# Shock comes just two days before the Charity Shield match against Kedah
# Mexican Benjamin Mora is the new supremo of Southern Tigers
# ‘Mora is the most suitable individual’ for JDT’s vision and philosophy
By Rizal Abdullah
Just two days before three-time Super League champions Johor Darul Takzim play Malaysia Cup champions Kedah in the Charity Shield in the M-League curtain raiser the Southern Tigers shocked the local football fraternity by parting ways with their Argentine coach Mario Gomez.
At a press conference held at Johor Bahru’s Larkin Stadium -‘This is Larkin’ the home of the Southern Tigers late Wednesday, JDT’s sports director Alistair Edwards confirmed Gomez’s departure and the appointment of Mexican Benjamin Mora as the new supremo.
“The change of coach is part of the club’s long term vision and philosophy of the club to move forward to a higher level in the game,” said the former Australian international who played for Johor in 1991 when the state clinched a grand double by winning the League and Malaysia Cup – the first team to achieve the feat.
JDT club owner HRH Brig Gen Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim is not resting with JDT’s achievements of winning the AFC Cup (2015) and the League Cup (2014, 2015, 2016), the Charity Shield and the FA Cup (2016) but wants his team to reach greater heights.
JDT created football history as the first club to win the League Cup three years running. Winning the AFC Cup is another piece of football history in Asia and Malaysia when JDT became the first team from Malaysia and this region to win the silverware.
“This (parting ways with Gomez) is not a surprise nor a shock. This is something that was done over a series of discussions between Mario and the Crown Prince of Johor (Tunku Ismail). The change is in line with the club’s long term plans.”
Mora is not new to the M-League and coached Premier League outfit JDT II since December 2015. He was sent for a coaching stint with Spanish La Liga giants Atletico Madrid. He comes with a wealth of experience, having coached clubs like Guerros, Gallos Blancos, Atlante and Cafetaleros.
“Mora is the most suitable individual for the role in the club’s vision and philospohy.”
Despite the shock announcement of Gomez’s exit JDT are still the hot favourites to beat Kedah in the Charity Shield which also carries points towards the league standing.
The match will be played at the Larkin Stadium on Friday.