(REUTERS) - Former Netherlands midfielder George Boateng has been handed his first managerial role in football, taking over as head coach at struggling Malaysian side Kelantan.
Boateng, 38, made his name in the English Premier League with playing stints at Coventry City, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Hull City before moving to Malaysian Super League side T-Team last year.
His playing career ended in July and he had been working as a television pundit before signing a six-month contract to take over at Kelantan, who dismissed England-born coach Steve Darby following a 0-4 league loss to Sime Darby last week.
"They were several candidates for the post but Boateng's presentation on his plans and vision for the team put him above the rest," Kelantan FA chief executive officer Kevin Ramalinga told Malaysian media on Thursday.
Kelantan have won six domestic trophies in the last four years but are mid-table halfway through the current 12-team league campaign.