Home's Saswa is first casualty of SPL season

Coach Saswadimata Dasuki has stepped down after Home United won just two of six SPL games to be seventh in the nine-team table. Assistant Noh Rahman will take over as interim coach.
Coach Saswadimata Dasuki has stepped down after Home United won just two of six SPL games to be seventh in the nine-team table. Assistant Noh Rahman will take over as interim coach.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

After barely a quarter of the Singapore Premier League (SPL) season, Home United are the first team to part ways with their head coach as they announced the mutual termination of Saswadimata Dasuki's contract yesterday.

The Protectors said that assistant coach Noh Rahman will take over on an interim basis as the club are in the process of appointing a new head coach.

They added in a media statement: "Home United FC and head coach Saswadimata Dasuki have come to a mutual agreement to part ways with immediate effect.

"HUFC would like to thank Saswa for his contributions, having joined the club as assistant coach in 2017, and being appointed head coach for the 2019 season.

"During his stint, he brought honours to the club, including the recent Community Shield. We thank him for his work and wish him the best for his future endeavours."

The former Singapore international, 49, declined comment, but it is understood that one of the contributing factors behind the decision is the club's poor results.

Despite being touted as one of the title contenders, Home are languishing in seventh spot in the nine-team SPL, winning just two out of six games as they struggled with injuries and poor form.

In the AFC Cup, they are second in Group H with seven points after four games, one point behind Indonesia's PSM Makassar.

It was in this second-tier Asian competition last year that Saswadimata enjoyed his greatest coaching success when he was assistant to Aidil Sharin as the Protectors emerged as Asean Zonal winners.

Noh Rahman, who was a strength and conditioning coach with the Football Association of Singapore before he joined Home this year, will face his first test on Wednesday against fourth-placed Geylang International.

The 38-year-old former Lion said: "It is never a nice feeling, standing in a position of a colleague whom you have worked with since the start of the season.

"As for my plans and goals, that is to improve the individual performance of the players and the team performance, at least until the new coach comes in.

"It is a big challenge, but we need to approach this positively."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2019, with the headline 'Home's Saswa is first casualty of SPL season'. Print Edition | Subscribe