KUCHING: Former Sarawak senior football team coach Lucas Kalang Laeng said he was never offered let alone sign anything deal with any team.
“I don’t want to think of any work contract at the moment as I want to focus on passing the AFC Professional Diploma Training Course in Japan,” Lucas told TribuneSports from Osaka, Japan yesterday.
Lucas is among the Malaysian League coaches currently attending the AFC Professional Diploma Training Course in Japan.
“It’s a knowledge-and football-based course and it’s not easy as I am vying with other established Malaysian and Asian coaches who are participating in the course.
“On top of that, the coaching fees are too expensive for me. This is the highest level of football coaching licence in Asia,” he added.
He said this is the first time that the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) was organising the AFC Pro Diploma coaching course licence, adding that other Asian countries like Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia had already organised theirs.
Lucas said a total of 20 local and foreign coaches are currently in Japan to attend the fourth AFC Professional Diploma Training 2019-2020 module from October 1 to 14.
He said the course is open to coaches with two “A” AFC licences and two years of experience running national teams or professional clubs.
According to a statement in the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) Facebook page, this module involves visits to two professional clubs in Japan based in Osaka and Saitama, namely Cerezo Osaka and Omiya Ardija.
The AFC Professional Diploma Licence is one of the highest licences in a football coach’s career.
Lucas said among the coaches from the Malaysian League are Dollah Salleh (Pahang), Mehmet Durakovic (Perak), Aidil Sharin Sahak (Kedah), Abu Bakar Fadzim (PKNP FC), Nidzam Jamil (FELDA Utd), Nafuzi Zain (Terengganu FC), Yusri Che Lah (Kelantan), K. Devan (PJ City) Zainal Abidin Hassan (Melaka United) Choong Yee Fatt (Kuala Lumpur) and Razip Ismail.
He said the team of coaches are staying at J-Green Sakai in Osaka, a football training complex surrounded by 24 football fields.
He said this module is also run by Uefa from Denmark’s Flemming Mark Serritslev and assisted by FAM’s Head of Education Unit David Abela.
Lucas said the first day of the module also included a visit to the J-Green Sakai complex by Takashi Matsunaga, a deputy colonialist from the Japan Football Association’s International Relations Department.
Throughout Japan, he said the coaches will see J-League team training sessions, J-League matches as well as the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asia Cup qualifiers involving the host team, the Blue Samurai.
As a member of the AFC’s Coaching A category, FAM can now organise and run top-level coaching courses without having to go through the process of obtaining the approval of the Asian Football.