Sabah Counts On Ex Skipper Jelius To Reverse Rhinos Dwindling Fortunes

Jelius Ating was with the Under 19 State squad before his promotion to the ‘hot seat’.

TAWAU: Former skipper Jelius Ating has been handpicked as the man to helm the Sabah Premier League hot seat and coach take the Rhinos out of the doldrums.

Languishing next to the bottom of the 12-Team Standings after eight matches with a mere four points from a win and a draw, the Rhinos will need all the help they can to stop the rut and move up the ladder, and Sabah FA chief Musa Aman feels that Jelius is the right man.

Jelius who has an FA Cup (1995) and Premier League (1996) medal to his name, will be assisted by his former central defensive partner of several seasons, Burhan Ajui.

Burhan Ajui

A statement issued by Musa’s press secretary Afeiza Khan on Sunday, mentioned Jelius as among three former Sabah players, with the experience and qualifications, to be appointed as coaches.

Jelius first task is to begin preparations for their first leg FA Cup quarterfinals tie against Table toppers Negri Sembilan FA on April 1. This will be followed by the Rhinos ninth League match with yet another difficult encounter – an away match to second-placed Terengganu on April 7.

The statement also said that long-serving coach and former player, Justin Ganai would take charge of the Reserve League (under 21) and Awang Sabtu Jamil will lead the Youth Cup (Under 19) squads respectively with immediate effect.

There was no mention of the fates of Manager/Technical Director, Adlane Messelem and Head coach Steve Vilmiaire.

No mention was made as to the fates of Adlane Messelem, right, and Steve Vilmiaire.

However, Datuk Juil Nuatim will replace Adlane Messelem as the Premier League Team Manager.

It is not known what will be of the positions of Razali Zinin, another ex-state player, goalkeeper coach, Mark Damun Sagar and fitness coach Alexandre Stiker.

However, Assistant coach Johnny Dominicus who once led the Sabah team to Sukma glory in 2012, will be assisting Justin instead.

In the statement, Musa who is also Sabah chief minister was quoted saying: “The appointments of these former players is testimony to SAFA’s commitment to improve the teams’ performance including all three leagues.

“It is my hope that with these appointments, the State football teams can be competitive within the national league,” he said after meeting with Minister of Youth and Sports cum SAFA deputy president, Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan and Datuk Lawrence Gimbang, the other deputy president here Sunday.

Musa called on all players to give their full cooperation to the three newly appointed coaches.

Justin Ganai

The people in charge:-

Head Coach – Jelius Ating
Assistant Coach – Burhan Ajui
Team Manager – Datuk Juil Nuatim

Head Coach – Justin Ganai
Assistant Coach – Johhny Dominicus
Team Manager – Azman Mastar

Head Coach – Awang Sabtu Jamil
Team Manager – Mohd Yassin Aman