Monday, September 25, 2017

Assistant, fitness coaches fired after AFC Challenge Cup debacle

The Palestine players celebrate their 3-1 victory over Myanmar on March 25. (Aye Zaw Myo / The Myanmar Times / April 04, 2011)The Palestine players celebrate their 3-1 victory over Myanmar on March 25. (Aye Zaw Myo / The Myanmar Times / April 04, 2011)

Myanmar Football Federation (MFF) has wielded the axe following the national side’s early departure from the AFC Challenge Cup qualifying round last week, with the assistant coach and fitness coach both fired.

Following the side’s 3-1 loss to Palestine on March 25 that saw Myanmar eliminated from the competition, MFF terminated the contracts of Mr Nikolic Jovica (assistant coach) and fitness coach, Mr Goran Zivadinovic, the son of national coach Mr Milan Zivadinovic, on March 29.

A federation spokesperson said the pair failed to achieve the goals set for them.

“MFF signed one-year contracts with the assistant coach and fitness coach that paid US$5000 and $3000 a month respectively. But everybody who watched the matches could see that our players were not fit enough and did not perform at a high enmough level during the matches against the Philippines, Bangladesh and Palestine,” he said.

Mr Zivadinovic said the experienced players had performed awfully in the final match against Palestine.

“In the training sessions the experienced members of the squad were very good and I believed they would take that form into the matches. But I was totally wrong and they did not play well in the matches.

“I will depend on the younger players in the next international tournament,” he added.

Soe Min Oo, a senior striker in the national side, said the players had had difficulty adapting to the 3-5-2 formation that Mr Zivadinovic had employed. He said the configuration put too much strain on the wingers.

“We were much more familiar with the 4-4-2 formation. Playing with a 3-5-2 set up requires strong and extremely fit midfielders to run up and down the pitch and we still need more time to familiarise ourselves with the new formation,” he said.

U Tin Myint Aung, a former national coach, said the team’s fighting spirit seemed to have disappeared.

“The fitness of the players was weaker than it was during last year’s Challenge Cup and I don’t know what happened to their desire to fight because it wasn’t there on the pitch. A coach has to know the real condition of his players and he should know what formation suits the team.

“Myanmar players like a coach who is flexible and works with them,” he said.

He said the 3-5-2 formation was “risky” because the side did not contain enough suitably fit players.

“The side has played in a 4-4-2 formation for years and expecting players to adapt to a new configuration within one month is too risky, in my opinion,” U Tin Myint Aung said.

Meanwhile, Myanmar will play Mongolia in the first round of the Asian qualifying draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup to be held in Brazil. The draw was made in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on March 30.

(left)Former assistant coach Mr Nikolic Jovica and (right) Former fitness coach Mr Goran Zivadinovic. (Aye Zaw Myo / The Myanmar Times / April 04, 2011)(left)Former assistant coach Mr Nikolic Jovica and (right) Former fitness coach Mr Goran Zivadinovic. (Aye Zaw Myo / The Myanmar Times / April 04, 2011)

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