United Football League top squad Global FC has hired a new coach as part of the team’s preparation for international competitions including the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup.
According to Leigh Manson, the team’s long time coach who now serves as Global FC’s manager, former English professional John Burridge has been hired to bolster the team’s preparation for the AFC Cup.
Global FC clinched one of the two available slots in the country for the continental club football championship after winning the UFL Cup early this year.
“He has been brought in to help us in preparation for the AFC Cup and to see if we can take on this last hurdles to take the title,” Mason said in an interview.
He added that he would still be playing an active role in the team in the next few games but reiterated that Burridge will slowly take over the coaching duties for Global.
“I am still the general manager so I will still be in-charge of all the football matters but he will now ease into that first team coaching. Its good to have a man of his pedigree in the team,” he added.
Burridge, a 64-year-old former goalkeeper who has played for Manchester City FC and has been inducted to the BlackpoolFC Hall of Fame, was last seen as the goalkeeping coach of the now-dissolved Lions XII squad in the Malaysian Super League.
Manson explained that Burridge has been called in early in order to familiarize him with the players and to assess he current technical standing of the team.
“We felt its better for him to have a soft entry. He’ll see the team like he has seen the team last game. He will have plenty of time to see the players and then he can advise us on what we need,” he stated.
Manson stressed that one of the things they considered is the new coach’s European pro-license, which is a requirement if ever they secure a seat for the AFC Champions League.
“If we qualify for the Champions League, we need a UEFA pro coach and I don’t have that. Rather than doing things in the last second, we don’t want to bring in a new coach in November or December who will not be seeing the players play beforehand,” he concluded.