Monday, May 13, 2013


Coach Weaver Watching From Sidelines

He came with a dossier full of modern football methods and looked to implement his ideas at Hougang United. -TNP 
Shamir Osman

Sat, Apr 06, 2013
The New Paper

Alex Weaver came with a dossier full of modern football methods and looked to implement his ideas at Hougang United.

The ambitious Hougang had set their sights on qualifying to play football in the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) regional competitions.

From match-preparation meetings peppered with video-clips and graphics to nutrition and post-match reports submitted to the club management, Weaver looked to change the Cheetahs' approach to football.

Evidently, it was not to everyone's taste.

After just six games of the 2013 S-League season, the Englishman will take a back seat, with Hougang's Prime League coach Johana Johari set to take over the reins of the senior team, at least for the moment.

Speaking to The New Paper on the sidelines of Hougang's 2-1 friendly win over V Sundramoorthy's LionsXII on Monday, when Johana took charge as Weaver watched silently from the bench, club chairman Bill Ng explained the move.

He said: "Alex is taking a step back so he can look at the team again, to perhaps get a big-picture view of the team. He has come with dreams and various ideas, but there seems to be a gap between theory and reality.
"This is the collective view of our technical team and the players, and this change has come about based on feedback from these two parties." (Management suggesting player power is behind this?)

Johana, 51, is an AFC coaching instructor.

His elevation to the senior side could be a temporary measure.

"Alex is an observer now, but he is still part of our plans. Our league game is next week, and we will see what the consensus is before we decide who takes charge," added Ng.

Under the 36-year-old Weaver, Hougang have played six games in the S-League, managing one win against three losses, with two draws.

Their solitary win, a 1-0 over the Courts Young Lions, was eventually credited as a 3-0 victory after it surfaced that Aide Iskandar's side had fielded ineligible players.

Hougang are 10th in the 12-team league.

They will play a friendly against Johor United at the Pasir Gudang Stadium on Friday, before facing Balestier Khalsa in the S-League next Tuesday.

When contacted yesterday, Hougang skipper Lau Meng Meng said: "(Weaver's) method is good, just that we need time to adapt to things, but the problem is that our results don't accurately reflect just how good his method is.
"Our management is result-oriented, and that's perhaps why this has happened." (Players suggest this is a management thing)

Lau has been with Hougang for five years.

The club have come through difficult situations in that time, and he says the players just have to focus on football.

"We can't do much because the management has the final say. As players all we can do is give our best on the field, and hopefully results will show," said the 29-year-old.

While Weaver declined to comment on the matter, Ng said: "The technical aspects of football are the realm of the coach, but if the coach has a blind spot, (the management) has to get involved.

"We'd rather take a pro-active approach now, rather than be forced to do restructuring later on. His changes have come too abruptly, but Alex is still part of our team," Ng reiterated.

COMMENT - yeah I know a bit old. Heard rumblings but was unable to use this  without more detail. Must be a South East Asian thing, benching coaches? They obviously don't want to sack the guy, that would cost money. So better pay him to do nothing? Isn't a smiliar thing happening to T Team?

It is refreshing to know that had the Hougang owner been in charge of Manchester United then Alex Ferguson would not have been around long enough for the 1990 FA Cup Final. But then there is a huge gap between theory and reality.

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