning of a new era for football in Kelantan. Winning three Cups with Kelantan is also a new high for me in my coaching career,” says Hodak, whose holidays with wife Junie Tan and four-year-old son Luka, will take him to Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Maldives.
“The euphoria of winning the treble is still there but things need to get moving for the new season. Like me, I too want to know if I am going to stay or not. Football is my career and I need to plan my next step.
“Malaysia is my second home because my wife Junie is from Penang. With a family to tag alone, Malaysia is the best place for me to continue my coaching career.
“It is no point moving to another team in South East Asia because the standard of football is not better than what we have here in Malaysia. Kelantan have shown that they are capable of challenging the best not only in the M-League but also showed that equally good in the AFC as we reached the quarter-finals.”
In the AFC Cup, Kelantan were beaten 5-1 by Iraq’s Arbil FC in the first-leg away before holding their opponents to a 1-1 draw in the return-leg in Kota Bahru.
“Frankly, I knew Kelantan could go for the treble after we beat Lions XII 3-0 at home. After we reached the quarter-finals in the AFC Cup, the players had the mental strength to go for it.
“Before that I thought it was not possible because we lost the FA Cup in the final and fell out at the quarter-final stage in the Malaysia Cup last season .. .and in the end we only had the (Super) League title to show last year. But it was different this year and you saw the real Kelantan in the M-League this season.”
For the records, Kedah are the only team to have achieved a treble when they won all three titles under Azraai Khor Abdullah in 2007 and 2008.
Hodak believes Kelantan can emulate Kedah's feat next season but it remains just a vision for the Croatian until he puts his name on the dotted line.
Oct 25, 2012