Ulisses Morais – Just who is JDT's new Portuguese coach?

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AFC Champions League qualification

There is no automatic qualification for Malaysian clubs, though that may soon be a reality if Malaysia manage to be above sixth-placed Hong Kong in the AFC member association ranking at the end of the season.

Otherwise, JDT will have to go through the qualifiers again. The Johor Bahru outfit reached the final playoff round in 2016 after bowing out of the preliminary round 2 twice in previous years, but Gamba Osaka were too strong an opponent as the Japanese cruised to a 3-0 win.

Photo: Gamba Osaka

Morais’ appointment is timely considering it was very likely the club would not have started the 2018 season with his predecessor. The Portuguese mentor now has over six months to prepare the squad for next season’s Champions League bid.

Failing that, JDT need to put out a better AFC Cup campaign than in 2017 where they bowed out of the Zonal Semi-Final to Filipino side Ceres Negros.

Main photo: JDT