Malaysia’s procession of ‘rested’ coaches: do any return?

Coaches being ‘rested’ is all-too common in Malaysian football. But do any of them actually return from their enforced leave or does it prove to be the end of the road? FourFourTwo took a closer look at the unusual practice…

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In Malaysia, a coach could be 'rested' anywhere between his second game and well into his second year at a club.

A successful first season provides no security from the dreaded term in ensuing years, as some of the coaches below found out.

It is only five games into the 2018 season and there has already been four changes in the dugout. Two resignations, a sacking and the infamous 'resting'.

Selangor's P. Maniam became the first 'resting' casualty this season. Three successive Malaysia Super League defeats – a 4-1 drubbing by Terengganu, 3-1 loss at home to Pahang and more recently a 3-0 result against a Perak side coached by Red Giants legend Mehmet Durakovic – pushed the management into panic mode.

So how did some other 'rested' coaches fare? Read on below to find out.

Jacksen F. Tiago

The former Indonesian national team coach is among the few who have spoken out against management following Penang’s decision to rest him for a month in April 2016. He said the management would be “stupid” to reappoint him again and true enough he has not been in the dugout since.

Having led Penang to promotion last year, Tiago’s Panthers found it difficult to match top-flight teams and the Brazilian was later told to skip training and spend April at home.

Two months later, Tiago told reporters he was still contracted to the Islanders despite the relegation battlers having appointed Nenad Bacina in the hotseat.

Steve Darby

Darby arrived in Kota Bahru in 2014 with optimism that he could return the glory days to Kelantan but mixed fortunes resulted in him being rested, offered the technical director role and later sacked after failing to negotiate a mutual termination just over four months into his two-year contract.

Darby attempted to take the already debt-ridden East Coast club to the cleaners and initially succeeded after winning RM636,000 in compensation for wrongful sacking. Kelantan then ignored attempts to negotiate a payoff but somehow made a successful plea and the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) reduced the figure to a mere RM165,000 in May.

Darby later moved to Laos to serve as technical director and national coach, but left that post in 2016.