Football fans celebrating across the country owe a fair amount of credit to the coaching staff of the Maldives National Football Team; head coach Peter Segrt, assistant coach Ahmed Shakir (Shaakitte) and the two foreign coaching staff, for picking and training the champion squad that secured a glorious victory at the SAFF Suzuki championship.
To that effect, the young assistant coach Shaakitte has earned his own share of praise for tireless efforts put towards building and rebuilding the team this year, as well as for his invaluable input in various coaching decisions.
Shaakitte was assigned the role of Assistant Coach in March, following Peter Segrt's appointment as the head coach of the National Team.
He was selected for the role based on his performance in dealing with the national team and Club Eagles, under the advisement of the Football Association of Maldives. Prior to the SAFF championship, he presided over two matches of the national team, including the 7-nil victory over Bhutan and a 2-3 defeat over Singapore, earlier this year.
Referring to his second in command Segrt said, “[He] is very important to me", adding that Shaakite was "very close to the players”.
After losing to India in the group stages of the SAFF Cup at 2-nil and advancing to the semi-final following a lucky draw between the Maldivian and Sri Lankan national teams, Shaakitte faced heavy fire from the media.
However, Segrt firmly stated his belief that behind the youthful squad that lifted up the trophy was their equally sprightly coach Shaakitte, and that the players also wished to acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of their young coach.
Notable amongst the Maldives national team's coaching staff are the acclaimed goalkeeper trainer Aslam Abdul Raheem, Gela Shekiladze and Vladimir Krunic.