Football, KL 2017

“I have experience” – Datuk Ong Kim Swee talks about prepping for 2017 SEA Games

Datuk Ong Kim Swee is the new U-22 head coach 

FAM (Football Association of Malaysia)’s new president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim removed Datuk Ong Kim Swee as the national football team’s head coach.

The Crown Prince made that call as he stepped into his role FAM’s president last Saturday and inevitably started shaking things up.

Former Johor Darul Ta’zim coach Mario Gomez will be replacing Datuk Ong Kim Swee’s position as national football head coach, while Datuk Ong Kim Swee will fill in Frank Bernhardt’s shoes as the national U-22 head coach.

Frank Bernhardt’s final task will be the Dubai Cup U-23 tournament which is currently happening in Dubai until the 28th of March.

I’m grateful – Datuk Ong Kim Swee 

But Datuk Ong Kim Swee is more grateful than distraught, he is pleased that his services are still appreciated by the new FAM president and he wants to make sure he gets the job done.

Datuk Ong Kim Swee’s next focus is very clear: he will be prepping the U-22 team for the upcoming 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games.

“I am still entrusted by the new president and this mandate means a lot to me and there is much that I need to do with the national young squad.” Datuk Ong Kim Swee told the media.

“I hope I can meet with the president soon to draw up plans to face the Under-22 Asia Cup qualification and the SEA Games in August.”

Datuk Ong Kim Swee has about five months to get to know the current team and start training for the big event, and he’s positive he can do it although the time given is short.

“There’s only five months to the SEA Games, but the national Under-22 squad has already started training since early this year and that will give us an advantage,” Datuk Ong Kim Swee added.

“This is the fourth time I will be with the SEA Games team, so I am equipped with experience and advantage.” the coach said.

Bernhardt and I cannot work together – TMJ 

When asked about why Datuk Ong Kim Swee is better suited for the U-22 team as opposed to Frank Bernhardt, TMJ cited “different ideologies”.

“I think that for now I need to have a different team and I don’t see that we can work together. He has a different ideology and a different way of dealing with things. I have different way of working.” the new FAM president told NST.

“Since I’ve been put here as president, I think everybody has to respect my decision and what I am going to do.” the Crown Prince added.

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