Sweeping changes in JDT management

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Five-time Malaysia Super League champions Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) in shock move replaced Raul Longhi and named former player Luciano Figueroa as the new manager of the Southern Tigers.

Also removed are assistant coaches Rui Rodrigues and Ismail Ibrahim. Benjamin Mora, who helmed JDT for a brief spell in 2017 (from January to July) is back with the Southern Tigers and will be assisted by former international Hamzani Omar.

Mora and Hamzani, are being promoted from feeder squad JDT 11 where the duo holds the position as head coach and assistant coach respectively.

JDT Technical Director Alistair Edwards said Figueroa, Mora, and Hamzani will be to Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, and Wolverhampton Wanderers where they will undergo a course to improve their coaching skills.

In another development for Johor player and currently handling JDT III has been promoted to JDT II to replace Mora while JDT II captain Shakir Shaari will be sent on a coaching course to become Boban’s assistant.

JDT’s long-serving Brazilian defender Marcos Antonio is to announce his retirement soon and will also be sent on a coaching course.

“These are part of our long-term projects for the club. These changes are have been planned by the club since the start of the season but needed the right time to be announced,” said Edwards, himself a former Johor player.

“We feel that this is the right time to be announced. We feel that this is the right time for the team to prepare for the AFC Champions League 2019 and other upcoming challenges.

“We would like to take this opportunity to express our utmost gratitude to Longhi, Rodrigues, and Ismail for their excellent service to the club (JDT).”

For the record, the changes came in the wake JDT’s shock 1-2 defeat to unheralded MISC-MIFA in a Group C Malaysia Cup match. The Malaysia Cup opener was played at the Larkin Stadium last Sunday. RIZAL ABDULLAH 


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