Cheng Hoe heading back to national team setup?
KEDAH trainer Tan Cheng Hoe could be rejoining the FA of Malaysia (FAM) as assistant to national coach Mario Gomez as his team are already on a lookout for a replacement.
Cheng Hoe was assistant to K. Rajagobal for four years before the national coach’s contract was not extended at the end of 2013.
Speculation is rife that Cheng Hoe has met representatives of newly elected FAM president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim over the position and his days with Kedah are now said to be numbered.
Cheng Hoe is one of the most experienced coaches in the M-League and has led Kedah to several successes since joining them in 2014. His biggest achievement was guiding them to the Malaysia Cup title last year.
But his impending move will likely affect the team, who currently lead the Super League standings.
However, Cheng Hoe debunked it as merely speculation but gave a clue over the possibility of being hired as assistant to Gomez.
“It is just rumours .... you will never know until Tunku Ismail officially announces the coaching staff for the national team.
“Many have asked me about it but I do not want comment further,” said Cheng Hoe when contacted yesterday.
It is learnt that Kedah FA (KFA) have spoken to former assistant coach Ramon Marcote and several others over the possibility of replacing Cheng Hoe.
Cheng Hoe is now focused on preparing his team for the FA Cup quarter-finals against Perak SEDC in Alor Star on Saturday.
Newly promoted Perak SEDC are currently third in the Premier League and they could pull a surprise over Kedah.
“Perak SEDC have nothing to lose going into this match. They will surely be motivated.
“Hopefully, my players will maintain their focus as we cannot be overconfident. “There are no injury issues but we may have to do without first choice goalkeeper Ifwat Akmal Che Kassim and forward Syafiq Ahmad as they are only expected to report back two days before the match from their assignment with the national Under-22 team in Dubai.
“We need a win and avoid conceding goals as away goals count in the competition. There have been a lot of upsets in the FA Cup and we want to avoid a defeat,” Cheng Hoe added. Ajitpal Singh
Tan Cheng Hoe