Fandi Ahmad appointed as Pahang head coach
As a player, he helped them win the Malaysian league and Malaysia Cup double in 1992.
Now Singapore football icon Fandi Ahmad, 60, will be hoping to guide Sri Pahang to more honours as their coach for the 2023 season.
The Malaysian Super League (MSL) side, who finished seventh in the 12-team league in 2022, confirmed his appointment in a social media post on Saturday.
Fandi, who had joined Pahang as technical adviser in 2022, takes over the top job from Malaysian legend Dollah Salleh who had taken temporary charge after the resignation of Frenchman Christophe Gamel last season.
This will be Fandi’s second stint as head coach of an MSL team. He had a one-year spell in charge of Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) in 2013, leading the club to third in the league.
Silverware has eluded five-time league champions Pahang since their 2018 Malaysia FA Cup triumph.
The last time they won the league was in 2004, with JDT winning the league in the last nine seasons.
Pahang’s new Brazilian forward Lucas Silva is looking forward to the season under Fandi.
He told Malaysian daily The Star: “Fandi is a good coach. He was a very good striker before and we are learning a lot from him.
“There are also a lot of Pahang legends in the team, like Dollah Salleh, Jalaluddin Jaafar and Ahmad Shaharuddin Rosdi.
“So you are constantly learning and being inspired. My target is to make Pahang an indomitable force that they used to be.”
Fandi’s coaching journey in Singapore ended on June 30, 2022 when he left the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) after a seven-year stint. His last appointment was its head of elite youth.
He could not be reached on Monday, but had told The Straits Times earlier that he still has “more to give as a coach”.
As a player, he enjoyed much success in Malaysia. He led Kuala Lumpur to a hat-trick of Malaysia Cup titles from 1987 to 1989.
After winning the double with Pahang in 1992, he repeated the feat with Singapore in 1994.
After retiring in 1999, Fandi made a successful transition to coaching, winning the S-League twice with Singapore Armed Forces FC in 2000 and 2002.
He also helped Pelita Jaya win promotion to the Indonesia Super League and guided the LionsXII to Malaysian FA Cup glory in 2015.
He had three spells with the Young Lions, and was the interim national coach in 2018 before guiding the Singapore Under-22s to the 2019 Merlion Cup.