Rajagobal eyeing another national team stint, new career as motivational speaker

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Despite the ongoing competitions suspension and movement restriction order in Malaysia, one man is taking full advantage of the government-enforced break from daily routines.

Former AFF Championship-winning coach Datuk Rajagobal Krishnasamy's last professional coaching job was at PKNS FC until their professional team was shut down at the end of the 2019 season, but he is determined to remain in the public eye, through the use of social media.

Since January this year, the 63-year old trainer began making his presence felt on Instagram and Twitter, where he reminisces on his career and keeps in touch with Malaysian football fans. On top of this, he has also been teasing about his autobiography.

Goal got in touch with the AFF Championship and SEA Games winner, and chatted with him briefly about his recent affinity with social media, next career move, and his upcoming autobiography.

Goal : Not many Malaysian coaches are on social media, Datuk. What gave you the idea to get on it, and is it you running the accounts yourself? Or do you have a guy running it for you?

Rajagobal : Sports personalities all over the world, especially footballers, are on social media, but back when I was still actively coaching, I did not want any distractions. However, I have a bit more free time now because I'm not coaching, so I thought, "Why not?" I do have someone managing the accounts for me, but it's still me dictating what goes on them.

I love receiving the feedback and learning about everything that's going on. It's a good experience, but I find honesty to be important on social media. I may even consider continuing my social media use when I return to coaching!

G : One topic you've been tweeting a lot about is your autobiography. Can you explain more about this?

R : Most of the content is from me, but since it is in Bahasa Melayu, I do have someone else helping me with the writing process. It's almost completed and is in the final stages to be honest, but the current situation has made it difficult to hold meetings with the publisher. Nevertheless, we're pushing for it to be published by this year.

The book will begin with my childhood, my kampung days, because I believe the fans want to know about that. Other periods too will be covered in the book, but they will be only be revealed in detail when the book is published, and the fans should look forward to it. 

G : Surely you're not done with coaching yet Datuk, what are your future plans?

R : I've been using this free time to give a careful thought to my future. If there's an opportunity, I'd love to lead a national team again. But this doesn't necessarily mean Malaysia; I'd love to coach another Southeast Asian nation.

Another direction I can take is becoming a sort of advisor to the aspiring young coaches. There are a lot of them who are coming up in the Malaysian league, who still need the support of experienced coaches. The coaching job has changed a lot over the years, but it still requires the sort of experience that has been acquired over years.

But another way I've been interested in is as a motivational speaker, by delivering talks in simposiums or conferences. I believe that football coaches are the best leaders. So many companies have been following the philosophy of Sir Alex Ferguson, who practically ran Manchester United, including finances and player signings, to make them profitable. Coaches are also experts in man-management, which is another topic that they can teach.

G : Thank you for your time Datuk, and good luck!

R : You're welcome, stay safe.

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