Thursday, September 24, 2009


Sathianathan replaces Butler


Former national coach B. Sathianathan has accepted an offer from Kelantan to take charge of their team for the Malaysia Cup competition which kicks off on Saturday.

Sathianathan, who met KFA president Tan Sri Annuar Musa in Kota Baru yesterday, said that details of the contract would be drawn up soon.

“I have basically accepted their offer and my immediate task is to see them through the Malaysia Cup competition,” said Sathianathan, who will take over from Englishman Peter Butler.

The former West Ham star surprisingly quit the team last Thursday to take up an appointment as technical director of Myanmar side Yangon United. He had done a good job to take the Red Warriors to the FA Cup final.

Sathianathan said that time was not on his side to work with assistant coach Hashim Mustapha on the team structure and combination of players before they open their Malaysia Cup campaign in Group E with an away match against Penang at the City Stadium.

“I have followed Kelantan’s progress and I know they have a fana­­­ti­cal crowd backing the team,” he said.

“A couple of the key players – skipper Mohd Badri Radzi and striker Mohd Ramzul – are down with long-term injuries.

“I saw the team play a friendly match yesterday. They were just back from the Hari Raya holidays and the players struggled to find their footing.”

Sathianathan has worked with the FA of Malaysia (FAM) in various positions for more than a decade. He was the assistant to Tunisian Hatem Souissi and Allan Harris in the national and pre-Olympic sides before he was promoted to chief coach in 2007.

Under his charge, the national team made it to two consecutive Merdeka Tournament finals and were the champions in 2007.

But Sathianathan was sacked by FAM on Feb 1 following the national team’s 0-5 mauling by the United Arab Emirates in an Asia Cup qualifying match on Jan 21.

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