Football: Baihakki comes to terms with being dropped to second-tier JDT II

Johor Darul Takzim's (JDT) football players Baihakki Khaizan (left) and Hariss Harun, both from Singapore, working out in the gymnasium at Tan Sri Dato Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium in Larkin, Johor on Jan 23, 2014. SINGAPORE international defender
Johor Darul Takzim's (JDT) football players Baihakki Khaizan (left) and Hariss Harun, both from Singapore, working out in the gymnasium at Tan Sri Dato Haji Hassan Yunos Stadium in Larkin, Johor on Jan 23, 2014. SINGAPORE international defender Baihakki Khaizan has opened up over him being dropped from Malaysian Super League football side Johor Darul Takzim's (JDT) roster for the remainder of the season. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ZAINAL YAHYA

SINGAPORE international defender Baihakki Khaizan has opened up over him being dropped from Malaysian Super League football side Johor Darul Takzim's (JDT) roster for the remainder of the season.

On Saturday, the 30-year-old announced online that he has been "rested" by the management, and will turn out for second-side JDT II, who are playing in the second-tier Malaysian Premier League, from next season onwards instead.

Speaking to The Straits Times, the 30-year-old said that he has come to terms with his demotion, which was born out of tactical reasons rather than a falling-out with the coaching team.

"Naturally, I was pretty disappointed after hearing the news as I did not expect something like that to happen to me," said Baihakki.

"But I've accepted it now. This is life in football, and things like that can happen to even the best players in the world, like Pablo Aimar, so I am no different.

"With so much money being pumped into JDT, the expectations are high so I understand the decision."

He has since been replaced with Brazilian defender Marcos Antonio Elias Santos, who last turned out for German Bundesliga side Nuremberg, while his team-mate Aimar, who has played for Argentina in the World Cup, has reportedly been released by the club.

The Singapore defender, who is still contracted to the Johor FA, which runs both JDT and JDT II, is looking to go out on loan in a bid to stake his claim to be part of the national squad for the AFF Suzuki Cup that will be held on home soil in November.

"The Crown Prince asked me to go on loan, play some football and come back to guide the younger players at JDT II next season," said Baihakki.

"I'll be meeting with a few of my contacts this week to see where I can play at. Hong Kong and Thailand are possible destinations.

"Even if an offer from a S-League club comes by, I'll consider it too."

terong@sph.com.sg