29th June, 2014
PETALING JAYA: Dollah Salleh has been appointed as the new head coach of the national football team.
The decision to appoint the former international was endorsed at the FA of Malaysia (FAM) executive committee meeting headed by new president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah at the Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya on Saturday.
Two other coaches from Germany – Mozambique national coach Gert Engels and ex-Iraq coach Wolfgang Sidka – were also considered by the FAM for the post but were not offered the job.
The 51-year-old Dollah retired from the national team in 1998. He is currently the head coach of newly-promoted Super League side Police.
Last year, he guided Pahang to the Malaysia Cup crown. His best achievement was with Selangor, whom he guided to the treble – Premier League, FA Cup and Malaysia Cup – in 2005.
Dollah is known as the coach with the Midas touch. He guided a record four Premier League sides back to the top flight. He steered MPPJ FC (2004), Selangor (2005), Pahang (2012) and Police (2014) to the Super League.
The national body have been on the lookout for a coach following their decision not to renew Datuk K. Rajagopal’s contract, which expired on Dec 31 last year.
The FAM initially was keen to sign Frenchman Philippe Troussier but the deal fell through.
Harimau Muda A coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee was handling the national team as the caretaker boss but the former international’s task is to prepare the national Under-23 squad for the Asian Games, which will be held in Incheon in September.
Dollah’s immediate assignment is to prepare the squad for the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup, which will be co-hosted by Singapore and Vietnam in December.
Meanwhile, the FAM also changed the national team manager, giving the job to Sarawak FA president Datuk Sudarsono Osman.
“The FAM executive committee agreed that Dollah is the right man for the job. He’s a local legend, has a solid track record as a player and coach,” said FAM deputy president Datuk Seri Afandi Hamzah.
“The national team’s biggest assignment this year is the AFF Suzuki Cup in November. We will announce Dollah’s Key Performance Index (KPI) soon.
“Dollah will be given a free rein to set up his coaching team and plan the national team’s friendly matches,” added Affandi.
Dollah’s first assignment is a friendly against Tajikistan on Aug 6. It will be followed by three other friendlies against Singapore (Sept 6), Jordan (Oct 11) and North Korea or New Zealand (Nov 18).