Exclusive: Long-term success is Johor DT’s ultimate goal – Bojan Hodak

Johor DT may be labelled as the Malaysian football money bags but as far as head coach Bojan Hodak is concerned, he believes that they are in for the long run.

The Southern Tigers have been transformed massively since the inception of TMJ’s era, and all their efforts culminated in a fantastic league triumph last season. But contrary to popular perception, Bojan Hodak claims that most of their transformation is actually taking place at a deeper level; grassroots development.

“More teams in Malaysia are trying to follow the example that we’ve set and they are trying to be more professional. They are doing good in terms of their first team, but most of them forget their youth development programs,” Bojan told

“JDT are investing a lot in grassroots programs and you will be able to see the product of it in a few years. In most states, you have politicians in charge of the team and they prioritize instant success, because each political term is around 4-5 years.

“But TMJ is different. He thinks 10 years ahead, because he knows that in 10 years, he would still be here in the JDT scene.”

Besides winning the league last year, the Southern Tigers also made the Malaysia Cup final, where they suffered a close defeat to Pahang. But with the new season edging closer, preparation is already well underway for them to improve on their performances and potentially lift more titles.

Photo Credit: Johor Southern Tigers Facebook Page
Photo Credit: Johor Southern Tigers Facebook Page

They recently visited Australia for a four-game tour, and the squad is currently training at their base in Johor Bahru. Bojan believes that his squad isn’t entirely ready yet, but is confident of having them prepared when the Charity Shield clash against Pahang kicks off on the 31st of January.

“The Australian tour was very important for us because we played four tough matches. It’s very important for every player to play in difficult games because when you play against better opponents, you become better players as well.

“That being said, my squad isn’t 100% yet. Some of the national players only joined the squad on the 29th of December while some were slightly injured. But it’s an ongoing process and everyone will be fit and ready for the first game.

“The new players are also showing their quality and all of them are motivated to fight for a place in the first eleven, which is always good for the team spirit and training environment.”

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