Thursday, December 25, 1997

Drastic changes (The Malay Mail)

THE humiliation at the Jakarta Sea Games was the lowest point in Malaysian
soccer this year.
The unimaginable loss to lightweights Laos and the subsequent failure to
qualify for the semifinals led to some drastic changes.
The question is have we over-reacted to the Sea Games debacle by sacking
the whole national team?
Were the changes made by the FA of Malaysia in response to pressure
rather than an earnest desire to gain loss ground?
The only constant may be change but it has to be for the right reason
and in the right direction.
The change to the M-League format from one division to two next season
is another questionable decision.
We will have Premier 1 and Premier 2 but it is nothing new as the format
was used when the Semi-pro League was introduced in 1989 and it was in
force until 1993.
The only difference is that two club sides will be joining the ranks of
state teams in Premier 2.
But what is there to gain from playing teams of lesser quality?
The lower division is also unlikly to have a wide following and fan
support is one of the main ingredients for a successful league.
Pahang coach Jorgen Larsen said there is hardly any fault in the present
League system.
His only qualm is that league sides should be better managed.
He also feels it would be better for teams to play one match a week
instead of the current two so as to give the coaches time to work on their
The Olympic team are the new national team but with them playing in the
League too, the intention of allowing the national side to train more does
not make sense.
Prior to the Sea Games, the national team were hailed as saviours of
Malaysian soccer after their encouraging performances in the Tiger Cup,
Dunhill Cup and World Cup qualifiers.
All that changed immediately after the Sea Games.
Perhaps the better approach would be to identify and rectify specific
weaknesses instead of disbanding the team and erasing all the work put in
in the last two years.
Soccer in Malaysia has gone professional but many States FAs are hardly
run professionally.
This is another area Larsen pointed out for improvement.
For players to act professionally, the management must act that way
Self-serving officials, without a clue of the game, will have to go.
Rewarding mediocrity is self-defeating and Pahang's policy of rewarding
only achievements should be lauded.
Larsen was to be paid bonuses only for winning titles.
Teams should do away with team managers and appoint manager-coaches or
have an administrative officer handling the team's affairs.
We should not complicate things for the Sydney Olympics squad by giving
them too much responsibility.
Calibre coaches like Alan Vest, Ronald Smith, Jorgen Larsen, Karl
Weigang and Steve Wicks can help in the selection of players and their
knowledge of the game should be tapped to the maximum.
It was heartening to note that many young players featured in the
Malaysia Cup final on Saturday.
The performances of Aizal Lamin, Mohamad Rizal Mohamad Hassan, Nazzab
Hidzan, Abdul Hadi Tahir, Jalaluddin Jaafar, Khairuniza Mustafa, Ahmad
Shahruddin Rosdi and Suhami Mohamad Nor gives hope of a bright future.
State FAs have to spend more time on youth development and the rewards
to Selangor and Pahang should serve as an eye-opener to others.
And constant changes in the Malaysian soccer set-up and to their
blueprints are not going to help any.
There is nothing much that is wrong with Malaysian soccer, except that
it should be managed more professionally at all levels.
Let us hope 1998 will be a better year.

You cowards! (The Malay Mail)

IT is a blue Christmas for Pahang skipper Zsolt Bucs in Budapest today.
Bucs, 34, is upset with comments that he does not deserve the Man-of-
the-Match award given to him in the Malaysia Cup final last Saturday.
He is also unhappy about allegations that he did not give his best in
several matches this season, including the final against Selangor.
A player and an official told Mailsport on Monday that it was no
surprise the Pahang management had decided to drop Bucs for next season
because of his indifference in several matches including the final.
Bucs, contacted in Budapest on Christmas eve, was highly upset with
developments here after he had left for home with his family and fellow
Hugarian Istvan Borsos on Monday morning.
"I challenge the player and the official who accused me of pulling
punches in several matches to identify themselves," said Bucs.
"I am really disappointed such reports have come out after I have left
the country.
"Why didn't they say it to my face when I was in Malaysia or even after
the Malaysia Cup final.
"It is an act of cowardice. They are just looking for excuses for Pahang
failing to win the Malaysia Cup."
Bucs said he has no qualms about the Pahang FA's decision regarding his
continued stay with them.
"Maybe they should have been professional enough and informed me of
their decision, but otherwise I accept their decision," said Bucs.
"Pahang were just an average team but every one of us worked very hard
to reach the Malaysia Cup final.
"I did not ask for the award. It was the sportwriters who felt I
deserved it and I was honoured to receive it.
"But I would gladly trade it for the Malaysia Cup winners' medal.

"If I had pulled punches in the final, Selangor would have run rings
around us, especially when we were reduced to 10 men in the 47th minute
after Khairulniza (Mustafa) was sent off.
"I am a professional and I give my best in every match but even the
world's greatest player cannot perform consistently well in every match.
"I may have had my off off days but I gave my all in the final.
"If we had won, I am sure there would have been no such allegations.
"I am disappointed no one from the Pahang FA informed me officially of
my future but I did not let it affect my performance because I am a
Bucs can take heart that Pahang coach Jorgen Larsen and manager Datuk Dr
Yusof Ali came out in support of him in yesterday's Mailsport.
However, both said that news of his contract not being renewed had
affected Bucs.
"Even if Pahang do not want my services, I would still want to continue
playing in Malaysia.
"Negative and untrue reports will hurt my cause.
"I hope those responsible will have the courage to come out in the open
and clear the air.
"I am taking this matter seriously as it affects my livelihood and I
will go to any length to clear my name," said Bucs.

Tuesday, December 23, 1997

Dane Larsen's local touch (The Malay Mail)

THINK global, act local.
That seems to be Pahang coach Jorgen Larsen's policy in handling his
The Dane, who signed with Pahang this season, did not impose the
continental style on his team and it turned out to be quite a fulfilling
debut for him as Pahang finished Malaysia Cup runners-up.
"When I first came here, I noticed the Malaysian players were a skilful
lot but lacked the physique of the Europeans.
"I could not ask them to play a particular style when they were not
built for it.
"Instead, I used the strength of the players to build the team.
"Since I had skilful players, I used it to keep the ball more on the
ground and move it around.
"We kept our crosses sharp and low.
"We made use of set pieces to get goals and worked hard on our fitness
to last longer than the duration of the match.
"I even had small players as stoppers and critics questioned my wisdom,"
said Larsen.
He was obviously referring to stopper Khairulniza Mustafa who, despite
his small built, proved effective with a high workrate, strong tackles,
close marking and good vision.
The aerial balls were well covered by a tall sweeper in Kopi Ampiah.
"We did not adopt any style but played the style we know best alaysian the
Malaysian style.
"And our results should be ample proof that we had taken the right
Larsen also emphasises on specialisation.
"I had at least two players for each role and it is not my style to move
players around.
"With two specialised players, we don't have to worry in case of injury
or suspension.
"It is also important to have depth in the reserves. We did not have it
this season but I did my best with what I had.
"I will have to go on a scouting mission to get more players to
strengthen the reserve bench for the new season," said Larsen.
Larsen also said that bringing the best out of players means
understanding them and taking care of them.
"When players are happy they will perform.
"The players did well for us despite their limited experience."
Larsen is a true professional and is not afraid of stepping on a few
toes or ruffling a few feathers.
He is paid to do a job and he does it well.

Friday, December 19, 1997

Thanks for the favour (The Malay Mail)

PAHANG'S Danish coach Jorgen Larsen attributes his present position to
former Kedah FA deputy president and team manager Datuk Ahmad Basri Akil.
Larsen, 52, believes it was Ahmad Basri who had given his name to Pahang
FA president Tengku Mahkota Tengku Abdullah.
"I met Ahmad Basri when the Kedah team went to Qatar last year for their
pre-season matches," said Larsen.
"He made me an offer but I was with the Qatar national team then.
"But he told me to get in touch with him when I had finished my stint
with Qatar.
"I was in Phuket last year after my stint with Qatar and had called
Ahmad Basri from there.
"He insisted I go to Kedah and after much persuasion, decided on a trip
to Penang for a short holiday.
"From Penang, I went to Alor Star, where I watched my first M-League
match between Kedah and Penang.
"Ahmad Basri asked me to get in touch with him at the end of the season
but before I could do so, I got a call from Pahang.
"I was really surprised and did not even know where Pahang was.

