3rd July, 2012
KOTA KINABALU: Former Northern Ireland international David McCreery looks set to take the Sabah hot-seat.
The 54-year-old McCreery is expected to arrive in the State Capital on Friday from Myanmar, and if things go according to plan, he could take charge of the team as early as Saturday where Sabah will be taking on Terengganu in a home game at the Likas Stadium.
“He should have been here earlier, but due to some unseen circumstances, there was a bit of a delay on his arrival,” said Alijus Hj Sipil when contacted yesterday.
“He will be arriving in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday from Myanmar, and would be heading to Kota Kinabalu the next day,” Sabah FA Secretary General added.
Alijus, who is currently with the State Sukma football squad in Pahang, said both parties have verbally agreed on the terms of the contract.
“If there is no other obstacle, everything will be concluded by Friday,” he said.
The FA was forced to look for a new head coach after removing Justin Ganai from the post following a string of defeats that left Sabah rooting among the bottom teams in the 14-team Super League standings.
At the moment, Justin’s assistant Andrew Majanggim, who is a FAM Licence B holder, has been taking charge of the team in the last four matches where they registered two victories and two defeats.
Tonight, they are taking on Johor FC away, where a victory over the Southern club side would see them taking a big step towards their fight for survival in the competition.
Glancing at McCreery’s background, he is one of the most capped players for his country after making 67 appearances.
He was also part of the Northern Ireland side that featured in the World Cup finals of 1982 Spain and 1986 Mexico.
He was even named in the All Star Select XI at the 1982 World Cup for his continuous high quality performances.
Born in Belfast, the midfielder started his career with Manchester United (1974-1979), before joining Queens Park Rangers (1979-1981).
In 1981, he joined Tulsa Roughnecks of the North America Soccer League before signing for Newcastle United (1982-1989), before short spells at Heart of Midlothian and Hartlepool United.
He later managed Carlisle United and Hartlepool, in the English Division Two. His greatest success at these clubs came in 1993-94, when he guided Carlisle to a place in the Division Three play-offs, where they were eliminated in the semi-finals by eventual winners Wycombe Wanderers.
He won the Manager of the Month Award twice within his tenure at the club. He then joined Hartlepool United but was unable to win promotion and resigned after one season to initiate Major League Soccer in America.
McCreery was named Head Coach of Myanmar’s Magway FC in 2011.