New national football head coach appointed

James Kon

Former Malaysia national football player and team manager Datuk K Rajagobal has officially been appointed as Brunei Darussalam’s National Football Head Coach after the signing ceremony for the official appointment at BMCC, IGS yesterday.

The historic signing was witnessed by Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yusoff bin Pengiran Haji Bahar, the team manager of the Brunei national team that lifted the Malaysia cup in 1999.

Signing on behalf of NFABD was President Pengiran Haji Matusin bin Pengiran Matasan, witnessed by NFABD General Secretary Mohammad Shahnon bin Haji Mohd Salleh. Datuk K Rajagobal inked on the dotted line to cement his place as the national football’s head coach.

Pengiran Haji Matusin emphasised on the importance of early preparation for the national football squad.

“We are trying to push Brunei football to the next level. If we compare Brunei Darussalam with other countries in the region, many people will feel that our country is small with limited resources. Whatever we lack in, we can overcome with high spirit. We want to be on track with global and regional football,” he said.

NFABD President Pengiran Haji Matusin bin Pengiran Matasan and Datuk K Rajagobal exchange documents. PHOTO: BAHYIAH BAKIR

He cited, “Iceland is also a small country with a small population and cold climate. Yet it beat England. We should take them as inspiration. NFABD takes the aspiration of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s titah whereby if we want to compete, we need to prepare early. Toward this, NFABD sourced the key person to take our football to a higher level. We identified our needs on how to develop our football and be more competitive. The main key is how to prepare our team.

“After thorough negotiation, lengthy discussions and compromises, Datuk K Rajagobal agreed to join NFABD. We must thank FIFA and AFC. We must also thank His Majesty’s Government for giving us the opportunity to obtain the service of Datuk K Rajagobal. He has a great track record and we hope that he can translate the success he had with Malaysia to Brunei Darussalam.”

Pengiran Haji Matusin acknowledged that it is not an easy task. “Football is tricky but if you have the right coach and management as well as players with right attitude, I think we can do it. Nothing is impossible.”

Datuk K Rajagobal officially begins his tenure as the national head coach starting January 2021, having trained the national team for 12 days during the month.