English World

(Football) Expectations high for new Malacca Utd coach Eric Williams

MALACCA: There may be something special about Eric Williams, given that criticism has momentarily stopped after Malacca United’s swift decision to fill the vacancy left by Premier League title-winning coach Mat Zan Mat Aris.

Former national stalwart Soh Chor Len hopes Williams adapts swiftly to the local culture and continues Malacca’s push forward when they make their Super League debut next season.

While the decision to bring in foreign expertise may be one that adds spice to the challenge, Chor Len hopes Williams translates his winning touch from the Myanmar league with Yangon United to similar effect in the presumably tougher Malaysian Super League.

Chor Len, 49, hopes Williams’ vast experience of playing in the English league and Australia and his thus far successful stints as coach in Australia, Indonesia and Myanmar, will serve him well as he begins his task with Malacca.

“As a Malacca-born and a former player, of course I have been longing to see this team achieve success for too long. That has to happen because of the investments in the squad and also the level of attention from the fans after winning the Premier League and getting promoted to the Super League for the first time,” said Chor Len.

Chor Len hopes the criticism hurled at the Malacca United management after the unceremonious exit of Mat Zan will now stop.

“Mat Zan helped the squad to the FAM League and Premier League titles, but we do not wish to continue questioning the decision to drop him. Right now, everyone who is behind this team should remain focused on supporting them towards beating even higher odds in the Super League,” he said.

Englishman Williams, who has spent the past 25 years in Australia, arrived in Malacca on Tuesday and was accompanied by Malacca United Soccer Association (MUSA) deputy president Datuk Yusof Mahadi and other officials to visit the Hang Tuah Stadium and Hang Jebat Stadium, the two main venues in the city.

Williams is expected to begin his duty when the full squad returns to training after their pilgrimage to Mecca, a reward from the state government for their Premier League title, on Nov 28.

-New Straits Times

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