# ‘I have been given a free hand to pick my team for new season’ – Irfan
# ‘I could not turn down the request to return to Terengganu’ – Irfan
# ‘Terengganu’s rightful place is the Super League’ – Irfan
By Rizal Abdullah
Soon after confirming his appointment as the new man to helm relegated Terengganu next season, former Super League outfit Felda United coach Irfan Bakti left for Abu Dhabi for his holiday on Wednesday night.
“Yes. I will be Terengganu’s new coach. This is a big challenge but I have been given a freehand to pick the players without any interference from any other party,” said Irfan.
Irfan dropped a bombshell when he quit Felda United in a huff after the team failed to reach the Malaysia Cup quarter-finals.
By accepting the Terengganu job Irfan has also taken a demotion by coaching a Premier League team but he sees it as “challenging” with massive plans in store for the East Coast giants in their bid to return to the elite Super League.
Irfan will start his job with the East Coast side in December.
The widely traveled Irfan is not new to the Turtles. He won the FA Cup for Terengganu in 2011 but things turned sour between him and the previous management.
He was seen on television throwing his FA Cup winner’s medal into the crowd during the prize presentation ceremony.
“That is past. This is new management and things are different now. I have met the Menteri Besar (Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman) in Kuala Terengganu on Oct 18 but asked for a grace period before confirming his decision today (Wednesday).
“I have been receiving hundreds of messages from football fans and many others to return to Terengganu and bring back the glory to the team. This was also a contributing factor although at one stage, I was only thinking of coaching a Super League team,” added Irfan in an interview.
“Terengganu’s rightful place is in the Super League and I hope to take the team back to the top.”
Terengganu were relegated to the lower tier after finishing at the bottom of the 12-team Super League following a 1-0 defeat to Penang at the City Stadium on Oct 22.