KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 – E. Elavarasan needs no introduction in the football fraternity but not many are aware that he cut short his playing career with Selangor at a young age as he was driven by his inner desire to be a successful coach.
Having played alongside great names like the late Mokhtar Dahari and ”Spiderman” R. Arumugam, both from Selangor, did Elavarasan regret changing his career football career? Not in the least.
Instead, Elavarasan takes pride to reveal that he was only 32 when he got his A Licence under Richard Bates while many others at that age were still playing the game at various level.
In the same breath Elavarasan also revealed his patriotic side and said: ”I am patriotic to my homestate and always wanted to play for Selangor. Once I achieved this satisfaction and the pride that came with it, is something that I cannot describe in words.
“I did not stay long in my playing career and neither did I move to other teams. Instead, I pursued my football career in coaching which is equally challenging in many ways”.
Elavarasan is now the head coach of Sarawak United FC.
Sarawak United FC will ply its football trade in the second-tier Premier League in the M-League which kicks off on March 5.
Defending champions Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) will face Kedah in the Charity Shield at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri, Johor Bahru.
Another unknown factor regarding Elavarasan’s love affair with football and many are not aware that the “Man with the Midas Touch” has never been an assistant coach in his coaching career.
He was the Head Coach in all his stints with various teams and achieved considerable success starting with his former employers Public Bank which gave him the exposure to kickstart his football journey.
And the man who is responsible for shaping him into what he is today is none other than Leslie Armstrong – a well known sports figure, especially in athletics. Leslie exposed Elavarasan to multi-sports but the latter settled for football.
In fact he started his coaching career with Public Bank after his playing days. He took Public Bank to the FAM League title that came with a promotion to the Premier League and later the Super League.
Other teams that achieved success under Elavarasan were Melaka, Felda United, Terengganu and PKNS.
”Leslie is responsible for what I have achieved so far. I owe it to him,” added the 56-year-old Elavarasan which means ”Prince” in Tamil.
For the record, Elavarasan even turned down coaching offers from clubs in Indonesia as he has some unfinished business in Malaysia.
For now it is Sarawak United FC and with former national coach B. Satianathan as the Technical Director in the setup, Elavarasan believes both of them can ”fix the radar” and take Sarawak football to new heights.
The East Malaysian outfit plays Kelantan United in their opening match at the Selayang Stadium on March 6 in a ”tough season” as the match is scheduled to be played at 4pm.
The patriotic Elavarasan is more ”Sarawakian” in his quest to bring glory to the East Malaysians team.