Aidil ready to step out of the shadows

Aidil Sharin says that observing and learning from past Home United coaches when he was a player has put him in good stead now that he has taken over the reins at the S-League side.
Aidil Sharin says that observing and learning from past Home United coaches when he was a player has put him in good stead now that he has taken over the reins at the S-League side.PHOTO: DON WONG FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

He was the perennial No. 2, serving as Home United's assistant coach for the past five years - first under South Korean Lee Lim Saeng (2011-2014) and then under Phillipe Aw (since 2014).

Even as a player, the former Home and national defender played second fiddle to elder brother Aide Iskandar for both club and country.

But Aidil Sharin, who took over the reins at the Bishan Stadium after Aw was sacked on July 30, feels he is ready to step up to the mantle for the Protectors in his first foray as an S-League head coach.

The 39-year-old kicked off his reign in style last week with a 3-0 victory over arch-rivals Warriors, and will look to continue that momentum tonight against Hougang United at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Aidil, whose men are fourth in the nine-team league on 25 points, said: "I'm more comfortable in the head coach's role now but there's still a lot of hard work to do - we've to work on our passing and also to keep more clean sheets.

"My past as a player is really helping me out a lot when I coach now. When I was at Home and played under coaches like Robert Alberts (1999) and Steve Darby (2002-2005), I learnt many aspects of football from them, such as managing a squad of players.

"Assisting Lee and Phillipe has also allowed me to develop my skills."

Aidil joined Home in 1997 and rose through the youth ranks before transferring in 2001 to Tampines Rovers, with whom he made his league debut.

He returned to Home the following year and went on to spend the next four years at the club, winning the S-League in 2003 and the Singapore Cup twice (2003, 2005).

"It's really an honour to coach a team like Home United, who've such a big history. The drive to work harder is there, especially since I'm a young coach," said Aidil.

"Of course, there's also the pressure on me to do well since I'm familiar with the club but I'm ready for the challenge and have an open mind. I just want to stay humble at every point."

League leaders Albirex Niigata restored their four-point lead over Tampines - who take on Warriors tonight - when they beat bottom-side Garena Young Lions 4-0. Geylang International and champions Brunei DPMM played out a 1-1 stalemate yesterday.

Yogaraj Panditurai

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2016, with the headline 'Aidil ready to step out of the shadows'. Print Edition | Subscribe