Friday, December 27, 1996

Bound for glory (The Malay Mail)

HOW James Wong wished he was born at the right time seeing his State of
Sabah going great guns.
The passion for the game is still burning strongly in the former
international striker as Sabah captured the M-League title and reached the
Malaysia Cup final this season.
James wished he could have been younger to lend his much-feared feet to
the Rhinos, who will take on Selangor in the Malaysia Cup final tomorrow.
James said: "It is indeed a great achievement for Sabah soccer to be in
the Malaysia Cup final for the first time ever.
"For Sabah soccer-loving fans, there never has been a greater moment
than now.
"I wish I was part of the team, because it is the dream of any soccer
player in the country to play in the Malaysia Cup final."
However, James said he too had his great moments. "Although I did not
play in a Malaysia Cup final, I certainly came close to it in 1979
(Stanley Chew was coach) when we qualified for the semifinals but lost to
James, who now manages a band comprising his brothers (who also played
for Sabah), added: "Maybe this time around, Sabah will make amends for
that disappointment faced by Sabah fans 17 years ago."
James believes that the Rhinos are capable of wresting the Malaysia Cup
from Selangor though it will be played at Shah Alam.
"In a Cup final, there are no real favourites. It is always close and
the team that make the least mistakes will have the edge," he said.
"Sabah have already bagged the League title and I see no reason why we
cannot lift the Malaysia Cup too.
"Of course, Selangor have more depth and experience, but that does not
mean Sabah are not able to match them.
"I see the match as a battle between the rookies of Sabah and Selangor's
experience and depth.
"Sabah players may be inexperienced but they are fighters and equally
determined to taste glory.
"Maybe Sabah's hunger to taste glory will see us emerge victors after
"I wish Sabah all the best and I am sure they will do East Malaysia
proud - win or lose," added James.

Wednesday, December 25, 1996

Xmas wish! (The Malay Mail)

MICHELLE Ollerenshaw has an Xmas wish: A Malaysia Cup winner's medal for
husband Scott come Saturday.
Sabahan Michelle, a former national karate champion who married the
Aussie hotshot on April 8, said:
"My wish for Christmas is for Scott to get a winner's medal to cap a
great season.
"I want Sabah to beat Selangor and lift the Malaysia Cup."
Sabah, the League champions, are in line to create history by becoming
the first East Malaysian team to win the coveted Malaysia Cup at Shah Alam
on Saturday.
Michelle has been a source of joy and support for Ollerenshaw.
Being a top athlete herself, she understands the pressures a sportsman
faces and is always there for Ollerenshaw.
"He has done rather well despite the pressure of not scoring in eight
matches at the start of the season.
"I urged him to do his best and not get too anxious. It obviously worked
as he has emerged the top scorer in the League for the second consecutive
season," said Michelle.
Ollerenshaw hit 25 goals for the Rhinos in his first season in 1994 but
missed out on the Golden Boot award as Kelantan's Hashim Mustapha went two
better with 27.
Last year, Ollerenshaw not only bagged the Golden Boot with 22 League
goals, but was also named the Most Valuable Player at the SAM/FAM Glamoir
World of Sports Annual awards.
This year, Ollerenshaw emerged the top scorer again with 18 goals in the
League. He has also bagged eight goals in the Malaysia Cup and one in the
FA Cup.
Ollerenshaw is undoubtedly the most successful foreign player to grace
Malaysian soccer.
His record speaks for itself. He has a FA Cup winner's medal, a League
champion's medal and won the Golden Boot twice in three seasons.
"I look after him well," said Michelle, laughing.
"There were suggestions earlier when the goals dried up that marriage
had affected his performance. But he has proven it otherwise. In fact, I
think marriage has done him a world of good."
Michelle will be at Shah Alam Stadium shouting herself hoarse with the
other Sabah fans on Saturday.
"Many think Sabah are at a disadvantage playing at Shah Alam. But it's a
Cup final and everything is equal.
"It would be great if Scott scores and Sabah win. It would be the best
Christmas gift I've ever had," said Michelle.

Monday, December 9, 1996

Rise and fall of three godfathers

AS 1996 draws to an end, it will be a year remembered in soccer where
three godfathers of the game had their curtains drawn on them in their
respective States.
Or at least two have been unceremoniously booted out of their
associations while the other is very likely to suffer the same fate.
The three are former Kuala Lumpur FA president Tan Sri Elyas Omar,
former Johor FA deputy president Datuk Suleiman Mohamed Noor and Kedah FA
deputy president Datuk Ahmad Basri Mohamad Akil.
Elyas and Suleiman are no longer with their respective FAs and Basri is
on the verge of leaving the association.
Without doubt, all three have done a great deal for their State FAs and
the rise of soccer in their respective States.
It is through their time, dedication, vision and love for the game that
their respective States have hogged the limelight in Malaysian soccer.
But sadly, Elyas and Suleiman, were dumped after they lost their
influence as they no longer held Government posts.
What they had done over the years, was fast forgotten and they were made
scapegoats for the decline in recent years and the associations' poor
financial standings.
No doubt, the associations probably needed someone more influential.
Elyas and Suleiman, with all their experience and contacts, could have
still been useful to them and in different areas.
Instead, they became victims of the winds of change and politicking
within the associations.
The fact that Elyas is still the vice-president of the FA of Malaysia
and the Project manager of the 1997 Youth World Cup team only speaks
volumes of his clout and capabilities.
Though Suleiman may be out of the mainstream when it comes to soccer,
his years of experience could still be utilised.
A council member of the Johor FA, who declined to be named, said:
"Suleiman, despite all his faults, still delivered and did his job to the
best of his abilities.
"There were times when he was like a dictator, but he meant well and had
the interest of the game at heart.
"When he was around, there was not a time when the players or coaches
had problems with their salaries being delayed.
"After all is said and done, Datuk Suleiman's contributions to Johor
soccer have to be acknowledged."
Many KL fans echoed a similar opinion of Elyas.
"For what he did to KL soccer, he did not deserve to be treated that
way," said an ardent KL soccer follower.
"If not for Elyas, KL would have just been whipping boys. He transformed
the City team with his professionalism and vision for the game.
"In the end, he had served his usefulness and was discarded."
Basri is also facing the same problems with moves to oust him. He has
clearly indicated that he will not be around, if his services are not
But it will be a pity, because he was the man who turned Kedah soccer
around and saw them become a powerhorse.
However, all his contributions, dedication and vision have suddenly been
forgotten, especially since he has recently retired from his Government
But at the national level, Basri's vision and ideas are still very much
sought by the FA of Malaysia.
It is indeed sad to see people like Elyas, Suleiman and Basri being
treated shabbily, after all they have put in the game.
Of course, fresh blood, younger officials and ideas are needed, but at
the same time, it is also wrong to discard experience with a stroke of the
The changing of guard is a normal process of a cycle, but it must be
done with grace and tact.
Though the States may have had enough of the trio, they are still useful
at national level and should be given the task of putting Malaysia on the
world map as a strong soccer nation.

Thursday, December 5, 1996

Lucas aims to see success as a coach (The Malay Mail)

WHAT Lucas Kallang failed to achieve as a player, he hopes to do as a
The 37-year-old, who has been Sarawak manager cum coach Alan Vest's
assistant the last four seasons, is onto something great as Sarawak aim to
reach their first ever Malaysia Cup final.
The Crocs have already qualified for the semifinals with a Group B match
to spare, against Brunei on Saturday in Bandar Seri Begawan.
With everything pointing to a semifinal clash against neighbours Sabah,
history is in the making, that this year's Malaysia Cup final will feature
an East Malaysian side for the first time.
Naturally, Lucas, who hails from Long Julan, Ulu Baram, wants to be a
part of that.
Lucas, nicknamed the "Ironman", was a defender or midfielder with
Sarawak from 1979 to 1986 but the State achieved little result.
But Sarawak have become the most consistent team in Malaysian soccer in
the last six years under Vest and Lucas is glad to be part of the team.
"I am very grateful to be associated with the team and it is an
experience I will cherish," said Lucas who is among the first batch of
local coaches to attain the A licence conducted by Richard Bate in 1992.
In fact, his coaching licence number is 001!
A teacher by profession, Lucas was more interested in basketball during
his college days. He was still a trainee teacher when he played soccer
Named Sarawak's Footballer of the Year in 1983, Lucas got involved in
coaching at school level and later got the preliminary coaching badge from
the Soccer Centre of Excellence in Lilleshall, England. He was also on
attachment with Sheffield Wednesday.
In 1990, he attained his B licence under Bates before taking his A
licence in 1992.
"I am lucky to be working with Vest. He is a true professional in all
sense of the word and I have learnt a great deal from him," said Lucas.
"Having been his assistant for four years is a great experience for me.
It is certainly a world better than being on attachment with clubs for
short periods," said Lucas.
Other local coaches who like Lucas stand to benefit from working with
foreign coaches are Selangor's assistant coach Mohamad Shah Norbit (with
Ken Worden) and Sabah's Justin Ganai (with Ronald Smith).

Wednesday, December 4, 1996

Any takers for Trev? (The Malay Mail)

FORMER national coach Trevor Hartley is keen on working in Malaysia again.
The 49-year-old Londoner, who was in Singapore for a week to conduct
preliminary coaching courses for school teachers, said he will definitely
consider offers to work in Malaysia.
"Although I prefer to come back to Malaysia as a Director of Coaching or
Technical Director at the State or national level, I don't mind coaching
teams in the M-League," said Hartley.
Hartley coached the Malaysian team for a year in 1989 and took them to
the Sea Games gold. Under him, Malaysia were second behind South Korea in
the pre-World Cup that year.
But his contract was not extended by the FA of Malaysia who said there
were not many assignments for the national team at that time.
Though there were the Beijing Asian Games in 1990 and the Manila Sea
Games in 1991, the FA of Malaysia obviously felt those were not close
"I am open to offers and discussions. It has been a long time since I
set foot in Malaysia. I have always kept an open mind about Malaysia.
"After my contract with the national team expired, Pahang showed
interest in me. But I found it a little hard to believe because it was the
same people from Pahang in the FA of Malaysia, who did not renew my
"I let that one go. But now, I am keen to get back to Malaysia."
Perhaps Hartley should have been retained by FAM.
Afterall, he was Singapore's Director of Coaching for four years in the
late 70s and is well versed with soccer in these parts of the world.
Hartley also worked with David Pleat at Tottenham Hotspur from May 1986
to October 1987.
Hartley now conducts coaching clinics in England and does specific work
with various clubs on a short term basis.
With several State FAs on the lookout for foreign coaches for next
season, Hartley might be back here again.

Thursday, November 28, 1996

Man in the middle (The Malay Mail)

AGE may not be on his side but Mohamad Ali Sapiee, in full flow for
Sarawak in the Malaysia Cup competition, is like vintage wine.
The wily 33-year-old midfielder has been in inspiring form as Sarawak
earned the distinction of becoming the first team to qualify for the
He was on the way to becoming a has-been until Nazri Yunos went to Spain
with the national team for the World Five-a-side finals in Spain.
Since last year, Ali faced stiff competition from youngsters like Nazri
and Ibrahim Mantali. More often than not, he was on the bench.
However, when it seemed Ali was having his last season with Sarawak, he
found himself providing much bite for the Crocs.
It has been quite a turnaround for a player who was out of the team for
two seasons in 1991 and 1992 due to personal and employment reasons.
Nonetheless, the Sarawak FA saw an asset in him. He made his comeback in
1993 to feature prominently in manager-cum-coach Alan Vest's plans.
Partnering another veteran, Jalil Ramli, Ali had a good season under
Vest in 1993 and 1994.
Making his debut for Sarawak in 1984, Ali skippered them from 1986 to
Vest admitted that initially he had some apprenhensions over Ali playing
in Nazri's place. He was not too sure how Ali would cope as he is a little
slower now.
"But Ali surprised me. It is indeed a pleasant surprise and I found it
hard to believe it is the same Ali whom I had wanted to phase out
"He is like an energetic youngster, and certainly not playing like a 33-
"His passes are accurate, he runs into positions and is an industrious
"He has certainly played a key role in Sarawak's good run in the
Malaysia Cup competition," said Vest.
A modest Ali said: "Maybe the long rest has helped me. I am just glad to
be given the opportunity to play in the first 11 again."
Probably the best compliment for Ali came with the news that Vest has
decided to renew his contract for another season.
The icing to Ali's long and faithful career with Sarawak would be
creating history with the East Malaysian State by reaching the Malaysia
Cup final.

Wednesday, November 6, 1996

Keegan remembers the extinct Tigers (The Malay Mail)

NEWCASTLE manager Kevin Keegan still remembers fondly his time as player-
coach with the Tigers squad in the 1984 Merdeka tournament.
Keegan, who is a guest of the Brunei royal family together with Peter
Beardsley and Darren Peacock, was at Stadium Negara Hassanal Bolkiah in
Bandar Seri Begawan last night where Brunei hosted Johor in a Malaysia Cup
Keegan, who wrote a column for the Malay Mail during his stay here, was
curious about the Tigers, the national back-up squad.
"There were several talented players in the team. Did any of them make
the national team?" he asked.
The Tigers are long extinct.
Keegan said he would be in Brunei for several days and might conduct
coaching clinics for schoolchildren.
"I will probably be back in Brunei with the full Newcastle team for a
few friendly matches.
"Maybe, we will come to Malaysia. I would really like to go back there
again," said Keegan.
On Newcastle's performance in the English Premier League where they are
table leaders, Keegan said it was good start but too early in the season
to mean very much.
"We still have a long way to go in the season. We are doing well but I
will be happier if we are still doing this well towards the end of the
season," said the amiable Keegan.

Friday, August 2, 1996

It will be special for Fairuz (The Malay Mail)

AHMAD FAIRUZ YUNUS will try to be the second Kuala Lumpur player to win a
FA Cup medal with a second team.
Yap Wai Loon did it with Sabah last year.
Fairuz, making his debut with Sarawak this season, was with the KL side
than won the FA Cup in 1993 and 1994.
The lanky defender, who turned 24 on June 15, is looking forward to his
third FA Cup medal with his new team.
"After failing to win anything with Terengganu last season, I am looking
forward to a medal with Sarawak," said Fairuz.
Just two months ago, Fairuz was contemplating asking to be released as
he was not making much headway with Sarawak.
But coach Alan Vest's encouragement and Fairuz's patience, paid off as
he is now a regular with the team.
He is not playing his favourite sweeper's role but Fairuz is glad he has
a place in the team.
He will play as leftback in place of injured Dahlan Matusin.
"I prefer playing as a sweeper or central defender but I am not
complaining," said Fairuz.
Fairuz got his break when rightback Roslan Ismail was injured in May.
Then, it was Dahlan who was injured and Fairuz took over his slot.
Fairuz is still keeping his place and his steady performance has given
no reason for Vest to look for a replacement.
"I am excited about the Cup final although it is my third," said Fairuz
the son of former KL coach Yunus Tasman.
"Besides, I want to repay the confidence of the coach and the Sarawak FA
in me."
On the final, Fairuz said experienced Kedah will start as the
"But the underdog tag suits us fine and we will try to ovecome the
odds," he said.
Fairuz expects a torrid time from the speedy Kedah forwards, especially
Mohamad Adzha, Che Zambil Ahmad and Hashim Mustapha.
"I am prepared for the challenge," said Fairuz.
"It is going to be tough but Kedah are not unstoppable."

Friday, May 31, 1996

Problems aplenty: Knee injury puts Karthekayan out (The Malay Mail)

DISASTER has struck just when things were looking up for Kuala Lumpur
defender G. Karthekayan.
Karthekayan, making a late debut in the M-League this season, suffered a
knee injury in Wednesday morning's training session at the City Hall
He came on as a substitute on four occasions before being named among
the first 11 on Saturday night against Pahang. He did well enough for
coach Chow Kwai Lam to consider keeping him in the starting team against
Terengganu in Kuala Terengganu tomorrow.
Karthekayan came in as a stopper to replace the suspended Zefus Othman
against Pahang and was all excited about finally breaking into the first
team after much hard work.
But yesterday morning he was a picture of dejection and pain.
His worst fears were confirmed by the orthopaedic surgeon - a meniscus
and medial ligament tear.
Karthekayan underwent arthroscopic surgery yesterday afternoon and is
out for three to four weeks.
"I cannot believe my luck. I make the first 11 and the next moment I
suffer this injury," said Karthekayan, who injured his knee when he fell
awkwardly in training.
Kwai Lam was equally disappointed.
"He did well against Pahang and I had plans for him against Terengganu,
especially with Zefus still suspended," said Kwai Lam.

Tuesday, May 28, 1996

England have a ball (The Malay Mail)

Reporting from Hong Kong
THE way the players were partying on Sunday night you would have thought
England had just won the European soccer championships.
All they had really won was a friendly against a Hong Kong club side -
Golden XI - in their build-up for the championships starting in England on
June 8.
But that did not stop them from having a grand time at the Hong Kong
Jump Restaurant & Bar.
England's tour of China and Hong Kong has been heavily critised but the
players had enough reason to party.
For starters, they were having a few days off after playing Hong Kong
and also it was Paul Gascoigne's 29th birthday yesterday.
England manager Terry Venables had imposed a ban on alcohol consumption
on his players upon arrival in Hong Kong on Friday evening.
The ban over, champagne flowed freely yesterday and the players partied
until 2am.
By the time they left, many did not have anything on their backs and
happily put on the Jump T-shirt given to them.
Gascoigne, who did not play against Hong Kong because of a groin
infection, certainly showed no signs of pain as he danced the night away.
The English team left for home yesterday evening and will rest a few
days before their last leg of preparations.

Saturday, May 25, 1996

Men of substance (The Malay Mail

HONG KONG: Denmark's Poul Erik Hoyer-Larsen and Peter Rasmussen have
turned out to be the strongest players mentally in the Thomas Cup finals.
They showed it again in their semifinal victory over China yesterday at
the Queen Elizabeth Stadium.
There's a difference of a decade between Hoyer-Larsen, who turns 31 on
Sept 20, and Rasmussen, 22 on Aug 2, but they play with almost the same
level of maturity, composure and determination - something conspicously
absent in the Malaysian players.
Experienced Hoyer-Larsen, who studied psychology to improve his game,
made a superb comeback from 1-13 down in the second set after losing the
first 15-6 to world no 1 Dong Xiong 18-17. The Dane went on to win 6-15,
18-17, 15-11.
Rasmussen, who entered the courts knowing Denmark's passage to the final
depended on him with the score at 2-2, upset Lin Liwen 15-12, 15-3.
It is all very simple for the Danes.
Rasmussen explained: "I just went in there and gave my best.
"Morten (Frost) told me he does not care if I lost or won, so long as I
gave my best.
"I am gald my best was good enough to give us the winning point," said
Rasmussen, who is making his Thomas Cup debut.
He also clinched the winning point against Korea in the Group match.
And now, Rasmusssen is looking forward to the final against Indonesia
with great hope of creating history.
"It could again come down to me for the crucial point. I am just going
to treat it as another game and give my best."
Rasmussen could play either Alan Budi Kusuma or Ardy Wiranta.
He has lost thrice and won once against Alan.
Hoyer-Larsen said he was lucky to beat Dong Xiong.
"I was on the brink of defeat at 1-13 in the second set but never gave
up. I just kept going and it worked for me," said Hoyer-Larsen.
"It has been a long time since I played the way I did and coming just
before the Atlanta Olmypics it is simply great."
He cited the time at the Singapore Open in 1990 when he down 2-13 in the
second set after losing the first against Alan Budi Kusuma but went on to
win 18-16. In the rubber he was down 1-12 but came back to win 18-15.
At the World Grand Prix in 1989, he achieved a similar feat when he
defeated England's Steve Butler coming from behind.
"Lady Luck was with me," he said.
But it has more to do than with just luck and Hoyer-Larsen admitted
mental strength played a crucial part in his victory.
"Sometimes things don't go according to our plans. But we have to be
mentally strong to believe in ourselves and work our way back. We also
have to consider our options under prressure. That also means taking
"Today (yesterday) I was simply not moving in the first set and for a
major part of the second. When I got going it was a little late. But I
just believed in myself and said nothing was impossible.
"I am glad it worked for me and I hope I will have a better outing in
the final to give Denmark a realistic chance of winning the Thomas Cup."
Coach Morten Frost was full of praise for Hoyer-Larsen and said only
Hoyer-Larsen could have achieved a feat like that.
"Hoyer-Larsen is the world's best comeback artist. It is not easy and
nobody wants to be in that kind of situation. But the point is he can make
that kind of recovery even when his game lets him down."
It is a delight to watch players like Hoyer-Larsen and Rasmussen
displaying so much mental strength and triumphing against the odds.

THOMAS CUP (S-finals)
Denmark 3 China 2: Poul Erik Hoyer Larsen bt Dong Jiong 6-15, 18-17,
15-11; Jon Holst Christensen-Jim Laugesen lost to Jiang Xin-Huang
Zhanzhong 12-15, 7-15; Thomas Stuer Lauridsen lost to Sun Jun 5-15, 8-15;
Henrik Svarrer-Michael Sogaard bt Ge Cheng-Tao Xiaoqiang 15-8, 17-15;
Peter Rasmussen bt Lin Liwen 15-12, 15-3.
Indonesia 3 Korea 2: Joko Suprianto bt Park Sung Woo 18-17, 15-1; Ricky
Subagja-Rexy Mainaky bt Ha Tae Kwon-Kang Kyung Jin 15-10, 15-7; Alan Budi
Kusuma bt Lee Kwang Jin 15-6, 15-9; Antonius-Denny Kantono lost to Park
Joo Bong-Kim Dong Moon 0-15, 5-15; Ardy Wiranata lost to Ahn Jae Chang 8-
15, 3-15.

Friday, May 24, 1996

Grabo and Co play England (The Malay Mail)

Reporting from Hong Kong
THREE players familiar to Malaysian fans will be in Hong Kong's Golden 11
who play England in a friendly for the Century Challenge Cup on Sunday.
The three - Anto Grabo, Alen Bajkusa and Marlon van der Sander - used to
play for Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Terengganu respectively in the Premier
England played China yesterday and another against Hong Kong as part of
their run-up to the European championships in England next month.
Grabo and van der Sander play for Golden in the Hong Kong Div 1 League
while Bajkusa, who plays for South China Athletic Association, is a guest
Golden have also invited former England international and current
Everton captain Dave Watson. He arrived in Hong Kong on Monday and played
in a friendly against the J-League's Urawa Red Diamonds on Tuesday. Golden
won 1-0.
Golden have also invited goalkeeper Iain Hesford, who plays for Eastern
in the Hong Kong League, to complete their line-up.
Golden have another four foreigners with them, including former Engand
player Michael Duxbury.
Grabo, 35, who played a season for KL four years ago, said: "We have
incentives from individual sponsors for the match."
He said the sponsors have put up HK$200,000 if they score one goal
against England, HK$500,000 for two and HK$1 million for three.
"There is no offer yet for a win over England but we can expect a
windfall," he said.
Grabo said their match allowances will also depend on the margin of
defeat or victory.
Grabo have beaten Chelsea 2-1 and Brazil's Sao Paulo 4-2. They lost to
Italy's AC Milan 2-1.
England are expected to arrive in Hong Kong from China this evening.
They will have a practice session at the Hong Kong Stadium tomorrow
For security reasons, England's place of stay has been kept a secret.
There will be no airport reception or interviews besides the photo
session during their practice session followed by a press conference at
the stadium itself with Venables and a few selected players.

Tuesday, May 21, 1996

Bet on the Danes (The Malay Mail)

Reporting from Hong Kong
FORMER Indian ace PRAKASH PADUKONE presents his views to Mailsport on
today's showdown between Malaysia and Denmark.
The former All-England champion, who last played for India in the 1988
Thomas Cup qualifer, is in Hong Kong as a freelance journalist for the
Hindu and Sports Times.
I SEE Denmark as having the edge, say 60-40. They are in good form now.
Denmark should secure victory in two singles and one doubles for a 3-2
win. Or they may even sweep all three singles and one double for a 4-1
Malaysia are under tremendous pressure to win the match and in
convincing fashion too.
A 3-2 margin may not even be good enough. The Malaysians must be strong
mentally for the challenge.
Should Malaysia rise to the occasion, I think they can only take one
singles and two doubles.
The bottom line is that the odds favour the Danes.

First Singles: Rashid Sidek v Paul Erik Hoyer-Larsen.
This match should go Larsen's way based on current form. He is a very
stable player who is mentally and physically strong. Above all it is
difficult to break arsen's game.
Rashid is unpredictable. If he is on song, he could give Larsen a run
for his money.
But I still do not see him defeating Larsen who packs solid defence
unlike Rashid who can commit a lot of errors when under pressure.
Rashid's game is also very predictable and with little variation. He
will have problems.
It will take a lot for Rashid to spring a surprise.
First Doubles: Cheah Soon Kit-Yap Kim Hock v Jon Holst-Christiansen-
Thomas Stavngaard. Thomas Lund may come in as a surprise replacement.
Word has it that Thomas Lund is in town. But then, why was he not
fielded against the Koreans on Sunday? But even if he plays, I don't think
Lund will be in good shape because it would be his first match in Hong
Kong and he might not be familiar with the conditions.
In anycase, whether he partners Holst Christensen or not, I think this
doubles match belongs to Cheah and Yap.
Holst-Christensen and Stavngaard certainly have not been impressive and
it will even easier for the Malaysian pair if the duo play. It might be
slightly more difficult with Lund playing, but I still give Malaysians the
SECOND SINGLES: Ong Ewe Hock v Thomas Stuer Lauridsen
The Malaysian camp will be counting on Ong's fighting qualities to pull
off an upset.
I can say it is all the way uphill.
Ong had done well to beat Korea's Lee Kwang Jin but Lauridsen is in a
different class.
For starters, Ong will be starting at a disadvantage because of his
small stature against the much taller Lauridsen.
Lauridsen will definitely have the edge. As Ong is a defensive player
who lacks attacking qualities, it will be hard for him to trouble the
Ong may have strong stamina and determination but I don't think that
will be enough.
The only way for Ong to beat his opponent is to tire Lauridsen out.
Lauridsen's fitness is suspect having just returned to the game after a
series of injuries. And if the injuries act up, he could be in trouble.
But Lauridsen showed good fitness against Kwang Jin despite being
strectched to three sets.
This tie should go to the Dane.
SECOND DOUBLES: Soo Beng Kiang-Tan Kim Her v Henrik Svarrer-Michael
Although Malaysia are banking on this tie to provide a point, this could
be a touch and go affair.
Svarrer-Sogaard looked impressive despite their loss to Park Joo Bong
and Kim Dong Moon.
The Danes look much capable of giving Beng Kiang-Kim Her a run for their
money. The Malaysian pair will have to hit top form to win.
Furthermore, the pressure will be on the Malaysians because overall
Malaysia are in a critical situation where they can't afford to win in
rubber games.
This tie could well go into three setters with either pair winning.
If the Danes triumph, it will be all over for Malaysia but if Soo-Tan
clinch this one, the third singles next will most probably be the decider.
THIRD SINGLES: Pang Chen v Peter Rasmussen
This one should go hands down to Peter Rasmussen. And I am not saying
this because Pang Chen looked bad against Ahn Jae Chang earlier.
I am more impressed by Rasmussen's form and I think he is the most
exciting player in this tournament.
The young Dane is improving with each match and he is definitely in the
footsteps of Larsen.
Although he was known to be a temperamental player, he looks more
composed these days.
Rasmussen has great determination with a lot of fire in him and whether
Pang Chen can handle that is left to be seen.
But I personally feel that Rasmussen will be too hot for Pang Chen to

Thursday, April 25, 1996

M-League could do with foreign refs (The Malay Mail)

FOREIGN referees for the M-League?
With local referees having trouble coping with the increasingly
demanding League, this is an idea worth considering.
Local referees have done well and even earned praise in Fifa organised
tournaments but the general standard leaves much to be desired.
Many linesmen were promoted to referees at the start of the season and
many coaches and players have been complaining, especially on the uniform
application of the rules.
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) secretary-general, Datuk Peter
Velappan said Malaysia and probably Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia
should consider bringing in top foreign referees to officiate in this
"The game has developed a great deal but the development of referees has
not kept pace," said Velappan.
"Local referees are having problems coping with the growing demands of
the game.
"AFC are making efforts to have regular courses to upgrade the standard
of referees.
"In Europe, even districts have a permanent referee's instructor and
referees report to him twice or thrice a week to keep fit and to know the
rules better."
Velappan said local referees could also learn from top European referees
officiating in Asia.
"Also, the local referees will be challenged to be on par with foreign
referees," he said.
The J-League has 18 referees and 43 assistant referees. But they invite
foreign referees to officiate and conduct seminars for their Japanese
This year, three foreign referees - Zoran Petrovic of Yugoslovia,
Armando Archundia of Mexico and Piotr Werner of Poland - are helping out
in the J-League.
Another three foreign referees will join them for the second half of the
China are also considering inviting foreign referees for the second half
of their professional league.
Korea have adopted an Exclusive Referees and Linesmen System this year.
They have contracts with eight referees, eight linesmen and five reserve
referees exclusively for the League.
The contracts are for a year and will be renewed every year based on an
assessment by the Referee's Committee.
However, Velappan said having fulltime referees in Asia at this stage is
debatable as not many officials will risk going professional, especially
with annual assessments.
"For now, it is best to upgrade our standards while getting good foreign
referees to help out," said Velappan.

Wednesday, March 13, 1996

Ahmad the model player (The Malay Mail)

AFTER 13 seasons Ahmad Yusof is still going strong.
Ahmad, who turns 36 on August 8, hails from Penang but has been with
Pahang since 1983 - the year Pahang won the Malaysia Cup the first time.
His teammates then - Tajuddin Nor and Yunus Alif - are now the team
manager and coach for Pahang respectively but Ahmad is still sluging it
out on the pitch.
Ahmad is an model professional and the game still excites him after all
these years.
Even a chronic back injury the last few years has not stopped Ahmad.
He is Pahang's most valuable player and a modest one at that.
Each time he is approached for an interview, Ahmad would politely turns
it down and requests the younger players be interviewed instead.
"I am just a small piece in the puzzle trying to do the best I can. But
it gets harder each year," said Ahmad.
"Last season, many teams were still affected by the absence key players
rounded up during the bribery crackdown.
"But teams are more settled and stronger now. It is going to be a keen
competition this time around," said Ahmad who is the oldest player in the
League after Sarawak's Jalil Rambly.
Ahmad used to play in midfield but of late he has been used as a stopper
or sweeper.
"Ahmad may be the oldest but he is the heartbeat of the team," said

Wednesday, March 6, 1996

Bala back in business (The Malay Mail)

MIDFIELDER S. Balachandran returns to the Kuala Lumpur M-League team after
two seasons.
Balachandran, who turned 31 on Feb 26, is the only remaining member of
the squad that won the Malaysia Cup three consecutive years from 1987-
Balachandran, who made his debut with KL in 1987, served them for seven
years before playing for Sabah for a season.
Last season, he returned to KL but could not find a place and ended up
playing in the Amatuer League for City Hall SC.

But things have changed for Balachandran this season.
He will play a key role in coach Chow Kwai Lam's plans.
Kwai Lam is counting on him to lead the young squad.
The only other senior players in the team are R. Ramachandran and L.
Suresh who are in their fourth season with KL. Azrul Amri Burhan is
playing his second for them.
Balachandran is delighted to play in the M-league again.
"It was quite frustrating for me last season," he said.
"I am glad I kept on fighting to play in the M-league. Now, all of
sudden, I am the most experienced player in the team.
"It does put some pressure on me but I will take it as a challenge.
"We may have a young side but we have a good first team.
"My only worry is our reserves. They lack exposure and that could be
problem in the M-League.
"But at least the youngsters in the first 11 will be gaining exposure as
they play," said Balachandran.
Balachandran, who is known for his ball skills, is confident KL will
spring some surprises during the season.
"Our target is to make the Malaysia Cup competition and the players are
all determined to achieve it.
"It is going to be tough but I believe we have what it takes to stay
afloat and meet our target.
"Personally, it is going to be a challenge for me to lead this young
team and I am looking forward to it."

Thursday, February 22, 1996

Rhythm and boots (The Malay Mail)

GLAMOIR-MALAY MAIL have signed up musician Con Delo for the Kuala Lumpur
FA soccer League.
The six-foot-two bassist with Hammerhead, a band currently performing in
Kuala Lumpur, was an instant hit during trials recently and was duly
Striker Delo, 28, who is from Adelaide, has been in the music business
for the last 11 years.
But he has always found time for soccer - his first love.
Back home, he played for an amateur league club - Macedonia United SC.
This is the first time the father of a two-and-a-half-year-old boy will
be playing abroad.
He said: "I have always tried to play soccer whenever we do stints
abroad. Somehow, I have been unable to find the right club or wasn't in
the country long enough," he said.
Apart from playing bass guitar, Delo is also one of the vocalists in the
"I am looking forward to playing with Glamoir Malay Mail in the League,"
said Delo who has already featured in several friendly matches with the
"Playing for an amatuer club like Malay Mail suits me fine because they
do not train daily but at the same time, they are a serious team.
"I play to win and don't like losers," said Delo who does not smoke or
Delo keeps fit by working out at the gym and attending training with his
new team.
Malay Mail are in the process of securing his International Transfer
Certificate (ITC) through the FA of Malaysia to enable him to play in the
local league.
Delo is not the only foreigner they have acquired.
They have Australian Taso Notaras who is also employed in Kuala Lumpur
as a fitness instructor.
Sweeper Notaras, 22, from Perth, played for Floreat Athena in the
Western Australian League - the same club as former KL striker Vasilios
Glamoir Malay Mail, who have not won a trophy in the last two seasons,
are bent on landing a title this season.
They were KL Dunhill League runners-up in 1993.
They won the League title in 1990 and were runners-up in 1988.
They won the President's Cup knockout tournament in 1992.

Wednesday, February 21, 1996

Suresh looking to the future (The Malay Mail)

KUALA LUMPUR's L. Suresh intends to make up for last season's
Suresh, who turns 25 on Sept 11, was not even sure of making the final
pre-Asian Cup squad but he is suddenly in contention for a first 11 berth.
It is the consequence of a convincing performance during the United Arab
Emirates tour last week.
Suresh made his mark when he came on as a substitute in Malaysia's
second match against the Oman Olympic side.
He replaced Idris Kadir when Malaysia were already 4-0 down.
But Suresh started among the first 11 in Malaysia's third and final
match against Kazakhstan which ended 1-1 and coach Wan Jamak Wan Hassan
has indicated he will maintain that line-up for the pre-Asian Cup
Suresh was not even among the reserves in the opening match against the
Abu Dhabi Selection which Malaysia won 2-1.
"I am really hungry for some top level action after being inactive most
of last season," said Suresh. "I am glad all my problems are behind."
He played in the Chiangmai Sea Games but landed himself in trouble over
his M-League team for the new season on his return.
He signed for Negri Sembilan but changed his mind to remain with KL.
The controversy was finally resolved when Negri Sembilan FA decided to
drop claims over him.
Earlier in the year, Suresh was among the infamous `Disco Six' and was
banned three months by the FA of Malaysia.
Of the six who sneaked out from centralised training for the Merdeka
Tournament, only Suresh and Rizal Sukiman are back in the team.
"Helping Malaysia qualify for the Asian Cup final rounds will my
priority, said Suresh.
"I believe we can make the final rounds and I would like to play a role
in our matches with Indonesia and India.
"I would love to get back at Indonesia who beat us 3-0 in the Chiangmai
Sea Games."
Suresh is very comfortable at left midfield and hopes to play in that
position with KL in the new season.
Suresh took the four-day break for Chinese New Year and Hari Raya to
return to his hometown in Gopeng to be with his family.

Saturday, February 10, 1996

Gritty Bala keeps up the struggle (The Malay Mail)

STYLISH midfielder S. Balachandran has struggled for recognition all his
Balachandran, who turns 31 on Feb 26, returns to don Kuala Lumpur
colours in the M-League after three seasons.
He was with Sabah in 1993 and 1994 and last year he played in the
Amatuer League for City Hall SC.
Indeed, Balachandran has been struggling since he first donned national
colours as a 15-year-old in Lion City tournament (for the Under-16) in
He shone at the schools level and was transferred from the Methodist
Boys School in Sentul to Victoria Institution (a Soccer School of
Excellence) but had to wait an agonising five years before gaining
national recognition again.
Coincidentally, it was Chow Kwai Lam - KL's current coach - who
recruited him for Cheq Point, a KL Dunhill League team in 1985.
Balachandran went on to play for the KL President's Cup team and
eventually earned the national Tigers squad stripes.
But he had to wait another two years before making the KL senior team
for the Malaysia Cup competition.
It was a dream debut for him as KL won the Malaysia Cup for the first
time in 1987 under Kwai Lam. They went on to win it for three consecutive
But Balachandran was plagued by injury in the third year with the most
serious being a slipped disc in 1991.
He finally made the national squad in 1991 for the Merdeka tournament
but that's where he suffered the slipped disc.
Things then slowed down for him and Balachandran decided he needed a
change and moved to Sabah in 1993.
He did well the first season but was plagued by injury in the second and
his contract was not renewed.
After missing the M-league last season, Balachandran will be KL's oldest
and most experienced player when the M-League starts next month.
Ironically, it was Kwai Lam who turned Balachandran down after trials
last season.
Kwai Lam said he was concerned about Balachandran being injury prone.
But this season, Kwai Lam has watched Balachandran working hard to get
back to the mainstream.
Kwai Lam was impressed with Balachandran's performance against the
Japanese Olmpic squad on Thursday (the teams drew 2-2).
"It was Bala's best game in a long time and if he continues to play like
that, I will have no worries," said Kwai Lam after the match.
"He has really worked hard to get back and that underlines his
Balachandran is determined to end his career on a bright note.
"Soccer is my life. All the hard times I have gone through only make me
love the game more," said Balachandran who is likely to skipper KL.
"KL have put their faith in me and now it is payback time. I will use my
experience to guide the youngsters who form the core of the team for the
new season," said Balachandran.
Balachandran is happy with his pre-League progress but only expects to
get into top gear later in the season.
Balachandran enjoys playing alongside the KL youngsters but he says at
times it can get frustrating, especially when they do not use him enough.
He said Kwai Lam has been working on this area and the youngsters are
responding quite well.
There is no saying if Balachandran's struggles will end this season but
the fans can surely expect some good performances from him.

Tuesday, February 6, 1996

Indian tango? (The Malay Mail)

IF EVERYTHING works out, Baichung Bhutia and I.M. Vijian - India's deadly
duo - could be Kuala Lumpur's toasts in the new season.
"Although Bhutia has been said to be a very talented player, the
presence of Vijian, who combines well with him, will see the former settle
down more comfortably, if we decide to hire him," said coach Chow Kwai
Bhutia, who turns 20 on June 15, was recently voted the Most Valuable
Player in India and currently plays for East Bengal FC.
KL team manager Datuk Mohamad Zin Yusop, who is also the KLFA deputy
president, said one other reason why they are keen on the Indian players
is because they have already identified sponsors for them.
"With available sponsors, the financial burden on KLFA will be reduced.
And if they are as good as they are said to be, they will definitely be an
asset to the team."
Zin said they will observe the players when they compete in the pre-
Asian Cup tournament to be hosted by Malaysia on March 2-6 at Shah Alam
Stadium before making a final decision.
Zin said their initial plans to look at Indonesian players will also not
be shelved.
"We will keep an open mind and look at all available players. But, at
this stage, we are keen on the Indian duo," said Zin.
Zin also said he is expecting to get some names from contacts in Brazil,
Iran and Yugoslavia with the assistance of former KL coach S. Subramaniam.
"I should have a list by the end of the week and we will then see if it
is feasible to try them out.
"We must bear in mind that time is running out and we cannot be waiting
too long. We have to see the players as soon as possible and the Indian
and Indonesian players are the likely ones to be seen in action here
Zin said they will go for quality players and not just for the sake of
having foreign players.


Saturday, February 3, 1996

Get off your butts! (02/02/1996 - The Malay Mail)

Publication : MM
Date : 02/02/1996
Headline : Get off your butts!

THE Rakan Sukan (partner-in-sport) programme launched two years ago was a
noble move by the Sports Ministry to raise the standard of sports in the
The sponsorship from the corporate sector has generally helped develop
and enhance excellence in sports but many associations have become
dependent on the funds and hardly do anything on their own to raise money.
Of the 27 sports identified for the programme, 21 found corporate help
while a few more have got into hitches.
The irresponsible associations have also found ready excuses for bad
performances and administration problems in the sponsors, claiming the
late release of the funds were the reasons for their woes.
These associations must be reminded that not so long ago they were
functioning without any assistance from corporate sponsors and some even
did well!
They should take a hard look at the Squash Rackets Association of
Malaysia (SRAM) who, as if to prove a point, have attained so much
success, especially among their young talent, without much assistance.
(SRAM don't have a coporate sponsor but should be getting one soon).
Their well organised development programme, professional administration
and effort to raise funds on their own have all made the country proud.
The Malaysian Tenpin Bowling Congress (MTBC) are another good example of
an association who have done it on their own.
Whatever funds available from sponsors should serve as a bonus to
facilitate existing programmes - not a chance to sit back and relax.
It is common to hear associations saying they cannot organise their
national meets because the funds are late or are not forthcoming. Some
even want to sue their sponsors!
Of course sponsors should keep their end of the bargain but how can they
be blamed for withholding funds when the associations don't have their
house in order.
What sponsor wants to linked with associations known more their
bickering and politicking than sports achievement?
Soccer is a classic example.
State FAs are given RM500,000 annually by the FA of Malaysia for the
development of the game but often the States use the money to run their M-
League teams.
And it is no surprise the State FAs are in debt and eagerly await the
FAM grant to settle the previous year's debts, including the salaries of
players and coaches.
Until and unless associations learn to be self-reliant, disciplined and
professional in administration, Malaysian sports is going to find a
difficult path to reach great heights.
Sports is no longer a matter of love and honour.
This is the professional era and just about everything is measured in
terms of ringgit and sen.
And when the equation between results and money spent does not balance,
there will be questions to be answered.
And often it boils down to unprofessional administration and spoilt
sportsmen and sportswomen.
Rewarding mediocrity is a one of biggest sins of Malaysian sports.
With the KL Commonwealth Games just around the corner, it is high time
for sports associations to buck up and strive for excellence in a
professional manner.

Thursday, January 25, 1996

Milestone March on KL (The Malay Mail)

PROFESSIONAL soccer players from all over the country could congregate in
Kuala Lumpur on March 2 before the new season starts on March 16. The
event will be the first meeting of the Professional Football Association
of Malaysia (PFAM) - the brainchild of the FA of Malaysia deputy president
Tengku Mahkota of Pahang Tengku Abdullah.
FAM secretary general Datuk Paul Mony said the national body will
initially be the secretariat for PFAM and guide them until they are ready
to go on their own.
"Although the Players' Association is normally formed by the players
themselves, Tengku Mahkota has initiated the move to give the players a
start," said Mony.
"At least the players will have an avenue to direct their problems or
grouses and bring them up for attention or rectification."
FAM expect every M-League player to attend the inaugural meeting where a
player's representative from each state will be nomintaed and a pro-tem
committee set up.
"It is the players' association and thus they should all be present,
especially with the M-League going fully professional this season.
"We will be requesting all State FAs to assist their players to make the
meeting and perhaps even pay their passage to KL."
FAM are planning to use the meeting to brief the players on the M-League
competition rules and the dos and don'ts of pro soccer.
Mony said every local M-League player will automatically become a PFAM
member based on his registration for the League.
He said the venue for the gathering has not been confirmed but the State
FAs will inform their players once it is decided.
"We are counting on the support from the State FAs and their players to
make this first meeting a success and a milestone in our soccer history."

Tuesday, January 23, 1996

Yet another break for Pavalamani

GOALKEEPER M. Pavalamani is one of Malaysia's bright players never to
realise their full potential.
At least it looked that way until the latest offer came along.
He has cut a two plus one year deal with Malacca and it could be his
final chance for glory.
Pavalamani, who turns 32 on Feb 9, showed so much potential as a
youngster and was hailed as the next Arumugam.
In fact, Arumugam, one of Malaysia's best goalkeepers, had told
Pavalamani during the 1987 pre-Olympic tournament he had the quality to be
the national No 1.
Pavalamani has not lived up to the late Spiderman's expectations and
never established himself in the teams he played for.
Pavalamani, who started his career with the KL Razak Cup team in 1983
and powered them to the title the following year, featured in the 1985
Malaysia Cup final at the age of 22.
Instead of making steady progress, Pavalamani fell out of favour with
KL. He was young and indisciplined.
He then played at club level in the KL Dunhill League for Glamoir Malay
Mail before another break enabled him to represent Sabah in 1992.
While he did reasonably well the first two years, including a FA Cup
final appearance, Pavalamani was sacked by Sabah in 1994 again for
Last year, Terengganu hired him but he hardly saw action. Pavalamani
walked out on them as his wages were not being paid on time.
It looked like he was walking into the sunset when Malacca threw him a
life line.
"I am already 32 and if I do not make good now, I never will," said
"Malacca may not be a glamorous team but they are determined to make an
impact in two years and I intend to ensure it becomes a reality," said
"They have given me a good and long term contract and I am fully
satisfied with the offer."
Pavalamani has had one too many chances to make good but has blown them
all. It's now or never for him.

Monday, January 22, 1996

World Cup duty for KL reject (The Malay Mail)

REMEMBER Josef Jankech?
The man who was not good enough for Kuala Lumpur is now Slovakia's
national coach.
Jankech's contract with KL was not renewed after the 1990 season.
Jankech took over the reins of the Slovakian national side recently from
Dr Josef Venglos, who has also coached KL. Venglos is coaching in Oman.
Returning five years later, Jankech is surprised at the standard of the
Malaysian team.
"I expected the standard to be much higher because when I was here, it
was already at a respectable level," he said.
And of course, he too has heard of the bribery scandals that rocked
Malaysian soccer and the consequent purge of players, including
"It is a pity because it will take time to replace experienced players,"
said Jankech.
"Yours is a very young team with a lot of promise but they could do with
the guidance of a few experienced players.
"This team should show progress as they go along."
Jankech will probably see a strengthened and more experienced Malaysian
side tomorrow with the availability of the Selangor players who are back
from the US and also Zainal Abidin Hassan and Dollah Salleh.
Jankech is in the midst of selecting several players for the Slovakian
national team.
"This trip here is a selection process and also part of our training for
the pre-World Cup.
"The bulk of the team comprises current national players, while there
are several club players on trial."
Jankech said the Slovakians playing abroad are not with the touring
Slovakia leave for China on Thursday where they will play three matches
before returning home.

Thursday, January 18, 1996

It stinks! (The Malay Mail)

MALACCA'S Hungarian soccer coach Laszlo Zalai left abruptly because of the
FA's unprofessional setup and the problems he faced in carrying out his
This was what prompted him to return to Holland after barely a month in
Malacca and not for the reasons given by the FA.
The 66-year-old Dutch national was shocked to be told that among the
reasons being touted by the Malacca FA were his supposed poor health and
lack of a valid coaching certificate.
The former Hungarian national player angrily refuted these allegations,
saying they were "most insulting".
"I left simply because I could no longer take the unprofessional way
things were being done as it hampered my work as a coach."
Zalai said he had sent a fax to Malacca FA deputy president and team
manager Datuk Yasin Mohamed Sarif's special assistant Yusoff Abu Hassan,
who had been assigned to take care of him, stating his reasons for leaving
without informing anybody.
But Yasin said on Tuesday that Zalai probably left because he could not
produce a proper coaching certificate.
"This isn't true at all," was Zalai's first reaction when contacted at
his home in Holland yesterday.
"I tried very hard to get in touch with Datuk Yasin to explain my
predicament, but he was overseas.
"Sadly, I had to leave without being able to tell him what the actual
situation was."
Zalai said there were two reasons why he quit.
"I was only given a RM1,000 advance when I signed up on Dec 15. I was
given the run-around when I asked for the salary due at the end of
"Each day, I was told that it would be paid the following day. Until the
day I left, I wasn't even paid my half month salary.
"I had to survive on the RM1,000 for 25 days and that was really
"The second reason was that my assistant, Ramli Junit, had more powers
than me.
"In a professional setup, the chief coach is the supremo but I didn't
command that authority. I found it very difficult to work under that
situation. I really couldn't tolerate it anymore.
"I am in the best of health and prepared to coach any other team in
Malaysia because I see so much potential in your country. I am sure most
other teams are more professional and better organised."
Zalai said that since he began coaching in 1966 he has travelled far and
wide and coached several top teams but had never encountered the problems
he faced in Malacca.
"To make matters worse, the Malacca FA haven't given the true reason for
my departure and have made me out to be the one at fault.
"To question my coaching credentials is really insulting," said a
furious Zalai.
"I put up my name in the Asian Football Confederation's news magazine
last October looking for a job and AFC were satisfied with my credentials.
"I hope my explanation will give the true perspective on what led to my
quitting so suddenly.
"It was never my intention to run away from my responsibilities or put
the Malacca team in a predicament. I was simply driven away."
This is not the first time that Malacca FA have had problems with their
foreign coach or players.
Last year, Russian striker Roman Khagba left without a word midway
through the season.
Zalai's credentials
* ZALAI has a coaching licence from the German Soccer Federation besides
a diploma in coaching from the University of Sports in Cologne.
* HE was the technical adviser to the Hungarian national team in the
1982 World Cup in Spain.
* HE played in the Hungarian Div One for Spartacue. He also played for
the junior and national team and was a member of the Hungarian 1954 World
Cup side.
* THE top clubs he has coached include DWS Amsterdam and FC Utrecht in
Holland, Kenitra Athletic in Morocco, Spartacue in Hungary and FC Malacam
in Cameroon - to name a few.


Tuesday, January 16, 1996

Will FAM ever learn? (15/01/1996 - The Malay Mail)

Publication : MM
Date : 15/01/1996
Headline : Will FAM ever learn?

MALAYSIAN soccer's recent history of failures seems to have taught the FA
of Malaysia nothing.
They look set to repeat follies of the past by resorting to stop-gap
measures in picking the new national coach.
With Frenchman Claude Le Roy stepping down, FAM are thinking of asking
Tunisan Hateem Souissi to prepare the national team for the Pre-Asian Cup
at Shah Alam in March.
Hateem is currently in charge of the 1997 Youth World Cup squad.
Johor's Wan Jamak Wan Hassan is also on the minds of FAM and is expected
to take charge should Hateem decline. Wan Jamak could be Hateem's
assistant if he accepts.
Giving Hateem the job is a mistake as the youth team will be affected.
It was the case with Le Roy. He first came here to coach the Atlanta
Olympic squad but was later asked to handle the seniors too.
The national team will be reporting today for Pre-Asian Cup training
without a coach, at least for the next three days when FAM decide on their
But naming Hateem, who did a reasonably good job with the national team
(again on a stop-gap measure) for the Merdeka tournament, would mean
divided attention for the youth team.
Besides, Hateem is not going to coach the national team on a long-term
basis and this is not going to serve any purpose.
It would be more appropriate to name Wan Jamak for the job as at least
he can give the team undivided attention. He is free from any ties with
Johor and can readily be part of FAM's long-term plans.
Wan Jamak, a former international who coached the national team for the
1994 Asian Games, has done well with Johor.
He is also looking for a permanent job with the national team and FAM
are seeking a man to take charge of the team after the Asean Cup in
Singapore in August and the 1997 pre-World Cup.
It is time FAM did away with short-term contracts because they put
coaches under pressure to deliver immediate results. The coaches often end
up naming experienced players and there are no results over the years.
A contract of four to five years will give coaches time to pick and
groom younger players.
Coaches must also be given a free hand in selecting players and in
managing the team.
With so many changes in the national squad there is no continuity,
consistency or results.
We need a more permanent squad and a more permanent coach.
We cannot afford to keep changing targets or make major changes as we go
along just because results are not rapidly forthcoming.
Too many projects have been abandoned at the halfway stage.
Just consider the number of national youth teams we have had, starting
with the Tigers as early as in 1982. They never realised their full
potential because players who shone were drafted into the senior team. The
Tigers and many other teams were disbanded.
Countries like South Korea and Japan, who in the 60s and early 70s were
second to Malaysia, planned their work and worked their plan on a long
term basis to be where they are now.
FAM have to be as disciplined as the players and the coach and not
abandon long-term goals for short-term gains.

Wednesday, January 10, 1996

Pleasant surprise for Chow (The Malay Mail)

A FACE from the past brought cheers for Kuala Lumpur soccer coach Chow
Kwai Lam.
Defender G. Karthekayan, whom Kwai Lam has not seen for four years,
showed up for the first session of KL training yesterday at KLFA Stadium.
And he was certainly a welcome sight to Kwai Lam, especially with KL
losing key players to other States.
Kwai Lam knows Karthekayan's ability well. He was one of Kwai Lam's boys
in the 1991 Pre-Olympic squad.
Players from that squad who went on to establish themselves are Yap Wai
Loon and Salahuddin Che Ros.
Kwai Lam said: I know what Karthekayan is capable of. He has the
"With our team losing so many players, one or two Karthekayans would be
very useful," he said.
But there is a snag. Kwai Lam wonders whether Karthekayan can quit his
job as an immigration officer to turn professional.
Karthekayan said: I want to have another try at soccer.
"Kwai Lam has been encouraging me. I am not too worried about my present
Yesterday, Kwai Lam was giving extra attention to striker L. Suresh in
He said with KL badly depleted, Suresh could be a key player in their
Premier League campaign starting in March.