Wednesday, February 10, 1999

Bonus boost (The Malay Mail)

WHEN virtually every one is cutting costs these difficult days, FAM have
decided to spend more on the M-League.
State FAs should thank their lucky stars that they would be getting an
increase in annual subsidy from FAM.
This "bonus" was conveyed by FAM president Sultan Ahmad Shah to FAM
council members at their meeting on Monday.
Sultan Ahmad confirmed the increase but declined to reveal the details
at the moment.
"It is suffice for me to say at this stage there will be an increase in
the RM750,000 allocated to each State. We are still finalising the amount.
"We did away with foreign players this season to help teams cut costs
besides wanting to see more local players getting exposure.
"I am still going ahead to increase the subsidy because I strongly feel
that the State teams should be developed to a high level to produce
quality players," said Sultan Ahmad Shah.
The absence of foreign players will generally help State FAs reduce
their M-League expenditure by about 40 per cent.
Fifty-one foreigners featured in the M-League last season, the second
highest number since Semi-Pro was introduced in 1989 and went fully
professional seven years later. The most number of foreign players was 55
in 1997.
But the Sultan of Pahang made it clear that the additional subsidy was
not for the State FAs to spend lavishly but to make an earnest effort in
producing quality players.
State FAs can help Sultan Ahmad realise his wishes by hiring quality
coaches to handle their teams.
It could be top local coaches on a full-time basis where they can give
undivided attention to players. Or they can get good foreign coaches.
However, the only problem is that all the teams have already named their
coaches for the season.
But it is still not too late to employ foreign coaches as technical
directors to the teams with the view of making them coaches next season.
This is not to say local coaches lack quality but it is just a lack of
Besides, foreign coaches have been exposed to a very high level of the
game especially in the many leagues in Europe.
No harm getting foreign coaches to share expertise with local ones
though there was a substantial increase in local coaches last season with
12 involved in the M-League. Notably, Moey Yoke Ham coached Penang to the
league title while Abdul Rahman Ibrahim guided Terengganu to the Malaysia
Cup final.
This way, not only do the players benefit from top level coaching, the
local coaches can also act as understudy to their foreign counterparts.
This season, the teams with foreign coaches are Pahang (Alan Davidson),
Selangor (Mike Pejic), Johor (Steve Darby) Johor FC (Ronald Smith), Sabah
(Ken Shellito) and Perak (Karl Weigang).
The local coaches are with Perlis (Tajuddin Nor), Kedah (Azman Yusoff
and P. Balakrishnan), Penang (Yoke Ham), Terengganu (Yunus Alif), Kelantan
(Mosthakeen Omar), Malacca (G. Torairaju), Negri Sembilan (Irfan Bakti),
Sarawak (Abdul Jalil Rambli), Kuala Lumpur (Mat Zan Mat Aris), Negri
Sembilan Chempaka (K. N. Devan) and Malacca Telekom (Khadir Buyong).
Sultan Ahmad has indeed been generous to the State FAs and they should
repay his generosity by producing some significant results in the progress
of Malaysian soccer.

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