The Sun consultant sports editor, Bob Holmes ,has written an excellent article of a Malaysian sportsman who came in from the cold, in today's newspaper. ( http://126.96.36.199/wednesday/wed_page25.html)
It is about Malaysian cricketer Arul Suppiah who has made it good in England, where he has been since a 13-year-old.
The article tells about how Arul survived in England and what it took him to do so.
Arul is indeed a rare breed of Malaysian sportsmen who had the hunger to succeed, the character to withstand trials and tribulations and the staying power to still chase his dream of being a top cricketer.
We have had other rare breed of athletes like Nicol David, Ong Beng Hee and Josiah Ang, all of whom planted themselves in foreign land at a young age. They are also individual sports members. Above all they had ambitions and were prepared to make sacrifices.
Do our Malaysian footballers the kind of discipline, determination and dedication and above all the character to withstand the culture shock?
Several have tried and failed.
Arul was 13 when he went to England and was in his formative days, the U-23 soccer team players' average age is already 21 and well set in their ways. They have already experienced the joys of life and will they be prepared to make sacrifices at this late stage?
The article in The Sun should serve as an eye-opener to all who have this grand idea of having a full time national soccer team.
Arrange for the younger age-group soccer players for attachments and stints by all means, but not the U-23 players and preventing them from playing in the M-League.