"I have always been interested in ending my coaching career in the Far
East and when Pahang got in touch with me, I decided to give it a shot.
"Till today, I believe it was Ahmad Basri who gave my name because I
checked with my agent in England and they did not know anything about it.
"I am indeed grateful to Ahmad Basri."
Kedah's loss is indeed Pahang's gain.
Ahmad Basri did not get the opportunity to hire Larsen because he was
out of the Kedah FA setup at the end of last season.
Larsen has a two-year contract with Pahang FA and all indications are
that he will see it through.
He has proven to be a good coach, having steered a relatively young and
inexperienced Pahang team to the Malaysia Cup final.
But like most foreign professional coaches, Larsen is still not totally
satisfied with the management aspect of the team, which he intends to sort
out before continuing his services.
On Wednesday, he received an irresistibly good offer from Egyptbut
Larsen said he not only works for money, but also job satisfaction.
"I have a good team in Pahang and I like it here very much. I want to
continue with them but need to sort out a few grey areas.
"I will only contemplate to move if I fail to settle some matters."
But for now, he has only one thing in mind - to steer underdogs Pahang
to victory in tomorrow's Malaysia Cup final.
Besides a personal achievement, Larsen also stands to get a handsome
bonus if they do win.
Unlike the players, Larsen did not get any bonus this season. His
contract stipulates e is only entitled to it if Pahang win anyone of the
trophies, be it the FA Cup, League Cup or Malaysia Cup.
However, if Pahang do not win tomorrow, he will not receive a sen.
The players have already received RM7,000 for qualifying for the
Malaysia Cup and another RM6,000 for reaching the final, which was paid on
Wednesday night at a dinner in Kuantan.
Larsen has no qualms about the deal because he believes the bonus is
seen as a reward for the team's success.
Not many coaches would take a deal or challenge like Larsen, but he has
proven to be a true professional who only strives for excellence.

Sunday, December 7, 1997

Teong Kim - coach up for grabs (The Malay Mail)

FORMER national midfielder Lim Teong Kim, currently based in Germany, is
keen to coach Kuala Lumpur for next season's M-League.
And he has written in to the Kuala Lumpur to apply for the coaching
The 34-year-old Malacca-born player, who has been abroad the last three
years, attained an A Licence from the German FA in Cologne in August.
Teong Kim had earlier got his German B Licence in November 1995 and was
appointed as one of the assistant coaches to the Bayern Munich youth team.
And he had to coach for two years before he could sit for his A Licence.
KLFA secretary-general K. Rasalingam confirmed that the association had
received Lim's application which will be forwarded to their management
The KLFA have yet to make a decision on getting another coach for next
season or continue with the services of Chow Kwai Lam.
Rasalingam said: "There has been no decision as to who will coach the
team next year and it is still premature to talk about Lim's application.
"Our management committee have already asked Kwai Lam and team manager
Abdul Rahim to submit their reports on the team's performance and make
recommendations for the 1998 season.
"Datuk Seri Megat Junid Megat Ayob, the KLFA president, will have a big
say on who will coach the team. We leave it to him to determine if KL need
continuity or a change.
"Players, whose services that we require, and those whose contracts we
will not be renewing, will also be informed after the Council meeting
(which has yet to be fixed)."
Teong Kim has the credit of being the player to have represented the
most number of States in the M-League. His last outing here was for Kedah
in 1992 and 1993.
He started off his career with Malacca in 1993 and played two seasons
for them before moving to Selangor (1984-86). He also played a season for
Negri Sembilan.
From 1987 to 1991, Teong Kim played for KL and had the honour of
collecting Malaysia Cup winner medals for a record three consecutive times
from 1987 to 1989.
Lim also played professional soccer with Hertha Berlin FC in Germany in
1992 while on loan from KL.
It is learnt that Lim has also sent in applications to Negri Sembilan FA
and Kedah FA.

Saturday, December 6, 1997

Divided Loyalty (The Malay Mail)

R. NALLATHAMBY is an ardent Selangor soccer fan, having played for the
team during his heydays.
He will be at the Shah Alam Stadium tonight to watch Selangor play
Perlis. But only this time, he will have mixed feelings.
Nallathamby has not not lost interest in Selangor. Neither has he turned
coat. Trouble is, his only son, Suresh, now plays for Perlis.
Suresh, 22, joined Perlis this season after having failed in trials with
Kuala Lumpur and Pahang.
Suresh is not a regular with Perlis. But the midfielder has featured in
three matches in the first XI this season and come on as a substitute on
numerous occasions.
One of those matches was in the 2-1 win over Selangor at Shah Alam
It is not only Nallathamby, attached with Police, who will be feeling
awkward. Suresh was a member of the Selangor back-up squad in 1995-96.
And players like Nazzab Hizan and Aizal Lamin were his teammates.
"On one hand, it is my favourite team playing. On the other, my son is
playing against Selangor.
"I would like both teams to win. But that's impossible. Under the
circumstances, it's best to take a neutral stand," said Nallathamby, who
played for Selangor in the Burnley Cup (now Razak Cup) in 1969-70 and the
Selangor Under-21 and Under-23 team in 1970-71.
Nallathamby also played in the Asian Youth tournament in 1971.
Nallathmaby, a right-sided midfielder, also played for Police in the FAM
Cup for two years from 1972.
Currently, he is the assistant coach of Police in the FAM Cup.

Nallathamby was also a national referee until he suffered a knee injury
On the possibility of Selangor losing tonight through a goal scored by
his son, Nallathamby said in a professional era the player's loyalty
should be to the one who employs him.
"I know Suresh would have loved to play for Selangor. But he did not
make the squad. He needed the experience and decided to try his luck
elsewhere," said Nallathamby, 47.
"I am happy for him because Perlis saw the potential in Suresh and gave
him a break.
"And nothing must be sweeter for him than having reached the semifinals
with the team in his debut in the M-league."
Suresh hails from Hot Springs in Setapak which has produced several
footballers for Selangor. Noteworthy are Santokh Singh, K. Rajagopal, R.
Suresh, who used to play for a local team called Hotspurs. could realise
his dreams of playing for Selangor if he perseveres.
But for tonight, Suresh will be moving in for the kill against Selangor.
Dad, in the meantime, will have his heart caught into his throat.

Sunday, November 30, 1997

Doggone it! (The Malay Mail)

THE FA of Malaysia sometimes are quite bewildering. They chase it here,
they chase it there and, ultimately, get nowhere.
While their sincerity is not in question, the topsy-turvy manner in
which they go about it is often puzzling. And self-defeating.
The announcement that the former World Youth squad will be the new
national team is one such decision which flies in the face of good sense.
What happens to the rest of the players in the League if the national
team is pre-ordained?
The highpoint of a player's career is being selected for the national
team. And FAM have, in one fell swoop, done away with that.
So what do the players in the M-League look forward to now?
They just have to resign themselves to the fact that the M-League is the
highest level of soccer they will play.
Under the circumstances, what good would improving the League be if only
players below 23 years old are eligible to play for the national team for
the next three years at least.
Isn't this such a waste of talents like Idris Karim, B. Rajinkandh, Azmi
Mohamed, Azmim Azram, Azizul Kamaluddin, Yap Wai Loon, K. Sanbagamaran,
Domi Che Non, V. Thinakaran, Mohamad Amaran Omar, Zulfatah Dzulkarnanin,
Cik Zambil Ahmad, S. Ragesh, S. Nathakumar, Abdul Ghaffar Hoosen, Ng Kok
Heng, Khairul Anuar Baharum, Mat Zahir Mat Wahab, L. Suresh, M. Nagarajan,
Azman Adnan, Sharil Arsat, Paidiya Rau, Liew Kim Tu, K. Ramachandran,
Ching Hong Aik, Faizal Zainal, Zami Mohamad Noor, Shahrulnizam Sahat.
Burhan Ajui, Gapor Mohamad, Nazri Yunos, Ibrahim Mantali and Ahmad Fairuz
Yunus - all young players of potential.
The decision is tantamount to taking one step forward and several
backwards. It defeats the purpose of having a successful League and a
national team commensurate with it.
There are no qualms about the 2000 Olympic team being named the new
national squad. But given the heavy demands of international soccer today,
another national team, without age restrictions, should be maintained.
This will give the players a raison d'etre. A reason to play better
The other team could represent the nation in lesser tournaments, like
invitationals. Options must be kept open instead of implementing an
inflexible ruling.
The idea to groom a national team over a long term is noble, but the
other players should not be left out of the picture.
This will only lead to complacency and lack of ambition, resulting in a
poorer League and a poorer national team.
There is no guarantee that the Olympic squad will be the answer to our
soccer woes. And results will not be forthcoming overnight.
There is a need to be patient as our world ranking would have dropped
further before we rise again. The climb back is going to be tedious and
It is thus better to have several options than to put all the eggs in
one basket only to be disappointed in the end.
Doggone it. The matter needs a rethink. Otherwise this will be just
another futile ball chasing exercise, leading to nowhere.

