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 By Kenneth Tan

Akbar Nawas linked to Warriors' coaching job after Global-Cebu exit

Jason Dasey and John Wilkinson discuss the new rule that will make S.League sides more youthful and examine the future of the national team.

The reign of Singaporean coach Akbar Nawas at Philippines Football League (PFL) outfit Global-Cebu FC has come to an end, with former assistant Marjo Allado installed as interim boss.

The 42-year-old former Tampines Rovers boss had arrived last May as a technical consultant before taking the top job a month later.

His exit comes as a surprise after overseeing improvements in the ambitious side during his six months in charge, and opens the door to taking over at Warriors FC.

The S.League outlet had announced Mirko Grabovac as their coach for the 2018 season. But The Straits Times reported that the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) are unlikely to approve his appointment.

The Croatian is a former candidate of the Foreign Sports Talent scheme, but contentiously renounced his citizenship after retirement and returned to Europe.

Akbar can look back with reasonable satisfaction after becoming the first Singaporean to coach a Philippine club.

Global finished runners-up in the inaugural PFL season after losing 4-1 to rivals Ceres-Negros in the final. They also collected second place as foreign invitees in the Singapore Cup, losing 3-2 to Japanese S.League side Albirex Niigata (S) after a 2-2 draw in 120 minutes in November's final.

Akbar finished second in the 2016 S.League behind Albirex and lost the Singapore Cup final to the White Swans in 2016 when he was in charge at Tampines.

Tampines coach Akbar Nawas
Singaporean coach Akbar Nawas joined Global-Cebu as a consultant last May.

Meanwhile, Marjo is no stranger to the Global hot seat, having also served as caretaker in early 2017 for a few months after Japanese coach Toshiaki Imai's departure.

He has his work cut out to revive Global's fortunes after losing two key players after the departure of captain Misagh Bahadoran and Japanese winger Hikaru Minegishi.

Bahadoran, who was one of the club's longest-serving players has joined Malaysia Super League (MSL) side Perak FA while "Pika" went to Thai League 1 outfit Pattaya United.

Rising centre-back Amani Aguinaldo has also left for Ceres after spending the majority of the 2017 season recovering from an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.

Global had undergone a change of ownership a month ago, with former owner Dan Palami selling the club to Alvin Carranza, MacGraphics Carranz International Corp. owner and Teen Azkals Foundation Inc. managing director.

Question marks surround the 2018 PFL season, with FC Meralco Manila recently announcing that they are ceasing operations after failing to find investors to fund the club.

Kenneth Tan is a Singapore-based football writer on S.League and AFC Cup for ESPN FC and FourFourTwo. Twitter: @KennerveT

 

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