BY MARTIN YEE TheBorneoPost
KUCHING: Sarawak’s former legendary coach Alan Vest is back but this time he wanted to give back the “magical moments” he enjoyed in Sarawak for almost a decade.
Here on a second visit the invitation of the State Ministry to run a course for teachers in Kuching and Miri from Feb 10-13, Vest said he felt obliged to come back as the current football in the State is in a sad state.
Also the greatest pull was that he had fond memories of Sarawak - having worked here from 1991 to 1998 where he brought Sarawak to the pinnacle of success - winning the League title in 1997.
“All I’m interested is if I can give anything back after some magical moments here I will try to give in anyway I can.
“In fact it would be time to move on after my stint here for when I was here, I was offered the Singapore national team job in 1993, the coaching development job of Australia, New Zealand also was interested in my services in 1995 or 1996.
“Even Selangor made overtures three times for three times the money I get in Sarawak but really for those magical moments, I honestly want to give back if there is anything I can do to help.
“On the five-year development project, whether it will work out or not, I think it would be beneficial to the coaches to get the chance to be involved in it.
Urging everyone to give the Development project a chance, he said the move by the Government to aid development should be beneficial for Sarawak which been languishing in the football wilderness for a long time.
“It’s sad during my time Sarawak football for 12 years were at the top of the league and now they had slid to the bottom. “There is no ulterior motive for me to be here for I like the place,” said Vest.
On his visit, the semi-retired Englishman coach now residing in Perth, Australia, said he had plenty of jobs helping out the State team in Perth and also doing a radio job.
He said he did a good programme here earlier last year where he had an intensive course with school coaches in Miri.
“I try to concentrate on the specifics of the game and you must monitor on this programme which is a five-year programme. It’s about watching the player and anybody got to watch and monitor the progress of those programme and it is also down to discipline."
“I think Lucas (Kallang) is one of the most qualified for the job and should be given the chance to see through the programme,” said Vest.
As a parting shot, Vest said whether it is a success or not, the most important aspect of it is to monitor its progress to make sure it works.