No joke – Shukor getting serious as KL coach

PETALING JAYA: Former Malaysian centreback Mohd Shukor Adan (pic) was known for his dominant style on the pitch, instructing those in front of him on how to keep control of a game.

He’s now 42 – and still doing the same thing. Only this time, the Melaka-born player has a whistle in his hand and is giving his instruction from the sidelines.

Shukor now trains the Kuala Lumpur team as one of Bojan Hodak’s assistant coaches.

He last played for the club last year, and was part of the Malaysia Cup winning team who stunned Johor Darul Ta’zim for the title. He announced his retirement after that match.

The City Boys started pre-season training on Jan 15, and Shukor has been leading the sessions, as Hodak and assistant Nenad Bacina are still undergoing the mandatory seven-day quarantine.

Shukor is always known for cracking a joke or two off the pitch with his teammates, but now that he is the coaching, the jokes have to wait.

“So far, they have all respected me. Off the field, pranking is normal. But I am proud to say this – when it comes to working, they are serious and disciplined. It makes my work easier.”

Shukor said the transition from playing to coaching is not easy, but the guidance from Hodak and the other coaches would steady the process.

“What’s important is that I have to continue learning in order to progress. I have to thank chief executive officer (CEO) Stanley (Bernard) and Bojan, who placed their faith in me to be the assistant coach,” he said.

“The guidelines drawn up by Bojan and the other staff have helped me. We worked together and it’s going well so far.

“These players were given their homework two weeks before the start of pre-season. We are building up on fitness. We have kept a lot of old players, and they can work well together with the new signings. We are just waiting for the other imports, who are under quarantine.”

Asked how he would like to be defined as a coach, Shukor said it was too early to develop a philosophy and style as he was just starting out.

“I have a lot to learn. Knowledge is something that I will emphasise. I am still taking baby steps. It would be better if Bojan and Nenad are alongside. I will also ask my friends who have succeeded.”