New Kelantan head coach explains team management decisions

Fajer Ibrahim stands by decision to remove several players from the existing Kelantan squad, a decision that has come under fire from their own fans.

The Syrian has called on the Kelantan fans to remain supportive of the team despite the recent upheaval due to the removal of several players from the team.

Since Fajer has come on board as first the technical director and then as the head coach, Kelantan have made the decision to dispose of players from the current squad that are participating in the 2018 Malaysia Super League.

Shukri Hamid, Hattaphon Bun An, Rozaimi Azwar, Faizol Nazlin Sayuti, Shafiq Ab Rahman and Tengku Qayyum Ubaidillah were the first batch of casualties. That was followed by the import players with the duo of Ferdinand Sinaga and Bruno Lopes being cut from the squad.

The latest saw Norfarhan Muhammad and S. Veenod receiving the same treatment. The latter spoke to the press and insist that no prior agreement had been made on him being released from the team and that he is still a Kelantan player.

"I hope there are no political element in the team. If found to have political elements, they are removed from the team. For players who have long-term injuries, will be released immediately from the team. There is no place for them in the team. For players who had a bad attitude, not seroius and injured in my team, I will not put them in the game list."

"I welcome local and import player to join the team for when the second transfer window open in May. I will also give opportunity to young players to remain committed to the team because I'm confident that they are capable of competing with the senior players.

"Many senior players have been removed from the team as this one of my plans to make the team successful and not because I intend to trouble them. I thank them for their services to the team before this and I'm sure they can find a place in another team.

"To all the Kelantan fans, I'm respectful of them because I know the Kelantan fans are crazy about their beloved team. I promise that they team will play attractive football in the coming days. What I've done all this while is to ensure that the happiness of the fans in the future. This is not for myself nor KAFA president, Hajjah Bibi Ramjani Ilias Khan. 

"What I need is for the fans to keept supporting me and the team in the time that I'm with Kelantan. I want to thank KAFA president for giving me this opportunity to handle the team. The president is receptive to the ideas and suggestion that I can give.

"For me, she is doing a dedicated job even though "she walk alone" without the help of other exco. I'm hopeful that the other exco that are here can help her shape this new team," said Fajer Ibrahim in the statement.

Fajer has a big task ahead of him in trying to get his squad to band together as they travel to Negeri Sembilan this Saturday for the resumption of the league fixtures. This will be the first match that Fajer will in charge and time will tell if he can steer the former league champions away from the relegation zone.