Wednesday, February 26, 1992

Give us a break (The Malay Mail)

 LOCAL soccer coaches drew flak at the Semi-Pro seminar at Genting
Highlands recently forcing several moves to he taken to upgrade their
One of the moves is in introduce graded coaches among FAM advance
certificate holders.
The technical and youth development committee, chaired by the Tengku
Mahkota of Pahang, then ruled that all current holders of the FAM advanced
certificate will not be good enough to coach Semi-Pro teams. This rule is
effective from next season.
All current holders of the advanced certificate will be classified as
Grade B licensed coaches who will be elligible to coach youth teams. Those
who want to coach Semi-Pro teams will have to sit for another course to
get the Grade A licence.
The Tengku Mahkota did not mince his words when he said Malaysia have
to produce coaches just as good as their foreign counterparts. He said the
standard of local coaches has stagnated.
To make matters worse, there is an imbalance between local and
foreign Semi-Pro coaches.
Of the 16 teams competing this season in both divisions, ten have
foreign coaches.
In Div One are Michael Urukalo (Johor), Len Ashurst (Pahang), Oldrich
Sedlack (Sabah) Milan Hanko (Negri)) and Allan Vest (Sarawak).
The local coaches are Chan Sze Onn (Perak), Chow Kwai Lam (KL),
Mazlan Harun (Selangor) and Abdullah Mohammed (Terengganu).
Singapore have Milous Kvacek.
The remaining five foreign coaches are in Div Two. They are : Robert
Albert (Kedah), Heese Horst (Kelantan), Bragego Bratic (Penang), Ken
Morten (Police) and Marko Bilic (Malacca)
The two local coaches are: Khidir Buyong (Forces) and Mohamad Che Su
Second Division's Brunei is coached by Hussein Al-Juned of Singapore.
MAZLAN HARUN: Malaysian soccer has survived and did well with local
coaches in the past. We even did well internationally.
Take Selangor for instance. We have always been the soccer power in
Malaysian soccer and with the local coaches.
Suddenly there is an influx of foreign coaches while locals have
taken a back-seat.
I still believe that unless local coaches are given the confidence,
we cannot develop calibre coaches.
Besides, some foreign coaches, who are here, are not all that good
But to a certain extent I have to admit that some of our local
coaches lack ability in spotting talent and developing it.
Maybe we should work in this area so that local coaches have a better
eye for talent.
Otherwise, I feel local coaches should be given recognition.
CHOW KWAI LAM: More local coaches should be given responsibility to
handle teams if the standard of Malaysian coaches is to rise. How can
local coaches learn if they are not given the opportunity to handle teams.
More and more teams are placing their faith in foreign coaches and
some them are no better than our local coaches.
There is definitely no uniformity with coaches from different
Maybe, a better way would be to have one highly qualified foreign
coach at the helm of Malaysian soccer to conduct courses for local state
This was the case when Dave McLaren was here in the late 60s and Karl
Weigang in the late 70s. And both occasions the national team went to do
well to qualify for the 1972 Munich Olympics and 1980 Moscow Olympics.
I am not against the presence of foreign coaches here, but probably
we should be selective and only get the best.
And most foreign coaches, handling State teams, are not really
interested in the development of the game in the country but short term
But there are already several coaches in Malaysia who have a licensed
certificate from Germany.
Besides myself, there is Mohamad Bakar (Penang), Abdullah Mohammad
and Abdul Rahman lbrahim (both Terengganu) and Mahadi Yusof (Kelantan).
Our gradings should be recognised and maybe we can just attend a refresher
KHAIDIR BUYONG: Local coaches are said to be not good enough, but
they are not given the freedom to handle teams as foreign coaches are.
I am sure if local coaches are given the same privileges and rights,
they too can produce results.
For example, a foreign coach is given permission to hire any foreign
player he wants and form the team the way he wants with no interference at
But local coaches cannot do the same.
Besides, team officials have a bigger say. Local coaches are not paid
as well, and do not recieve the same perks as foreign coaches.
ABDULLAH MOHAMAD: Foreign coaches do not necessarily spell success
and this his been proven in the three seasons of Semi-Pro league. There
have been foreign coaches whose teams have finished worse off than teams
coached by foreigners.
In this respect, I feel local coaches should have been given the
