Match Of The Week

Football: Few changes under Aidil

New Home United coach Aidil Sharin (far left) and Juma'at Jantan at training. Despite performing relatively well and developing younger players, Philippe Aw was removed from the club's top coaching post and redeployed as head of youth development and
New Home United coach Aidil Sharin (left) and Juma'at Jantan at training. Despite performing relatively well and developing younger players, Philippe Aw was removed from the club's top coaching post and redeployed as head of youth development and performance management.PHOTO: DON WONG FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

Protectors in shock over Aw's exit but expect new coach to keep attractive style

Tonight's Home United versus Warriors match is traditionally one of the glamour ties of the S-League season, being the battle of the uniformed clubs.

But the Protectors are entering the game against their old rivals almost in a state of shock following Saturday's sacking of first-team coach Philippe Aw.

His assistant Aidil Sharin took over the reins on Sunday.

CONTINUE WITH GOOD WORK

He (Aidil) still has the same style and I'm confident we'll continue to play attacking football.

SHARIN SABERIN, on adapting to the new coach.

Sharin Saberin, 21, said: "We were all informed (about Aw's removal) via the Facebook post - it was a complete surprise."

Azhar Sairudin added: "I didn't know at all until Ken Ilso texted me on Saturday. I was shocked. I called up the management and asked for an explanation.

"I don't see what's wrong with the brand of football that we're playing now and our league position now."

Chief executive Azrulnizam Shah Sohaimi defended the club's decision to notify the players via Facebook, saying: "It was the club management's decision to put it up on Facebook and make sure everyone was informed at the same time.

"We are aware there are cons to this and there could be misunderstandings but this decision was made to ensure all parties were kept in the loop."

The club are fourth in the S-League standings on 22 points, behind third-placed Brunei DPMM, the reigning champions, on goal difference with just eight games to go.

Aw was redeployed as the club's head of youth development and performance management, taking up the post officially on Tuesday.

Attacking midfielder Azhar, 29, paid tribute to Aw, saying: "Phillipe was the one who gave me the chance to shine. He let a local player like me play as the No. 10 and dared to play the youngsters to let them show their potential.

"His bravery made us salute him and even though the results didn't go our way sometimes, the football that we played was something a true fan would enjoy watching."

A firm believer in attractive and attacking football, Aw won plaudits for his style and promoted many of the club's Prime League players, handing them first-team debuts.

Sharin said: "It's sad to see him go because he gave me the belief to perform. It has been such an honour to play for him under his style of football."

However, Aidil , 38, has served as Aw's assistant since the latter took charge last season and the players still expect the same attacking brand of football to remain.

"Most of us should not have a problem (adjusting to Aidil) because we were there with him since last year. He still has the same style and I'm confident we'll continue to play attacking football," said Sharin.

Aidil, who learnt of his first appointment as an S-League head coach when members of the club's management spoke to him after training on Saturday, said: "We will still continue on from all the hard work done by Phillipe and nothing will change.

"I'm looking forward to a good finish to the season but my focus is now on the match against Warriors and the three points."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 04, 2016, with the headline 'Few changes under Aidil'. Print Edition | Subscribe