JDT will always be a winner, says former coach Mora

PETALING JAYA: Benjamin Mora has finally broken his silence on leaving Super League champions Johor Darul Ta’zim after an amazing seven years which saw him rake up the trophies.

The Mexican, the club’s most successful manager with nine titles, said he was at peace with his decision to leave the club. He had left three days ago because of “unavoidable personal matters”.

He had been missing from the squad since July 15 after the 2-1 win against Sabah in the Super League.

The 43-year-old was not seen in the Super League match against Penang (1-0, July 20) and FA Cup quarter-final match against Melaka (2-1, July 23).

Speculation was already rife then that he was no longer the gaffer, but the club officially announced that he left the Southern Tigers on July 27.

Mora said that just like any life cycle, there will come a point where everything ends.

“The cycles have a beginning and an end. The important thing is what you do during the cycle, what is the legacy, day-by-day, training after training and game by game,” he said.

“Year after year, it became more difficult to detach myself from JDT as a manager and from Johor as a person.

“It is very painful to detach the roots I have laid here. We had talked about it in the past, but today it became a reality for some personal reasons and also through separate paths and new goals. “It will be difficult to wake up daily knowing I will no longer be with JDT, but it is something that was going to happen sooner or later. In peace with the decision.”

Mora, who has been with the club since 2015, when he was the coach of JDT II, won four Malaysia Super League titles, four Charity Cups, and one Malaysia Cup and led JDT to the AFC Champions League knockout rounds this year.

He had taken charge of 148 games over two stints as JDT coach since 2017, winning 102.

Asked if he had foreseen these achievements, Mora said he knew what needed to be done when given the job.

“I was always expected to help and add value to the best club in Malaysia and South-East Asia.

“However, they were already a winner before me, a winner with me as manager and will continue to be winners without me.

“JDT and TMJ (JDT owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim) elevated my career to other levels, and I am deeply grateful and happy for having this opportunity to grow so much, we did wonderful things together. TMJ made me a better man.”

As for his next step, Mora said he wants to take a break first and then see what’s next in the future.

“The next thing is to rest a while from everything, analyse what I did good and what I did wrong, criticise myself and give feedback on my steps.

“From there, prepare myself more, learn about myself and gain new strength to find some other challenge that leads me to raise my levels of professionalism, walking with my head held high and with a firm gaze in the certainty that if you believe you can.

“Continue executing my passion and profession with all my heart and wish JDT the best of success!”

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