Two Valencia coaches join JDT under three-year pact

Peter Draper, Valencia’s commercial and marketing director, and Captain Mohd Fahmy Yahya, JDT’s honorary secretary, with a model of the Mestalla. They are flanked by the Spanish club’s coaches, Gonzalo Sanz Zaballos (left) and Jose Requena, who
Peter Draper, Valencia’s commercial and marketing director, and Captain Mohd Fahmy Yahya, JDT’s honorary secretary, with a model of the Mestalla. They are flanked by the Spanish club’s coaches, Gonzalo Sanz Zaballos (left) and Jose Requena, who will help run programmes in the Malaysian team’s academy. PHOTO: VALENCIA CF

Spanish football club Valencia, owned by Singapore billionaire Peter Lim, inked a three-year agreement with Malaysia Super League champions Johor Darul Takzim yesterday.

The deal will see two Valencia coaches move to Johor to work alongside JDT sports director Alistair Edwards. They will help run programmes in JDT’s academy across various age groups, guided by Valencia’s methodologies and development philosophies.

The two coaches, Gonzalo Sanz Zaballos and Jose Requena, will also guide JDT’s academy coaches.

In a statement, Edwards said: "Valencia CF Academy is one of the most admired in Europe and has an outstanding record of developing young players.

"Having visited their training complex and spent a lot of time understanding their methodologies, we are thrilled at the prospect of working with one of the giants of Spanish football."

Valencia are six-time winners of the Spanish Primera Liga and have developed stars including Spanish internationals David Silva, Jordi Alba and Isco.

But they have struggled in La Liga lately and are currently 17th, just outside the relegation zone. Italian Cesare Prandelli, the club’s second coach of the season, left after just eight games in charge.

Yesterday, the club announced that Salvador "Voro" Gonzalez would remain in charge until the end of the season.

Chua Siang Yee 

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 12, 2017, with the headline 'Two Valencia coaches join JDT under three-year pact'. Print Edition | Subscribe