Singapore Premier League • January 26, 2019
Marko Kraljevic leaves Balestier to lead Kelantan
SINGAPORE, 26 JANUARY 2019 – Balestier Khalsa confirmed on Saturday afternoon that head coach Marko Kraljevic has departed the club to lead Malaysian outfit Kelantan FA.
The 53-year-old German-Croat will take up the challenge of leading the The Red Warriors back to the Malaysian Super League after they were relegated last season.
A club statement from the Singapore Premier League (SPL) side read: “Over the last few years, Balestier Khalsa FC has developed a close relationship with Kelantan FA. And when Kelantan FA made a request for the services of Kraljevic with an attractive offer, the management of Balestier Khalsa supported his move as a further development for Kraljevic as a coach. Hopefully, this will open the door for more of our top coaches to venture out into the Asean region as coaches.”
Kraljevic, who played for Balestier from 1996 to 1998, had coached the club’s Prime League side during his coaching career before he took up the head coach role at the start of the 2014 SPL (then S.League) season.
The Dusseldorf native promptly led the Tigers to their first ever Singapore Cup triumph that year and was named Coach of the Year. Qualification for the 2015 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup was achieved, marking the club’s first foray into continental competition.
Kraljevic, who became a firm favourite during his time at the Toa Payoh-based club, said in a video statement on Balestier’s Facebook page: “Thank you very much for supporting myself and the club for the last five years. I wish Balestier Khalsa all the best for this season.”
He fills the void vacated by Yusri Che Lah, who left to head Kuala Lumpur FA last month and becomes the second coach to depart the SPL for Malaysia after Home United’s Aidil Sharin was appointed head coach of Kedah FA last October.
Balestier’s statement added: “Kraljevic has served the Club with distinction both as a player and a coach. We thank Kraljevic for his services and are confident that he will carry out his duties professionally and bring success to Kelantan FA.”
The club also indicated that they will make an announcement on Kraljevic’s replacement in the coming days.