Saturday, November 1, 1997

Do-or-die battle for champs and debutants (The Malay Mail)

A DO-OR-DIE battle is on the cards between FAM Cup defending champions
Malacca Telekoms and debutants Kuala Lumpur Malay Mail in their final
Group A match at KLFA Stadium tomorrow.
 However, the winners are still not assured of a semifinal berth yet as
it also depends on the outcome of the match between Armed Forces and
Police on Monday at the same venue.
 For either Telekoms or Malay Mail to qualify, Armed Forces, who have
already qualified for the semifinals, must defeat Police.
 Forces, unbeaten in the Group, had defeated Police 4-0 in the first leg.
 Both Telekoms and Malay Mail remained in contention for the semifinals
when the former defeated Police 4-1 for their first victory in four
matches at Kubu Stadium last Sunday.
 Although Malay Mail went down 5-0 to Forces, the Police defeat kept them
in the hunt. Malay Mail had, in an earlier encounter, held Forces to a 1-1
 But Malay Mail have only themselves to blame for their current situation
because they could have booked their berth if only they had beaten Police
in their two encounters, which they lost both by on- goal margins (1-0 and
 However, Malay Mail will take to the field with the confidence that they
had defeated Telekom by a solitary goal in the first leg match at Kubu
Stadium in Malacca three weeks ago.
 If both teams fail to break the deadlock tomorrow, it will be all over
for them as Police will book the semifinals berth even if they lose to
Armed Forces.
 In another Group B match tomorrow, Johor FC - last year's losing
finalists and champions for the two past years - will be going all out to
beat Negri Sembilan BSN at the Paroi Stadium to book their semifinal
 Johor FC also suffered a shock 3-0 defeat at the hands of Kuala Lumpur
Maybank last week to put a damper on their semifinal hopes.
 BSN are out of the running.

               P  W  D  L  F  A Pt
Armed Forces    5  4  1  0 16  4 13
Police          5  2  1  2  5 10  7
M'cca Telekoms  5  1  1  3  8  9  4
KL Malay Mail   5  1  1  3  3  9  4

               P  W  D  L  F  A Pt
NS Chempaka     5  4  1  0 13  5 13
Johor FC        5  2  1  2  9  9  7
KL Maybank      5  2  0  3  9  9  6
NS BSN          5  1  0  4  5 13  3

Friday, October 10, 1997

Patriotic games (The Malay Mail)

Reporting from Jakarta
THAILAND'S Tamarine Tamasugarn is a superstar back home, earning
US$150,000 in prize-money in the last year of her tennis exploits, but
that has not stopped her from answering a national call-up.
The Sea Games are financially not as rewarding as the WTA circuit but
the 20-year-old American-born Thai wants to do her bit for her country.
Tamarine, who joined the Thai national team in 1987, is the Games
defending singles champion. She beat Malaysia's Khoo Chin Bee to the gold.
Tamarine is among the few world class athletes competing in the Jakarta
She has moved up the world rankings in a hurry - from 180 last year to
her present 38.
And her recent feats include qualifying for the third round of the US
Open and defeating higher-ranked Chanda Rubin of the US in the first
round. She earned US$28,000 for reaching the third round.
Tamarine was also the runner-up in the 1995 Junior Wimbeldon
But despite her fame and ever growing popularity, Tamarine is a down to
earth person who loves the game and aims to move up the world rankings
The well-built player owes a great deal to her father Tamasugarn who
started her off as a two-year-old in Los Angeles where he was running a
Thai restaurant.
Tamarine said: "I was invited for prize-money tournaments currently
being played on the tour but I opted to turn out for my country.
"It is not only an honour but also my way of paying back in a small way
to my country.
"And I want the gold medal to do my country proud."
Tamarine is disappointed that Indonesia's top player, Yayuk Basuki, has
skipped the Games to play in Zurich.
"I have played Yayuk only once - in a doubles match in the last Sea
Games - although we travel a bit together for tournaments.
"I was looking forward to meeting her in Jakarta but she will not be
Tanasugarn watches her in all her tournaments and he is in Jakarta.
Tanasugarn himself was a Thai national star - in basketball.
He represented his country at the 1960 and 1964 Olympics in Rome and
Tokyo respectively and the 1962 Asian Games.
He was in the gold medal-winning team at the 1959 Seap Games in Bangkok
and in the 1961 Games in Rangoon.
"I got interested in tennis when I was doing business in the US and
encouraged my children to take up the game," said Tanasugarn.
"I started them off early and Tamarine did better than my other three
older children.
"Tamarine may be tipped to retain the singles title but we cannot take
anything for granted."

Friday, September 19, 1997

Local v foreign (The Malay Mail)

LOCAL coaches fared relatively poorly in the M-League which ended on
The five teams that failed to make the Malaysia Cup competition were all
handled by local coaches.
Nine of the 15 teams are handled by Malaysians.
The teams that failed to make the Malaysia Cup competition are
Terengganu (coached by Abdullah Mohamad), Malacca (Tajuddin Nor), Kelantan
(Kelly Tham), Johor (K. Sukumaran) and Penang (Moey Yoke Ham).
The four local coaches who will carry the challenge in the Malaysia Cup
competition are Mosthakeen Omar (Kedah), Abdul Rahman Ibrahim (Perlis), M.
Karathu (Negri Sembilan) and Chow Kwai Lam (Kuala Lumpur).
Terengganu's Abdullah Mohamad has decided to step aside for the new
season while there Malacca are likely to hire a foreign coach.
Speculations are rife of Penang being interested in Dutchman Robert
Alberts who handled Kedah previously and coached Tiong Baru in Singapore
this season.
Kelly Tham's future with Kelantan is in doubt after his second
unfruitful season.
Sukumaran took over from Singaporean Jita Singh for the second half of
the season.
His job is safe but he could play second fiddle to national coach Wan
Jamak Wan Hassan who is expected to return to Johor after his Sea Games
This season, the FA Cup and M-League titles were won by teams coached by
foreigners - Steve Wicks and Alan Vest - respectively.
The four local coaches could save some pride by winning the big one -
the Malaysia Cup.
They will be up against Vest (Sarawak), Smith or his successor who is
tipped to be Ken Shellito (Sabah), Wicks (Selangor), Karl Weigang (Perak)
and Jorgen Larsen (Pahang).
Chow Kwai Lam took KL to the Malaysia Cup title for the third
consecutive time in 1989. Since then, it has been won by teams handled by
foreign coaches.
KL are back after missing out the last four seasons and are still under
Kwai Lam's guidance.
Another local coach who could stop a clean sweep by the foreign legion
is Kedah's Mosthakeen whose team finished second in the M-League behind
Mosthakeen took Kedah to the FA Cup title last year when the League Cup
was won by Smith's Sabah and the Malaysia Cup by Ken Worden's Selangor.
The odds are against a local coach winning the Malaysia Cup title but it
should serve as a challenge to them.


1989 CHOW KWAI LAM (Kuala Lumpur)
1990 MILOUS KVACEK (Kedah)
1992 MIKE BROWN (Pahang)
1994 DOUGLAS MOORE (Singapore)
1995 KEN WORDEN (Selangor)
1996 KEN WORDEN (Selangor)
1997 Local or foreign coach?
* NOTE: The Semi-pro League was introduced in 1989 and it evolved into
the M-League in 1996.

