Baptism of fire
New Home United coach Aidil targets win over Warriors in Uniformed Derby
HOME UNITED v WARRIORS FC
(Tonight, 7.30pm, Bishan Stadium)
He could not have asked for a tougher start to his Home United coaching career.
After donning Home's colours for nine seasons as a player before spending the last few as a member of the backroom staff, Aidil Sharin will take his place on the bench as the head coach for the first time in the Uniformed Derby against Warriors FC at Bishan Stadium tonight.
Aidil's appointment last Saturday came as a shock though, as his predecessor Philippe Aw did not appear to be under any pressure midway through his second year at the helm, with the Protectors lying fourth in the nine-team Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League.
Aw has been redesignated as the head of youth development and performance management.
Rather than focus on the circumstances of his appointment, Aidil was firmly looking ahead to the immediate job at hand when The New Paper spoke to him during the team's training session yesterday afternoon.
"Right now, we just want to take it one game at a time," said the 39-year-old, who previously had stints as assistant coach under both Aw and South Korean Lee Lim Saeng.
"Obviously, everyone sets targets for himself, but I don't want to think too much about that.
"The important thing is to get the three points and then we can look towards fighting to win our seven games after that."
RARINGTO GO: Home United's new coach Aidil Sharin (in the middle) will be hoping for a winning start against the Warriors in the Uniformed Derby tonight. TNP PHOTOS: CHOO CHWEE HUA
Home's management provided further clarification over the changes, reiterating that it should be viewed as a reshuffle among their personnel.
"We've made an effort to ensure everyone involved with the club is in the know regarding the recent organisation," explained Home chief executive Azrulnizam Shah Sohaimi.
"As you can see from the statement we released, we have indicated clear information about our staff and their new responsibilities.
"For the moment, that is all we shall mention because we want to look forward to the third round of the league.
"It's a very crucial period as mathematically we still have a chance for the title and are definitely still in the running for an AFC Cup spot."
Home's current fourth spot on the league table could be enough to clinch themselves a berth in the AFC Cup, as was the case with Balestier Khalsa in 2015.
But that would depend on who finish above them and who win the RHB Singapore Cup.
They will, however, be looking to give themselves the best possible chance of doing so, starting with victory tonight.
Aidil insisted that it will not be a straightforward task against the struggling Warriors, who are third from bottom of the table.
"I don't think there's a lot that needs to be changed," he said.
"Both coach Lee and coach Philippe did very well in the past few years, so we just want to continue the hard work they've put in.
"At the end of the day, the Warriors are still the Warriors… It's a match between two rivals and both teams will be out there fighting hard for the win."
The important thing is to get the three points and then we can look towards fighting to win our seven games after that.
— New Home United coach Aidil Sharin (above)