benefit of being involve in our top league so that they too can learn and
Unless confidence is placed on local coaches, they are definitely not
going to improve because they do not have the opportunities.
Thus it is unfair to compare local coaches with foreign coaches.
CHAN SZE ONN: Local coaches should be assessed against foreign
coaches with the same terms and conditions. But this is not the case.
Local coaches work under restrictions, while foreign coaches have
I am glad I have been given an opportunity to handle the Perak team,
after a foreigner (Marko Bilic) last year. I will definitely do my best to
prove that local coaches can do as well, if not better than foreigners.
As for the grading of coaches, I feel it is always good to learn
something new. I am sure if there is going to be a grading among advanced
certificite holders, there will be something new to be imparted.
But maybe an exception could be given to coaches who have advanced
certificates for sometime now and have been actively involved. Probably a
refresher's course will suffice.
MOHAMAD CHE SU: There is a growing tendency to believe that if
something is foreign it is good. This is not necessarily the case
especially in soccer. If it is the best of the foreign coaches who come
here, it will be good for the game, players and local coaches.
But in most cases, foreign coaches are average ones and some of our
local coaches are better.
As for grading of advanced certificate holders, I will definitely not
attend because at 52, I cannot possibly be as active as the younger
Besides, with wider experience, senior coaches should be exempted.
Probably refresher course will just serve the purpose of informing coaches
on the latest development in coaching. But asking them to go through
physical drills and examinations would be asking too much of senior
MICHAEL URUKALO and ALLAN VEST: We foreign coaches are here because
we want to help Malaysian soccer. Our services have been sought and we
have no qualms about coming here to impart whatever knowledge we have
gained over the years from wherever we come from.
The foreign coaches Malaysian states have got are equivalent to what
they are prepared to pay for.
Of course, one cannot expect to get a World Cup coach.
But those who have taken up an appointment, I must say they are
qualified and have their own merits and credentials.
Afterall, State FAs had the last say in employing them. So I see no
reason why there should be any complaints.
To say that foreign coaches are not interested in the development of
the game here is wrong.
Again it falls back to the State FAs. It all depends on what the
State FAs want from foreign coaches. Most Stae FAs offer shorts and want
immediate results. Under the circumstances, foreign coaches do at they
have to do - assemble experienced players and recruit talented and
experienced foreign players.
One cannot have development and success at the same time.
If it is development the State FAs want, then they must be prepared
to hire coaches for a longer period.
In any case, even if coaches are here for short periods, most of them
still conduct clinics for local coaches and help out in the youth
development programmes. But sometimes, the heavy Semi-Pro league
commitment simply makes it impossible for foreign coaches to concentrate
on other areas.
On the subject of there being no uniformity because there are foreign
coaches from many countries, I suppose it has two sides.
The variety of coaching means producing a variety of players. This
should certainly be welcomed because then the national selectors will have
a variety of players to choose from.
Local coaches too can benefit as they get a variety too. There is
always a local coach attached to us and he can pick up useful tips.
But it is a fact that foreign coaches have produced results here and
that alone should underline the fact that foreign coaches have done their
jobs well.
Of course not all foreign coaches can win a title because there are
only three titles - League Cup, Malaysia Cup and FA Cup - and there are
definitely more than three foreign coaches.
Some have to win and some have to lose and that is the name of the
But we are sure that each one of us has done or will be doing our
jobs to the best of our abilities with the aim to see the teams we coach
do well.
I do not think anyone of us is here for a holiday.
Soccer is in our blood and that is why we are here.
Any success here will add to our credentials and local coaches should
not treat us as aliens, but to work closely for the benefit of Malaysian
Just like local coaches, we have a job to do, and do it well.

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