Monday, August 25, 1997

Teong Kim gets his licence to coach (The Malay Mail)

FORMER international midfielder Lim Teong Kim scored a first when he
attained his German A licence in Cologne last week.
The 34-year-old Malacca-born Teong Kim, who has played for several
States in Malaysia and even had a pro stint in Germany with Hertha Berlin
FC before embarking on a coaching career, has been in Germany for the past
two years.
Unlike the A licences held by Chow Kwai Lam, Abdul Rahman Ibrahim,
Abdullah Mohamad, Khaidir Buyong, M. Karathu and Mohamad Bakar, which is
awarded to coaches under the German FA soccer exchange and assistance
programme for developing countries, Teong Kim's was conducted in German.
To qualify, one must also have been coaching in Germany for two years
after attaining the B licence.
Teong Kim attained his B licence a year ago and has been with Bayern
Munich FC ever since.
He now wants to return to Malaysia to coach in the M-league.
Teong Kim, who last played for Kedah, also turned out for Malacca,
Selangor, Kuala Lumpur and Negri Sembilan.
"I am glad that I have finally obtained the German A licence because it
is a difficult course," said Teong Kim, who is married to a German and has
three children.
"I now want to coach a M-League team next season or even do development
work. I have been in touch with several States and they have expressed
their interest."

Saturday, July 12, 1997

Club soccer still crucial (The Malay Mail)

THE FA of Malaysia will not allow club soccer to disintegrate. Even though
it is largely amateur, it is crucial for the development of the game in
the country.
It is for this reason that FAM are persisting with the national amateur
league even though it lacks publicity and fan support.
FAM deputy president Tengku Abdullah Shah Sultan Ahmad Shah said for the
national amateur league to gain more support, State FAs should upgrade
their own leagues.
"There is certainly a urgent need for a facelift in local State leagues.
They have to be more competitive," said Tengku Abdullah.
"Just because we have gone professional in the M-League, we must not
neglect the grassroots.
"Our future is still with them. With competitive and well organised
local leagues, we will see better quality matches. That in turn means
better teams playing in the FAM Cup.
"The FAM Cup should serve as a feeder tournament to the M-League
besides. There is also the Reserve League which is for the younger
"The FAM Cup is the transit point from the Reserve League to the Premier
League. That's how important it is."
Indeed, the FAM Cup, which has a history dating back to 1952. Until
1974, it catered for State teams. Eventually it was contested by club and
district sides.
The tournament then received wide media coverage because of the presence
of teams like UMNO, Kuantan FA, Kilat Club Kelantan, PKNS, NS Indians,
Hong Chin, UMBC, Penang Port Commission, City Hall SC, Cheq Point, Sultan
Sulaiman Club, UMBC, Kuantan FA, Penang Development Corporation and KIA to
name just a few.
Besides, these teams boasted of some of the top national players. Some
matches were as good as Malaysia Cup clashes.
In 1993, the concept of the FAM Cup changed. From a knockout tournament
it became a national league for clubs.
Subsidies were given to clubs by FAM as the national body wanted club
soccer to flourish and become a reservoir of talent.
However, the desire was not realised. The tournament became a pasture
for older players from the M-League and for has-beens.
But the trend is slowly but surely changing as more corporate teams are
taking the game seriously.
There are more younger players and the clubs themselves have become more
The FAM Cup is also seeing better known coaches. That augurs well for
the game and the coaching fraternity.
However, the FAM Cup can still be more glamorous and it is indeed sad
that States like Selangor and Sarawak are not represented.
Selangor especially have one of the better organised local Leagues.
Their league champions are quite wealthy and yet they chosen not to enter.
FAM provide RM25,000 to all teams in the first round and another
RM25,000 for those who qualify for the second round.
FAM can only assist to a certain extent. There should be sacrifices and
contribution from the State FAs and their clubs if we want to see soccer
There is a strong indication this year's FAM Cup will see better quality
Even the number of foreign players has risen.

KL's debutants looking good (The Malay Mail)

KUALA LUMPUR, ardent suporters of the FAM Cup, have entered two new teams
for the tournament that kicks off tomorrow.
The two teams are Maybank and Malay Mail, who emerged champions and
runners-up in last year's KLFA Dunhill League.
However, missing in the FAM Cup are stalwarts, City Hall SC, who pulled
out of the tournament even though they were among the top four teams at
national level. They even competed in the FA Cup this year.
It is indeed a sad exit for City Hall who used to boast of big names in
KL soccer. At one time, they were the backbone of the M-League side.
Even in the local League, City Hall are having problems fielding a
respectable team.
Thus, it is now left to teams like Maybank and Malay Mail to keep the
city flag flying high as the new representatives in the national League.
Both the bankers and the newspaper teams had to compete in the national
qualifying tournament earlier this year to earn the right to compete in
the FAM Cup.
The debutants, drawn in different groups, have been preparing diligently
with the hope of making an impact.
Malay Mail have roped in former State and national players S.
Balachandran and T. Gopinath Naidu to name a few.
Maybank selected their players from their branches from all over the
country and with their own Sports Complex facilities, they must surely be
among the best prepared teams. They are coached by former Penang custodian
and current national women's soccer coach Richard Scully.
But they are aware they will be up against some tough opponents,
especially those who have been playing the tournament.
Among them are defending champions Malacca Telekoms who dethroned Johor
FC last year to deny them a hat-trick of wins.
Then of course, there is Police and Armed Forces who are full affiliates
of the FA of Malaysia. They receive subsidies as much as the State FAs.
However, both Police and Armed Forces have yet to win the title.
Teams like Chempaka Textiles, who also played in the FA Cup tournament
this year, have a generous. They have been preparing seriously for the
challenges ahead.
Pahang LKPP, who have lately emerged as a force to be reckoned with,
have engaged former Pahang M-League coach Yunus Alif. They should be a
team to watch.
Other teams like debutants Kelantan TNB and seasoned campaigners Kedah
JKR and Kedah PKNK have their own aspirations.
Everything certainly points to a more interesting tournament.

Manager: Faiz Ishak
Deputy Manager: Ahmad Talib
Official: Fauzi Omar
Official: Abdul Wahab Mohamed
Official: Charles Peter
Coach: S. Gunasegaran
Convenor/ Asst. Coach: Tony Mariadass
Squad: Hasnul Ramlan Khairuddin, S. Balachandran, Masaaud Md Zain,
Alagenthiran Perumal, Sivaprakash Subramaniam, K. Sivakumar Krishnan,
Roshaidi Ramli, U. Supramaniam, Taso Notaras, Bathmanathan Nadarajah,
Azizul Jamaluddin, Ku Azmi Ku Saad, R. Subramaniam, Jegasegaran
Rethinavelu, Chandran Nathan, Mohd Imran Ahmad, Venaigam Packirisamy, M.
Pavalamani, Prem Raj Ramachandran, Viajantheran Krishnan, Gopinath Naidu
Thambirajah, Mathen Sundram, Idowe Adenubi Adesola, Sizwe Mchunu, Gunalan

Friday, July 11, 1997

What's happened to reason? (The Malay Mail)

