KUALA LUMPUR -- It's confirmed! Former national football team coach Datuk K. Rajagobal will lead the Brunei national team for two years, effective January 2021.
This will mark the 64-year-old Rajagobal’s first appearance on the international stage seven years after coaching the Harimau Malaya squad from 2009 until 2013.
Rajagobal, also known as ‘King Gobal’ after guiding Malaysia to their maiden ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Championship title in 2010, said he was honoured to be given the opportunity to coach the Brunei national team.
“It has inspired and motivated me to make a return and give something back to the game. This is also a chance for me to again enjoy the special atmosphere and experiences I felt as head coach of Malaysia.
“I am looking forward to starting my new task and the challenge of raising the team’s overall performance level. Although it’s not something that can be done in the blink of an eye, I hope to see some improvement in a short period,” he told Bernama.
Rajagobal, who beat two other candidates shortlisted by the National Football Association of Brunei Darussalam (NFABD) to the post of head coach, said the first thing he planned to do was to change the Brunei players’ mentality and raise their confidence level.
“I know Brunei are 191st in the FIFA ranking list and their football structure, but I can’t look at it from one angle only. As a coach, it is my duty to try and work on the players’ mentality so that they will become more confident in the near future,” he said.
Rajagobal has proven his credentials on the international stage, having also helped the Malaysian Under-23 squad end the country’s SEA Games gold medal drought by triumphing in the 2009 Laos edition.
He also has 30 years of experience at the club level, having coached PKNS FC, Selangor, Kelantan and Sarawak before returning to guide PKNS FC from 2017-2019.