Football: They want to be Sundram's successor

He turned Kelantan into an allconquering side in his first year in charge of the Red Warriors, storming to all three Malaysian domestic titles in a show of attacking football.

And Bojan Hodak followed that performance in 2012 by bagging this season's FA Cup, with Kelantan still in the running to defend the Malaysia Cup after making the semi-finals.

The former Jurong FC player is now eyeing the LionsXII job vacated by his close friend, V Sundramoorthy."Am I interested in the LionsXII job? Yes, I am," Hodak told The New Paper on Friday.

"I am interested in any job, after this season is over. But at the moment I am still contracted to Kelantan, and we are focused on the Malaysia Cup semi-finals." Kelantan face ATM FA - the team that dumped the LionsXII out at the quarterfinal stage - in the first leg of their semifinal in Selangor on Oct 18, with the return fixture a week later.

The Croat's contract at Kelantan runs out in December.

While he was offered an extension, sources reveal that former Home United coach Steve Darby has put already pen to paper to become the Red Warriors' coach from mid-December.

"The Kelantan management has offered me a new contract, but there have also been other offers

"I'm not sure what I will do or where I will go next year, but while the season is still on, I have to concentrate," said Hodak, 42.

While Darby declined to comment on his future with Malaysia's northern giants, he told TNP that Hodak could be great for the Singapore side, who lifted the Malaysian Super League title this season.

Excellent Choice "Bojan will be an excellent choice for the LionsXII. He's done a fantastic job at Kelantan, and he understands both the Malaysian league, and football in the region," said the Englishman, who won three trophies with Home, including an S-League and Singapore Cup double in 2003, the club's most successful year to date.

"With many young players in the LionsXII having to juggle with their National Service commitments, what the team need is a coach who understands that - and Bojan does."

Sundram announced on Monday that he is stepping down as coach of LionsXII, and will start coaching Malaysian second-tier side Negeri Sembilan next month.

The other contenders

FANDI AHMAD

The local legend is the favourite to land the LionsXII coaching role after declaring his interest to The New Paper last week. Fandi, 51, who left Johor

Darul Takzim in August after they finished third in the Malaysian Super League, is regarded highly in some quarters, given his ability to motivate young players and his rapport with the fans.

AIDE ISKANDAR

The Courts Young Lions coach and former national captain will lead the Singapore Under-23s at the SEA Games in Myanmar in December. With several

of his Young Lions players set to make the step up to the LionsXII next season, the 38-year-old has the support to replace Sundram. Aide could also be appointed Fandi's assistant.


Get The New Paper for more stories.

Purchase this article for republication.

SERVICES