IT is about time the national sports associations, local coaches and even
the National Sports Council (NSC) took a hard look at themselves before
faulting foreign coaches in the country.
Once too often we have heard of foreign coaches leaving in a huff, being
sacked with petty reasons because someone does not like their face or
professional work.
Or because these coaches do not want to play "yes man" to the powers
that be.
This has been going on for years but with the Commonwealth Games less
than a year away, it is troubling to see more and more foreign coaches
being given the boot.
Sackings are part and parcel of sports, but it must be done for valid
reasons and with tact.
Taking stock after a period of time and assessing progress is
But again, everything should be above board and professionally done.
Recently, the NSC sacked three athletics coaches - Daniel St Hilaire,
Uwe Freimuth and Oleg Dmitrounsenko - after the Jakarta Sea Games, while
the Squash Rackets Association of Malaysia will not renew the contract of
their national elite coach, Jamie Hickox.
The irony in all the sackings is that the athletes under the charge of
these coaches only had good words for them and their training systems.
A few even went on record to say their improvement was due to the
foreign coaches.
But obviously the views of these athletes were of little or no value, as
the administrators felt they knew better and stuck with their decisions to
get rid of the coaches.
Whether the removal of these coaches were because of jealousy,
manipulations or because they were simply too professional to the liking
of the authorities, are questions that need to be answered honestly.
It is no secret that most local coaches look at foreign coaches with
envy and do everything possible to make their life miserable by not
Instead of trying to learn from the foreign coaches who are naturally
better exposed internationally, they work against them.
After all, the foreign coaches are not going to be here forever. It is
the local coaches who will eventually be taking over. But these local
coaches cannot wait for their time.
They rather go for overseas courses, which are more holiday trips, than
work as understudy in their own country.
While the authorities are impatient for results, the local coaches run
down their foreign counterparts.
Then we also have people who hold power in sports associations
interfering in every aspect and expect the foreign coaches to kow-tow to
When some of the foreign coaches do not agree with these officials, they
just fall into the black book and it is a matter of time before an excuse
is found to get rid of them.
Then, we also have athletes who undermine foreign coaches just because
they are not prepared to work hard.
The boxers are a case in point.
Some of them found Cuban coach, Nivaldo Pacheco, too tough and staged a
walkout and wanted him out before they returned in preparation for the
Jakarta Sea Games.
But at least the national boxing association did not give in to the
demands of the boxers who were instead asked to check in or ship out.
Not many associations would have done what the the boxing association
did and they should be applauded for standing firm and supporting the
Now let us look some examples where foreign coaches have been given full
backing to do their work with ample time to make a difference.
Sid Allen, who has been in Malaysia the last seven years, gets a free
hand in coaching the national bowlers.
The association's administrators and coaches fully support Allen and
they work as a unit instead of against him.
Thus, it is no surprise that bowling has brought us international
Sarawak's soccer coach Alan Vest has also been allowed to do his job
He has been around for six seasons and look at what he has achieved over
the years with limited resources.
Sarawak are this season's League champions.
Of course, there have been cases where incompetent coaches were engaged
and it is only right they be dismissed.
But then, whose fault is that they landed on our shores in the first
The problem with many associations is they hire foreign coaches just for
the sake of hiring them.
And where true professionals are hired, the associations should not be
telling them what to do at every turn.
Still, it must not be forgotten that there are some dedicated local
coaches who are denied recognition.
These are the people who do their best without any interest in personal
They are also the ones uninterested in the politics of the associations
or getting into the good books of the powers that be.
It seems that sports administrators are easily pleased with average
results like being tops at the Sea Games.
At the rate we are going, the the public is in for a big letdown in the
Commonwealth Games.
Let us not fool ourselves even for a second that we can do it without
foreign expertise, at least for now.
Winning in backyard meets is no victory at all.
Perhaps sports like bowling, squash and badminton may have a pull effect
in raising the professionalism and standards of the other sports.
But that will only happen when there are open minds and reasonable
people handling the sporting affairs of the country.

More of an eye-opener (The Malay Mail)

STAGING the Youth World Cup soccer championship, which concluded at the
Shah Alam Stadium last Saturday, was not meant to be just a showpiece.
More importantly, it was an eye-opener and experience to help upgrade
the game in the country.
This was the hope of Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, the FA of
Malaysia deputy-president and Local Organising Committee chairman of the
World Youth Cup.
He was attending yesterday's briefing on the latest changes by FIFA on
the Laws of Games for referees, coaches, team officials and FA secretaries
in Petaling Jaya.
"We received accolades from all quarters for our fine staging of the
World Youth Cup, but I hope it will be more than that for us in Malaysia,"
said Tengku Abdullah.
"For us in the soccer fraternity, it should be a learning experience in
all aspects - organisation, administration, the professionalism of the
players and coaches, the tactics and techniques of the game, the
refereeing and everything associated with the game.
"We should now use all these experiences to upgrade the game in our own
M-League and achieve an even higher standard in all aspects.
"The referees, coaches, players, team officials and administrative staff
of each State should have benefited from what they have seen during the
World Youth Cup.
"The very fact that we brought the championship to Malaysia only
underlines our seriousness about the game.
"We certainly did not stage the tournament just as a showpiece."
Tengku Abdullah's hopes of the local soccer fraternity benefiting from
Malaysia staging the tournament should be the norm, but how much really
was our gain is left to be seen.
For starters, the local coaches were not in organised groups to be at
all venues to study the various teams or share knowledge with the foreign
coaches except for a handful picked by the FAM to assist the FIFA
technical study group.
Many State FAs gave their M-League players a break during the
championship when they should have organised trips to matches to witness,
study and analyse the game patterns of the various teams.
In some States which were hosting the group matches, their M-League
players did not have tickets or passes made available to them.
While coaches make a beeline to go overseas in search for foreign
players for their teams, many did not take the opportunity to scout for
talented and world class youth players in action in their very own
While coaches from France, talent scouts and private agents were in
numbers here, our local coaches were probably contented to watch the
action from the television screens.
Probably, it was the administrative and organisational staff of the
various host States' Local Organising Committees who would have benefited
from the high standards set and required by FIFA.
But then again, unless whatever has been learnt is implemented in the
local scene, it will just be a case where it was done to please FIFA only.
Tengku Abdullah was certainly on the ball when he underlined the
importance that the local soccer fraternity should place on the lessons
learnt from organising the Youth World Cup.
And it is also hoped that this will reflect on the M-League, which
resumes tomorrow with the second round after a month's break.

Sunday, June 29, 1997

Just as good (The Malay Mail)

ENGLAND, who have done just enough and what it takes to win matches to
remain unbeaten in the last one and half years since the team were formed,
are confident that it will also take them past defending champions
Argentina today.
England skipper John Curtis said that, especially at this stage of the
competition, it is just good enough to do what it takes to win matches.
"We have managed to do very well both in attack and defence and I
believe this will get us past Argentina," said Curtis.
"We are capable of defending for long spells and absorb whatever
pressure thrown at us.
"At the same time, we have strikers who can get us the goal from the
slimmest chance.
"And, with these two qualities, I am confident that we will succeed.
"Of course, it is going to be a much difficult game than the matches we
have played because this is knockout stage.
"But we are prepared for the challenge ahead."
Curtis said that although at times he has to work overtime with his
fellow defenders to keep their defence line intact, they have always
managed to stand tall.
The fact that England have only conceded one goal in the three matches
played so far is indeed testimony of the steady defence.
Upfront, Michael Owen's clinical finishing is all that England need to
win matches. Owen has 100 per cent record in scoring in all three matches.
Then, England have Daniel Murphy, basically a midfielder, but being
utilised by coach Ted Powell as a back-up striker to Owen has proved his
worth with a hattrick against United Arab Emirates and being an effective
feeder for Owen too.
James Carraghaer holds the midfield together with Jody Morris and Kieron
But England will miss Paul Shepherd, who will have to sit out this match
to serve his mandatory one match suspension after collecting his second
yellow card.
However, one factor which Powell admitted he is concerned about is the
fact that the match is being played at 5.15pm.
The heat and humidity have proven to be problems to the English players
and this was clearly evident when they played their only 5.30pm match in
the Group F fixtures against Mexico where they struggled to win by a
solitary goal.
But, with the Argentines also going to face the same problems as it is
winter back home, the situation will be squared off.
However, England can also seek consolation from the fact that they are
familar with the Larkin Stadium ground, while Argentina will be playing
their first match there.
But England have promised to give the local fans a treat and this could
just turn out to be a reality.

Thursday, June 26, 1997

Aimar on the loose! (The Malay Mail)

WATCH out England! Argentina's sensational midfielder Pablo Aimar will be
on the warpath when they clash in the Youth World Cup second round in
Larkin Stadium today.
Aimar, who was voted the Most Valuable Player in the South American
championship earlier this year when Argentina emerged champions, did not
start among the first 11 in their final Group E match against Australia on
Monday and coach Jose Nestor Perkerman discovered just how costly that
could be.
When Aimar was fielded in the second half, Argentina were already
trailing 1-3. The change was immediately noticeable.
Although the Argentines lost 4-3, Aimar added bite and nearly turned the
game around.
Perkerman had wanted to save Aimar for the second round as the player
had collected a yellow card against Canada. And Perkerman had also
underestimated the Aussies.
"We are glad that we have him for the second round," said a relieved
"We need him to be at our best so I was reluctant to field him against
Australia in case he picked up another yellow card."
Argentina would have stayed on in Kangar for the second round had they
emerged group champions.
Perkerman said Aimar can now give his best without any fear because the
yellow card collected in the first round will no longer count.
"Aimar is the key to our success. He will be calling the shots for us
against England. We are ready to make amends for the defeat to Australia."
Aimar, 17, who plays for River Plate, is a very creative player who has
been dubbed the next Maradona. He will have to be at his best to beat a
tough England side determined to emulate the senior side who are going
great guns under Glenn Hoddle.
"We are at our most dangerous after losing one match and will bounce
right back," warned Perkerman.
"That is exactly what we intend to do against England.
"We are not under-rating the English.
"They are a solid side but we are very confident."
Argentina, the South American champions having beaten arch rivals Brazil
2-0 in the final, are the favourites against their old Falklands enemies.
The Argentine team, who arrived in Johor Baru yesterday afternoon, had a
training session at Larkin Stadium to familarise themselves to the ground
Their confidence personified but whether they can transform this into a
victory against the stubborn English is left to be seen.
But, rest assured that Aimar will have a say in the proceedings. More so
as Argentina come up against Brazil in the quarter-finals if they win

