Stewart to lead Maldives national team

Jul 26, 2016 - 10:08:00 | Shimaaz Ali
Darren Stewart, new head coach of Maldives national football team.

Male’, MALDIVES – Football Association of Maldives has appointed Darren Stewart of Australia as the new head coach of the Maldives national football team.

Former Australian international last worked as the head coach of Singapore League’s Woodland Wellington in 2014. After a string of poor results he resigned from his position at the club.

Stewart won the Singapore League title in 2013 with Balestier Khalsa. However his contract were not renewed at the end of 2013.

During his playing career he was the captain of Malaysia outfit Johor FA where he captained and won the Malaysia FA Cup in 1998.

FAM appointed Stewart after the termination of the contract with former national team coach Ricky Herbert on mutual consent. Under Ricki Herbert Maldives failed to qualify for the final of SAFF Suzuki Cup, South Asian Games and Bangabandhu Gold Cup.

According to FAM, Stewart will arrive Maldives in early August and his first assignments will be the upcoming Asian Cup Qualification playoff games against Laos in September and October.



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DhiFootball on Jul 26
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Well, we have been experimenting with different coaches for a while now. I hope a proper road map has been developed with short and long term objectives and means to attain them clearly stated out. I have commented on this earlier too and I really feel that FAM should be lead by people who are committed to it "full time" or at least by people who can give time to it on their own accord. I believe our club teams need to focus a lot on tactical discipline and this will in turn improve our national team. We always think we can beat the regional teams but teams like india has always beaten us merely on tactics. We never had a plan B against them and I can still recall the semi loss to them when their Japanese born player kept on closing down baka every time our defenders had the ball and we kept on spraying the ball helplessly and couldn't do the passes required to dhagey. (This was the tournament in which we started by scoring 10 Against Lanka and 8 against Bhutan). I hope the tactical mindset of the current coach is good and to the coach , I welcome him and urge him to interact a lot with the local clubs to obtain the goal we are trying to achieve. Wishing all the best to maldivian football.
boyko on Jul 26
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Maldives team is not beaten merely on tactics alone as you say. It is also down to players’ physical fitness (rather lack of), missing defensive leadership, lack of awareness and match reading from concerned players. Of cause tactical awareness play a significant role but, 99% of the time, players’ poor physical fitness has a cascading effect on the other aspects of the game. End result is we run like headless chicken and go about the game like a rabbit caught in the headlight of car. We may sit on our laurels patting on the back ‘on we are technically the best team in the region’ but I don’t think we are technically batter than Nepal or Bhutan. Players’ respective clubs, first and foremost, will have to streamline their approach to physical fitness! Not the nonchalant way by merely going by the motion!
Boyko on Jul 26
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Most of the coaches who come to Maldives are left disillusioned soon after by the semi-professional setup we have and their best work is never realized because a stubborn FAM never help meet the demands of coach either in the choice of the opponents for friendlies or in the number. Hope the current management at FAM will not be SO impervious to the demands of the hour!
Imma on Jul 27
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I'm glad FAM went for someone with experience in Asian football. However, now is the time for FAM to decide how to proceed; either we stick to the same principles (i.e doing everything with little to no planning whatsoever) or we create a comprehensive framework with short and long term aspirations in mind. Tom has said a lot of good things, but so did the likes of Ali Azim and Shaweed, with little end product. First and foremost, FAM needs to ensure that we have trained coaches available to train aspiring footballers all over the country. We need to bring up young players who are tactically more knowledgeable, technically more gifted and physically in better shape, and all of this can only be achieved by creating certain habits while players are still young. They need to create a coaching syllabus as countries like Germany do in order to create a footballing identity. I hope Mr. Stewart is aware of what he has gotten into, because it's going to be incredibly tough for him under the current conditions. Hopefully, for once FAM and the whole footballing community would give their full cooperation to the coach.