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Steve Darby

KELANTAN supremo Steve Darby is a wanted man even when he is just three months into his two-year contract with the Red Warriors.

Two leading clubs in this region have approached the Englishman for his services, but Darby who took over the Kelantan hot seat from Croatian Bojan Hodak has shot down both offers.

“I never go behind another coach’s back, never have and never will,” Darby told, who refused to name the clubs.

“Secondly, you can never be sure if the representative has the approval for such an approach.

“Thirdly, I am in contract with Kelantan and I not only believe in honouring contracts, but I am enjoying working with a great set of professionals.

“We are top of the league and in the FA Cup semifinals and four young players have come through the system and made their professional debuts.”

Kelantan – winners of the League Cup, the FA Cup and the prestigious Malaysia Cup in 2012 – could only retain the FA Cup last season.

The Red Warriors are fielding a new-look side after the lure of the big bucks saw Kelantan lose nine first team squad players – including half of their first eleven.

“I had no problems with players leaving. I fully understand the economics of football. At the same time I also have no problems that we are working to a budget as that’s how a professional team should be run,” added Darby, who previously coached Johor and Perak in the M-League.

Kelantan have to two big hurdles in the next four days – starting with an away match against Selangor at the Shah Alam Stadium. The newly renovated and upgraded stadium will host its match in the M-League this season.

“The Shah Alam Stadium is the second stadium I love most in the world after Anfield,” quipped Darby who is a hard-core Liverpool fan.

This is followed by a home match against the star-studded Johor Darul Takzim on Tuesday.

For the Selangor match, Darby will decide on Mohammad Ghaddar and Francis Forkey Doe, until tonight’s training session.

Out of the match is Shakir Ali who is serving a two-match suspension for a direct red card offence in the 2-1 win over Lions XII. He did not play in the 2-2 draw against Pahang at home in the last league match.

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