Tuesday, June 24, 1997

Falklands revisited (The Malay Mail)

MICHAEL OWEN scored in his third consecutive match yesterday and England
topped Group F of the World Youth Cup unbeaten.
England meet Argentina in their second round match in Johor Bahru on
The Liverpool player, who only turns 18 on Dec 14, has displayed such
maturity and scoring instinct that it is little wonder that he has been
dubbed the next Robbie Fowler.
Team manager Ted Powell has been very protective of his player but he
allowed Owen to speak to the Malaysian press for the first time last
"He is a clincal finisher with tremendous potential," said Powell.
"And he demonstrated it again tonight by scoring from an acute angle."
Owen's winner came in the 65th minute when he was put through by Danny
Murphy and in a one-on-one situation he rounded Mexican goalkeeper
Alejandro Alvarez to score.
Owen converted a penalty in England's opening 2-1 win over Ivory Coast
and another against United Arab Emirates in their 5-0 win.
Owen said he was confident of scoring when put through by Murphy.
"It was not the best of performances by us but we did well enough to
win. I am glad I scored when the opportunity came along," said Owen.
Powell said his team played poorly in the first half and the Mexicans
gave them a hard time.
"The players looked lethargic because they have been cooped up in their
rooms and they played like they were still in bed," said Powell.
"But we did much better in the second half.
"We are the only unbeaten team in the group and we are also unbeaten in
two years since the team was formed," said Powell.
On meeting Argentina, Powell said their opponents do not matter at this
knockout stage.
"It is a one off match. We have to be at our best.
"I am glad we have topped the group and will remain here. With the match
only on Thursday we will have ample rest and be fresh for the challenge."
However, England will miss the services of Paul Shepherd - the match
winner against Ivory Coast.
He collected his second yellow card yesterday.
Powell said Jason Crowe will make a good replacement for the experienced

Saturday, June 21, 1997

A first for Dan (The Malay Mail)

ENGLAND'S Daniel Murphy has played more than 150 League matches but he
fired his first hat-trick only yesterday in his team's 5-0 demolition of
United Arab Emirates at the Larkin Stadium.
It was also the current World Youth Cup's first hat-trick.
England are in the second round with their second win. They beat Ivory
Coast 2-1 in their opening match.
Murphy, who has been with Second Division Crewe Alexandra the last two
seasons, is being sought by the Premier League's Newcastle and Tottenham
Newcastle are apparently willing to pay STG1.5 million for him.
Murphy, who turned 20 on March 18, had teammates Michael Owens and
Kieron Dyer to thank for his feat.
After putting his team in the lead in the 5th minute, Murphy scored his
second in the 39th minute and his third through a penalty in the 50th
The penalty was earned by Dyer who was brought down by UAE's Mohamaed Al
Owens is England's designated penalty kicker but he allowed Murphy to go
for the hat-trick.
Owens scored England's fourth goal a minute after Murphy had scored his
hattrick. UAE's Abdulla Ahmed Abdulla scored an own goal to complete the
score for England.
Murphy, a regular with the England Under-18 side, is enjoying his new
role as a back-up striker to Owens.
Murphy said the news about him being sought by Newscastle and Tottenham
has affected his performance lately.
Powell had talked to Murphy twice on his future and urged him to
concentrate on this tournament first before thinking of anything else.
Murphy's feat earned him the official match ball from Fifa last night.

A first for Dan (The Malay Mail)

ENGLAND'S Daniel Murphy has played more than 150 League matches but he
fired his first hat-trick only yesterday in his team's 5-0 demolition of
United Arab Emirates at the Larkin Stadium.

It was also the current World Youth Cup's first hat-trick.
England are in the second round with their second win. They beat Ivory
Coast 2-1 in their opening match.

Murphy, who has been with Second Division Crewe Alexandra the last two
seasons, is being sought by the Premier League's Newcastle and Tottenham

Newcastle are apparently willing to pay STG1.5 million for him.

Murphy, who turned 20 on March 18, had teammates Michael Owens and

Kieron Dyer to thank for his feat.

After putting his team in the lead in the 5th minute, Murphy scored his

second in the 39th minute and his third through a penalty in the 50th

The penalty was earned by Dyer who was brought down by UAE's Mohamaed Al


Owens is England's designated penalty kicker but he allowed Murphy to go

for the hat-trick.

Owens scored England's fourth goal a minute after Murphy had scored his

hattrick. UAE's Abdulla Ahmed Abdulla scored an own goal to complete the
score for England.

Murphy, a regular with the England Under-18 side, is enjoying his new

role as a back-up striker to Owens.

Murphy said the news about him being sought by Newscastle and Tottenham

has affected his performance lately.

Powell had talked to Murphy twice on his future and urged him to
concentrate on this tournament first before thinking of anything else.

Murphy's feat earned him the official match ball from Fifa last night.

Sunday, June 15, 1997

Back to the future (Sunday Mail Supplement)

FANS in Malaysia might not realise it but they could be lucky enough to
watch football of the new millennium when the some of the top soccer
powers battle for the World Youth Cup in the next three weeks.
Five years from now some of the stars unearthed in Malaysia could well
parade their stellar skills at the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan.
Then, planet Earth could well very different but hopefully, better than
what we know now and on the positive side, that should also apply to the
inhabitants' football skills and showmanship.
Drawing the inspiration from what they show here and what some stars
will continue to display in France '98, football in the new millenium
could well be a sport embellished by new dimensions.
Robotic we certainly hope it will not be, but full of new possibilities
and fantasy.
The trends do point to that direction especially if FIFA, the world's
soccer governing body get a new, visionary and more dynamic leader to
replace Joao Havelange.
The new man is expected the speed up the democratisation of world
soccer, by advancing the claims of Africa and Asia as soccer's new
continents and truly take the game across national barriers.
The seeds of the change were sowed when Africa, especially through the
exploits of Ghana at youth levels, Cameroon and Nigeria at World Cup and
Olympic level, began to disturb the world's soccer power equation.
It gained further credence when Asia joined the chorus, by the sheer
ability and will power displayed by Saudi Arabia and South Korea at USA
Nigeria were robbed of their rights and dignity by FIFA before the 1995
tournament, shifting it to Qatar.
Even if the 1996 Olympic champions are not here because they lost out to
Ivory Coast in the qualifiers, the Africans have the spirits to conquer
through Ghana, Morocco, the Ivory Coast and apartheid-free South Africa.
The young and hungry are restless as ever and this Youth World Cup could
well feed on the innate human need to hope, dream and be free.
Malaysia have realised their dreams to be hosts and play among the elite
and despite all the hitches and glitches, the quality of football in the
XIth World Youth Cup could be the glitziest ever.
The fans might not come in droves but the teams will almost make sure of
Leading the way will be Brazil, three-time winners out to emulate their
famed seniors, by winning their fourth title.
They might fail, as they have many times before but the Brazilians are
set to dazzle.
As befitting a team that have produced five of the tournaments' best
The Golden Ball winners - the Brazilians will not bow out without a
blaze of glory.
In terms of skills and fantasy, the Brazilians have rivals in the
Sponsored by Malaysian telecommunications giant Telekom Malaysia, Ghana
could be the spoilers of Latin ambitions.
Speaking of which brings us to Argentina, the champions of 1995. The
Argentines could prove to be too good again.
The Europeans, with the elegant French side leading the continent, will
be as tough as ever.
The Australians are not as strong or as well-prepared as their past
achievements have suggested.
This shifts the task of upholding the Asia-Oceania to South Korea.
For the Koreans, who still do not like the job of sharing the 2002 World
Cup with the Japanese, Malaysia 97 should be the time to come good.

