Malaysia’s search for the permanent successor to K. Rajagobal came to an end on Saturday after it was confirmed that Dollah Salleh had been appointed the new coach of the national team.
His appointment was announced by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and ends a six-month hunt for the next Harimau Malaya boss, after Rajagobal departed at the end of 2013 following a disappointing 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualifying campaign.
Prior to Dollah’s appointment, Malaysia Under-23 coach Ong Kim Swee had been handed the reins in a caretaker capacity, although he will now be able to fully devote his attention to his young charges.
The fact that Dollah has been given the nod has raised a few eyebrows given the FAM initially looked determined to appoint a foreign coach, with Philippe Troussier and Zdenek Zeman heavily linked with the vacancy.
But the 50-year-old, who enjoyed legendary status during his playing days, has enjoyed plenty of managerial success in recent years.
In five seasons with Pahang, he led them to promotion to the Malaysia Super League before winning the Malaysia Cup with them last term.
This season, he took charge of PDRM as they booked their place in the top flight after being crowned Premier League champions.
With no qualifiers for the World Cup or Asian Cup on the immediate horizon, Dollah’s first major test will come at the end of the year when Harimau Malaya compete for the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup.