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.