1977 Tunisia: Soviet Union 2 Mexico 2 (Soviet 9-8 on penalties)
1979 Japan: Argentina 2 Soviet Union 1
1981 Australia: West Germany 4 Qatar 0
1983 Mexico: Brazil 1 Argentina 0
1985 USSR: Brazil 1 Spain 0
1987 Chile: Yugoslavia 1 West Germany 1 (Yugoslavia 5-4 on penalties)
1989 Saudi Arabia: Portugal 2 Nigeria 0
1991 Portugal: Portugal 0 Brazil 0 (Portugal 4-2 on penalties)
1993 Australia: Brazil 2 Ghana 1
1995 Qatar: Argentina 2 Brazil 0

ARGENTINA - Jorge Burruchaga, Sergio Goycochea, Diego Maradona
AUSTRALIA - Frank Farina, Paul Okon
BRAZIL - Bebeto, Dunga, Jorginho, Silas, Taffarel
COLOMBIA - Rene Higuita, Ivan Valenciano
ENGLAND - Neil Webb
GERMANY - Andreas Moller, Michael Zorc
GHANA - Nii Odartey Lamptey, Isaac Assare
ITALY - Giovanni Galli, Riccardo Ferri, Alessandro Melli
HOLLAND - Marco van Basten, Gerald Venenburg, Johnny van't Schip
NORWAY - Stig Inge Bjorneby, Henning Berg, Lars Bohinen
PORTUGAL - Luis Figo, Fernando Couto, Paulo Sousa, Rui Costa
SCOTLAND - Paul McStay, Brian McClair, Pat Nevin
SPAIN - Alfonso, Fernando Gomez
URUGUAY - Hugo De Leon, Enzo Francescoli, Ruben Paz, Ruben Sosa
USSR - Vladimir Bessonov, Vagiz Khidiatulin, Viktor Onopko, Oleg
Protasov, Aleksander Zavarov
YUGOSLAVIA - Davor Suker, Robert Prosinecki, Zvonimir Boban

Saturday, June 14, 1997

Cheers to a good tourney (The Malay Mail)

ANY TIME is a bad time for Malaysian youth soccer players to have a drink.
And with the World Youth Cup tournament so close, they would be in for a
sack from the team or a ban from the game if caught with a pint.
But for the English youths currently in Johor Baru for their group
matches, it's no big deal.
The players are often seen at their hotel's drinking hole until closing
And occasionally, team officials and even manager Ted Powell despite
being a tee-totaller join the lot.
Powell, when asked on the rules the players have to observe, said: "Our
rules were laid down after discussions with the players and the other team
"The players are all professionals and know what is required of them. To
treat them like children will not be wise.
"We emphasise strict discipline in training, including punctuality and
general discipline.
"The players understand my requirements and respond positively and we
have had no problems," said Powell.
Amazingly, the players are all on time for training despite closing the
pub the night before - and they do well, too!
The players, who are all members of the English league's youth teams or
senior teams, act maturely and responsibly.
Their Asian counterparts, on the other hand, are closely guarded, often
with curfews imposed.
But a comparison between Malaysian players and English players in this
respect will mean little because of the cultural bias.

Friday, June 13, 1997

English rose among the thorns (The Malay Mail)

LORRAINE KILBY is the rose among the thorns in the England youth team.
She is the team's head of administration and has been with the English
FA's youth teams since she was 19 and fresh out of school.
Lorraine, 24, is an important link to the team and she loves every
minute of her job.
It all started when she answered an advertisement by the English FA for
an administrator for the youth teams five years ago.
"I love soccer and I have not had a moment of regret since accepting the
job," said Lorraine who got hooked to the game after following her father
to soccer matches.
England manager Ted Powell said Lorraine sees to the team's every need -
from contacting players for training or tournaments at their clubs to
making travel and hotel arrangements.
"And she does it with such professionalism that we have no complaints,"
said Powell.
Lorraine has travelled extensively with England's Under-15, Under-19 and
Under-21 sides.
Lorraine and Powell were in Johor Bahru 10 weeeks ago to do the
bookings, check out the training grounds and to see to the squad's all
other possible needs.
Lorraine said she has not encountered any major problem.
"I take pride in my job and ensure that whatever is required is done to
the best of my ability.
"And I get much satisfaction from seeing the young footballers become
top players in the League and the senior national team," she said.
Among the players she has worked with are Sol Campbell, Gary Neville,
David Beckham, Paul Scholes, David Neville, Nicky Butt and Robbie Fowler.
Lorraine is certainly the envy of many a soccer fan but it is no cosy
job as it requires total dedication and great administrative skills.

Tuesday, May 20, 1997

It's master v student (The Malay Mail)

AFTER 30 years, the master and the student will pit wits against each
other when Kuala Lumpur host Perak in an M-League match at Merdeka Stadium
Perak coach Karl Weigang conducted the FA of Malaysia Advanced Coaching
Certificate course in 1977 under a German Government Exchange programme
and among those attending the course was current KL coach Chow Kwai Lam.
Kwai Lam aced the examinations and also the next two the following two
years, also conducted by Weigang.
Weigang also picked Kwai Lam to assist him.
Among the other local coaches who attened the first course were Mahadi
Yusof (Kelantan), Abdullah Mohamad (Terengganu), M. Chandran (Selangor),
Ahmad Shafie (Kedah), Mohamad Bakar (Penang) and Peter Paul David (Kedah).
Other coaches who graduated from the later courses are Penang's Moey Yok
Ham, Kelantan's Kelly Tham and Johor's K. Sugumaran.
Weigang was also the national coach from 1977 to 1981 and his notable
achievement was seeing the Malaysian team qualify for the Moscow Olympics
which Malaysia boycotted.
Since 1981, Weigang has often visited some of his old friends, incuding
Kwai Lam and Soh Chin Aun.
This year, Weigang surprisingly accepted to coach Perak after giving up
his job as Vietnam's national coach.
It would be interesting to see how the student fares against his master
but Kwai Lam is downplaying the meeting.
"It is not Weigang and me who will be playing. It is what the players do
out there that matters," said Kwai Lam.
"We can only instruct them and give them a game plan but at the end of
the night it is the players who will make the difference."
Kwai Lam said there should be no comparision between him and Weigang.
"There is no such thing as a good coach or a bad coach. The only thing
that exists is a successful coach.
"And there can only be one succesful coach at the end of the season. But
that does not mean the rest of the coaches are bad," said Kwai Lam.
Weigang's priority will be lift his team off the bottom of the table
while Kwai Lam will want to see his team keep up their recent winning

Wednesday, April 2, 1997

Truth hurts! (The Malay Mail)

HERE is one policeman who shoots straight and talks straight. And he
provides a good blast for Malaysian soccer.
Dell Akhbar Khan, the new Malaysian soccer team manager, is a man who
calls a spade a spade, buries the incompetents and give slackers the full
double barrel.
Expressing his intentions and views without prejudice, fear or favour,
Dell can give hell.
The Federal Traffic Deputy Assistant Commissioner doesn't promise false
hopes and holds nothing back. And the truth needs to be heard if Malaysian
soccer is to improve.
Many may take umbrage when Dell said Malaysian soccer is not ready to
challenge teams like Saudi Arabia. Malaysia lost 3-0 to the Saudis, no
It was the truth and, more often then not, the truth hurts.
Finally, the national team are run by a manager who not only really
knows the game, being a former international, but also possesses a
recognised coaching certificate.
A shrewd match analyst, Dell has formal training in this aspect having
attended a recent course in Brazil.
And it is about time his reports are taken seriously if Malaysian soccer
is to have a future.
He has got a good working partner in national coach Wan Jamak Wan
Hassan. They respect each other's views and work as a team.
Dell's assessment of the present Malaysian team is that they are only
good for regional tournaments. In view of the players' abilities, don't
dream of anything more.
Nonetheless, Dell said the team are not beyond salvation and they have
But, it will take time - at least another two years - to see results.
As to from where new talents are coming from is anybody's guess. The
present national team already have the best and FAM have scraped the
bottom of the barrel.
Several players from the national Youth World Cup squad look promising
but they need time to be groomed.
Dell said Malaysia will have to play a lot of exposure matches outside
this region and not be obssessed with winning.
"It's pointless to play teams from the South-East Asian region because
not really much separates us and there is nothing much we can learn," said
"We need to play against top teams like Saudi Arabia as they can expose
the many weaknesses in our side.
"It is only through defeats and mistakes that a player or team can
When are we going to shoot straight?

