Cheetahs suspend Johana and Amin becomes third coach of the club

Three different head coaches in just over half a year.

That remarkable turnover rate belongs to Great Eastern-Yeo's S-League club Hougang United, who suspended coach Johana Johari two weeks ago and appointed Amin Nasir as the first team's caretaker coach.

Ironically, Johana himself was a replacement for Alex Weaver, who began the season in February as the club's head coach.

After managing just one win in six matches, Englishman Weaver was relegated to an "observer" role, with Johana - then the team's Prime League coach - taking over the reins of the S-League team.

Weaver soon left the Cheetahs to take the reins at Warriors FC in June, after the resignation of V Selvaraj.

The rookie coach has produced decent results, losing just twice in eight S-League games in charge of the Warriors.

Johana, meanwhile, managed just four wins, with nine losses.

Now, he has been sidelined, and Hougang general manager Bruce Tan confirmed with The New Paper that the 51-year-old is also under investigation for "misconduct".

When pressed for details yesterday, Tan only said: "It's something that has been handed down from the management, and since the investigations are still ongoing, it's unfair to the coach if we say something."

Hougang chairman Bill Ng is overseas, and could not be reached for comment.

But he has been quick to act when the results have been less than satisfying.

Johana's suspension on Aug 20 arrived at a time when the team had lost five S-League matches on the trot.

When asked if Hougang's management were too impatient with their coaches, Tan disagreed.


"In Weaver's case, we just made him an observer," he said.

"At some point, there was a chance we would have put him back in as head coach.

"As for Johana, it was nothing to do with results.

"We will never blame bad results only on the coach."

Tan insisted that all the chopping and changing has not had a negative effect on the players, despite Hougang's dismal form this year.

With six games left this season, the Cheetahs are second-from-bottom in the 12-team S-League and are out of both the RHB Singapore Cup and StarHub League Cup.

When TNP visited the team's training session at the Hougang Stadium yesterday, players who were approached for comment declined, insisting they needed the club's permission first.

When TNP asked the club if the players could talk, Tan said it "would be better" for them not to speak at present.

It remains to be seen whether the club's decision to appoint former Singapore defender Amin as head coach will pay off.

He has overseen two matches so far - losing 2-1 to Weaver's Warriors side before beating Harimau Muda B with a similar scoreline.

Tan said the club are fully behind him even if he might not be able to take charge of the team fully because of his battle with colon cancer.

Amin missed yesterday's training session because he underwent the last of several rounds of chemotherapy.

Doctors will monitor his condition over the next six months to see if he needs to undergo further treatment.

Prime League coach Nahar Daud has been taking charge of training sessions in Amin's absence.

Said Tan: "The training details have already been arranged by Amin, so Nahar is able to follow up in training.

"Nahar also assisted Johana when he was head coach, so it's a good arrangement and the players are used to him."

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