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.