# ‘Now I have time for me’ – ‘Cikgu’ Rahman
# ‘I deserve a good rest ‘ – ‘Cikgu’ Rahman
Haji Abdul Rahman Ibrahim – name synonymous with Malaysian football – is finally calling it quits at the end of this season.
‘Cikgu’ as he is popularly known in the football fraternity in the country and also in this region is currently on paid leave from his job as chief coach of Terengganu.
The paid leave was approved by the Terengganu FA management at the end of June Abdul Rahman requested for leave after a spate of poor results. His contract with the Terengganu FA is until the end of this season in November.
The Terengganu FA management approved Abdul Rahman’s request for three months paid leave from his job which came in the wake of Terengganu’s 2-0 defeat to Selangor at the Shah Alam Stadium on June 27. The defeat saw Terengganu’s winless run in the Super League to six matches.
“Now I have time for me,” said ‘Cikgu’ Abdul Rahman whose coaching sojourns saw him twice serving as the national football coach.
His first as national coach was in 1987 while the second was from 1998 to 2000. He started his coaching career in Terengganu (1983-1984). His coaching stints also took him to Perlis twice – from (1996-1997) and from (2005-2007) which was highly successful when the Northern Lions won the Super League (2005), Malaysia Cup (2006) and the Charity Shield (2007).
Abdul Rahman also coached Selangor from 2001-2002 and won the FA Cup with the Red Giants apart from coaching Kelantan TNB (2004), Indonesian club Deltras FC (2008), PKNS FC (2009-2013) before returning to his homestate Terengganu last year for his third stint. His second was in 1998.
“You know football has given me good life and also pressure,” added the well-liked Abdul Rahman who never pulled punches in driving home strong messages – let it be to the players or the management.
“With Allah’s guidance, I deserve a good rest. Insyallah (God willing) Allah will guide me for the rest of my life.”
Abdul Rahman, 70, rightly took leave when it became known that the management was looking for a scapegoat for Terengganu’s poor run in the league at a time when the Turtles were hit by injuries and suspensions to key players.
The team is now handled by Abdul Rahman’s assistant Ahmad Yusof, a former international. Although the Turtles are in the Malaysia Cup the East Coast giants are in danger of missing the cut for a place in the quarter-finals from Group A.
Terennganu are at the bottom of the table with only one point after three matches. The solitary point came from a scoreless draw at home against JDT II. However, Terengganu suffered a humiliating 5-0 defeat to Kedah and 3-2 to Lions XII – both away.
Last Saturday’s away match against JDT II at the Pasir Gudang Stadium was postponed due to haze.
When he asked to go on leave, Abdul Rahman said: “To go six matches without a win is record for me. I have never experienced such situation before. When your hands are tied due to limited resources due to suspensions and injuries there is only so much you can do…you wait for miracles but when miracles do not happen you have to take some measures,
“Everyone knows the actual situation of the team. Instead of being made a scapegoat it is best I take leave.”
Abdul Rahman may not be in the thick of action on the field anymore but football is still his first love which kept him away from his family for years.