There is a silver lining after all for ex-footballers in Malaysia.
While there have been many stories of how footballers end up jobless or have to take low income jobs, just to make ends meet, there are also many success stories.
While many ex-footballers have gone to become businessmen and Datuks, there is a career in the game itself - coaching.
I was pleasantly surprised when I went to the FA of Malaysia headquarters in Kelana Jaya last week, and walked into the Youth Department. As I walked in, I got greetings from every corner of the room and there I saw so many ex-footballers - all of whom I had written about when I was with The Malay Mail.
"Is there a football match on this evening," I asked the players as they burst out laughing.
They were coaches with the Coaches' Division in the national body.
It was indeed heart warming to see so many of these ex-footballers still involved in the game and imparting their experience and knowledge of the game, to the young footballers of the nation.
Heading the list of ex-footballers who are under the FA of Malaysia coaching staff is national coach, K. Rajagobal (above), his assistant Tan Cheng Hoe and goalkeeper coach, Mohd Faozi Mukhlas.
The 2nd floor of the FA of Malaysia, is where some of the coaches have their offices while it is also the place for them from time to time to congregate.
The FA of Malaysia coaching staff comprise:
Youth Development director, Lim Kim Choon,
Lim Chuan Chin (national goalkeeper coach),
Ong Kim Swee (Harimau Muda U18/19 coach- left) and his assistants, Hassan Sazali and goalkeeper coach Yong Wai Hwang
Ismail Ibrahim (Under-17 coach who also handles the Under-16 team) and his assistant Zulkefli Shamsudin and goalkeper coach Zainuddin Yusof
Mohd Haris Lajid (Under-16 assistant coach) and goalkeeper coach, Mazlan Wahid
Aminuddin Husin who heads Youth Development unit and coaches the Under-15 team with his assistant, M. Paramasivam and goalkeeper coach, Richard Scully
Khalid Shadan (Under13/14) head coach and his assistant Azmi Mohamad and assistant coach Azmin Azram
P. Balakrishan (National Futsal Team)
And there are many ex-footballers who are also coaching in the Malaysian League.
Azrrai Khor (Kedah), Wan Jamak (Negri Sembilan), Ramlan Rashid (Johor FC), K. Devan (right), P. Maniam (Selangor), M. Velu (Penang), M. Karathu (Perak), Khan Hung Meng (My Team), Dollah Salleh (Pahang - left)), Zainal Abidin Hassan (Pahang Port - right below Devan)), Abdul Jalil Ramli (Police), Mat Zan Mat Aris (KL Plus), Wahid Uji (Sarawak), Nasir Yusof (Johor - below), Yunus Alif (Proton), E. Elavarasan (Felda), G. Selvamohan (Malacca), Abdul Rahman Ibrahim (PKNS), Razip Ismail (KL), Che Ku Marzuki (T-Team).
There are also many ex-footballers who are assistant coaches with the State teams while others are handling the youth teams. We also have some who are Directors of Coaching in their respective States.
It is also encouraging fact that many of these coaches are young and are considered the 'new breed' of coaches.
So, there is light at the end of the tunnel after all for ex-footballers, as long as they are prepared to work for their badges.
Many FAs are already encouraging players to take up coaching courses while they are playing and this is indeed a positive step.