Coaches renew their rivalry
KEDAH caretaker coach Nidzam Adzha Yusof and his Pahang counterpart, Dollah Salleh were fierce rivals during their playing days.
On Saturday, the two men will renew their rivalry as coaches of their respective teams in the FA Cup final at Shah Alam Stadium.
While Dollah has attained successes as a coach, Nidzam has yet to achieve anything major.
The 49-year-old Nidzam now hopes to finally taste glory and also join an ‘elite’ club of individuals who have won the FA Cup both as players and coaches.
Nidzam won the FA Cup as a player with Perak (1990) and Kedah (1996) while Dollah only managed it as a coach in 2005 with Selangor.
“We were once fierce rivals and on Saturday, we will renew our battle but as coaches. I respect Dollah as he has managed to make a smooth translation from a great player to a successful coach.
“It is unique as many great players have failed to become good coaches,” Nidzam told Timesport yesterday.
“It is my first major final but for Dollah, it is just another match as he has won countless titles as a coach. He knows what it takes to guide a team to become champions.
“Dollah has his unique ways to motivate players. Pahang are a near-complete side. They are second in the Super League and also knocked out Darul Ta’zim from the FA Cup... I rate them as favourites on Saturday.”
It is Nidzam’s third stint as Kedah’s caretaker coach. The former striker stood in for the suspended Wan Jamak Wan Hassan in 2012 but resigned after just five matches.
He was also handed a similar role at the tail-end of the 2015 season when former trainer Tan Cheng Hoe was in China for a coaching course.
“The special thing about Pahang is that they do not depend on one or two players for goals. A total of 13 players have netted for Pahang so far and this is not a good sign for us as their goals can come in from anyone.
“My players will only report back for training tomorrow after two hectic away games. I will be working on solutions to tighten our defence.
“I believe Pahang will pressure us for early goals and we need to find a way to contain them,” said Nidzam, whose team have recorded one win and two draws since he took over from Cheng Hoe on April 29.
Nidzam’s squad have no injuries or suspensions except for forward Farhan Roslan who is down with a suspected knee injury.
Nidzam Adzha Yusof