KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 – Bojan Hodak is back to light up the new Malaysian Football League season after Kuala Lumpur United FC, in a surprise move, named him as the new head coach in place of Chilean Simon Elissetche.
Hodak, who is currently undergoing quarantine in a hotel after arriving in Kuala Lumpur on Friday and is expected to start work next week. He has accepted a one-plus-one contract with Kuala Lumpur.
His KPI for the new season is modest – to ensure the team retains its Super League status. Anything more will be considered a bonus for the team and Hodak is ready for the challenge.
“Due to the tight budget constraints my first task is to keep the team in the Super League…anything more will be a bonus,” said Hodak in an interview.
“We can set higher targets next year with the hope that things will be much better on all fronts by then. This Covid-19 pandemic is madness but it is something beyond our control. For now, let’s look at positive things.”
Hodak is expected to get down to his work by next week. The new Malaysian Football League is scheduled to kick off on Feb 26 with the Charity Shield match between Johor Darul Takzim (JCT) and Kedah at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri.
The experienced and widely traveled Hodak comes with strong credentials and is capable of hitting the right chords with the City Boys who finished third in last season’s Premier League behind champions Penang and Terengganu 2. Since Terengganu 2 is a feeder squad of Terengganu FC, it is not eligible for the promotion.
Hodak was a hit with Kelantan during his stint with the East Coast side. He took the team to a treble in 2012 when Kelantan won the Super League, the FA Cup, and the Malaysia Cup. In 2013 Kelantan also won the Charity Shield.
A year later the Croatian won the Super League for JDT and the Charity Shield in 2015 before he left to take the job of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Penang FA and had a hand in saving the Panthers from relegation.
After Penang, Hodak was appointed as the National Under-19 team and a year later Malaysia won the AFF Under-19 title in 2018.
At the end of 2019, Hodak was named as the head coach of PSM Makassar in the 2020 Indonesian League. However, the Indonesian League was canceled because of the Covid 19
Hodak left his 12-year-old son Luka back home in Croatia as he is studying in an international school there. Like his dad, Luka is also very much into sports and deeply involved in football, basketball, and cycling.
The father, however, is not too worried over Luka as he is well looked after by other family members.
”Luka and his cousins play in the age-group leagues there…the leagues there are very competitive. It is good for him,” added Hodak.
However, Hodak’s wife, Junie Tan Hodak is in Kuala Lumpur with him but will return to Croatia once she settles some matters here.