* Player of the Year: Zainal Abidin Hassan
* Striker of the Year: Azman Adnan
* Midfielder of the Year: K. Sanbagamaran
* Defender of the Year: B. Rajnikandh
* Goalkeeper of the Year: Khairul Azman Mohamed
* Most Valuable Foreign Player: Merzagua Abderazzak
* Most Promising Player of the Year: Che Zambil Ahmad
* Manager of the Year: Datuk Mohamed Aini Taib
* Coach of the Year: Ronald Smith
* Fan Club of the Year: Selangor
* Best Youth Performance: Selangor
* Referee of the Year: V.K.S. Sinniya
* National Soccer Leadership Award: Datuk Harun Idris
* Best Soccer Sportswriter: George Jeyaraj
* Best Soccer Sports Commentator: Amran Hamid
* National Soccer Team Award: 1974 Asian Games Squad.

Tuesday, March 4, 1997

Honasan the ex-rebel with a cause (The Malay Mail)

BERT HONASAN's years of living dangerously are officially over.
He stuck out with his brother - the famous Greg Honasan - and struggled
against the Filipino government.
But they were granted amnesty and Greg and Bert are trying to change the
country - from the inside.
Greg is a senator while Bert, a former international, is the national
soccer coach after taking over from Noel Casilao last December.
His first assignment was the President's Cup tournament in Iloilo and
Bacolod City last week. He had the help of Spanish coach Juan Cutillas -
the team's soccer consulant - during the tournament.
Cutillas was Honasan's mentor while he earned some of his 135
international caps. It was Cutillas who requested Bert be made the coach.
Honasan coached the Philipines national team eight years ago before
getting into trouble with the government and landing in jail 1988.
"I am back. The years of living dangerously have made me more mature and
patient. I am no longer as aggressive as I was as a player," said Honasan
whose face is set in a permanent smile.
In his first assignment, Honasan saw his team finish fourth in the
President's Cup when they lost out in a penalty shootout with the
Cambodian national team after the match ended 1-1.
The Thai Air Force, powered by six former national players, won the
tournament when they edged Malaysia's Glamoir Malay Mail 1-0 in the final.
The Philippines drew 1-1 with Malay Mail in their opening match before
beating the Singapore Under-23 side 2-0 to qualify for the semifinals.
However, they were beaten by Thai Air Force 2-0 in the semifinals.
"The tournament was a good exposure for the team. This is part of our
Jakarta Sea Games preparations but we cannot expect too much immediately
because many of the players lack international exposure," said Honasan.
"But we are certainly heading in the right direction with the
Philippines Football Federation (PFF) and the Philippines Sports
Commission going all out to make soccer big," said Honasan.
For the Sea Games, the Filipinos are likely to train and play in either
Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan or Australia.
The PFF launched a five-year development programme this year with 2000
as their target year to make an impact.
The programme reaches out to the grassroots with youth tournaments for
the various age-groups, coaching seminars, football fiestas and the
national league being increased from the present 10 to 25 teams by the
year 2000.

Sunday, January 26, 1997

Licence to protest! (25/01/1997 - The Malay Mail)

Publication : MM
Date : 25/01/1997
Headline : Licence to protest!

THERE has been much hue and cry over the ruling allowing States to
register only 15 local players and three foreigners for the new M-League
Strangely, before the decision was made, there were discussions,
explanations and agreement. Now there is confusion, misunderstanding and
All major matters on soccer are discussed before a decision is made but
often it's only when these decisions are implemented that the parties
concerned suddenly wake up and cry foul or express their dissatisfaction.
It happens because the wrong people are present at the wrong meetings.
Sometimes, the right people are there but do not take part in the
discussions or go along with the majority.
Now, there is the issue of local coaches needing the FA of Malaysia A
licence to coach M-League teams.
Perak's Khaidir Buyong is upset the FA of Malaysia do not recognise his
German A licence while not requiring foreign coaches working in Malaysia
to have the FAM A licence.
There is a Malaysian Football Coaches Association (MFCA) and if there
was any disagreement on the matter it should have come through them.
The fact that even MFCA president Chow Kwai Lam and his deputy
president, M. Karathu - German and England coaching licence holders
respectively - attended the A Licence course to qualify themselves,
underlines that an agreement had been reached.
They both hold the FAM advanced coaching certificate, which was earlier
the highest coaching certificate in Malaysia.
Other German trained coaches like Abdullah Mohamad and Abdul Rahman also
attended the course which was reduced to merely a refresher course in
recognition of their contributions.
Khaidir was supposed to have attended a similar course on Jan 3 but did
not because he was out of the country scouting for players for Perak.
The German A licence is conducted by the German FA together with the
German government once in four years for English speaking coaches and
French speaking coaches from developing nations.
This course and the licence is certainly not the same German A licence
given to their own coaches, which is very much more intensive.
Foreign coaches are not required to have the FAM A licence because it
would be ridiculous for FAM to pass judgment on their coaching
Even then, FAM insist State FAs hiring foreign coaches submit the
relevant coaching certificates to them.
The younger breed of Malaysian coaches should take the cue from former
national player Lim Teong Kim who is doing a coaching course in Germany on
his own. He hopes to graduate with a diploma from the Coaching School of
He has been there for almost two years and has attained the B Licence.
He is coaching the Bayern Munich second team for a year as part of the
requirement for testing for the A licence.
It is only after passing the A licence can he apply to join the School
of Hennef which is a six-month course and which will cost him about
Teong Kim set a record of sorts by playing professional soccer in
Germany in 1987 with Herta Berlin FC. He could well be the first Malaysian
to coach overseas.

Sunday, January 19, 1997

Ignorance is not bliss (18/01/1997 - The Malay Mail)

Publication : MM
Date : 18/01/1997
Headline : Ignorance is not bliss

MALAYSIAN soccer went semi-professional in 1989 and professional in 1995
but the workings of the business is still a mystery to many officials.
The basic thinking is still amateurish with only a handful of
professionals involved in the various aspects of the game like
sponsorship, marketing, finance, administration and management.
Every season we hear of wrangles between States over players, players
not knowing how to sign with a new team, officials not knowing proper
procedures for signing new players or even retaining their players.
There are even players without a copy of their contract and players who
even have no idea of the contents of their contract.
Players still sign blank contracts or contracts written out in pencil.
This is the result of ill-prepared or incompetent amateurs trying to do
the work of professionals.
State FAs wait till the very last minute before negotiating with their
existing players and when some other State decide to sign them on, they
make a big fuss and lay claim to the players.
The rule clearly states that a player can start negotiating with another
team three months before his contract expires.
He can sign a letter of intent to join a new team but can only sign the
actual contract after his existing contract expires.
Teams intending to sign players from other States are required to inform
the players' team of their intention.
But all these are either ignored or when done, another State cries foul
because they themselves do not know the procedures.
The players are to be blamed to a certain degree for the mess because
they are ignorant of their rights or the procedures regarding change of
And some players try to increase their their salaries at the end of the
season by offering themselves to just about every team in the League.
After a pay hike, they turn their backs on the teams they had negotiated

Matters get complicated when players blindly sign letters of intent just
to see what they are offered.
Some State FAs, in an attempt to secure certain players, offer
ridiculously high wages and create a false salary structure, despite FAM's
guidelines on salaries.
Some States go a step further by sticking to the FAM guideline but
making undisclosed payments to players.
Some States are known to sign on players at a huge price but without the
means to meet the financial commitment.
Little wonder that States have problems paying the monthly wages of
Some States abuse the players by paying at their discretion.
Players who have more than a year's contract left often do not get wages
during the pre-season or their wage is cut drastically.
State FAs forget that soccer is the sole means of income for most of the
players and problems - personal and professional - arise when they are not
paid on time.
Soccer bribery has been blamed on poor salary payments by some States
and these States have to take some of the blame.
FAM have proposed the game be corporatised at the State level but are
the State FAs ready for it?
What we need is a total revamp of the administration of State FAs to
allow professionals to do the day to day running of the associations.
And influential amateurs must never be allowed to tell the professionals
how to do their jobs or meddle with their work.
In many teams, top professional coaches are hired but they don't select
the players or run the team the way they see fit.
But it must be said that several State FAs are being managed well and
professionally and they are easy to spot.
These are the States occupying the upper rungs in the League.

Thursday, January 16, 1997

Q-League (The Malay Mail)

THE M-League this year could see some quality foreign players in action
and several of them could come from South America and Africa.
Selangor have started the ball rolling with quality signings in Tony
Cottee and South African international Christopher Zwane Mandla.
Negri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur and Kelantan are looking into possibilites
of signing on players from Peru, South Africa, Zaire and Argentina.
The players sought are mostly current full or Under-23 internationals
who have played with top clubs.
And the man who is making these players available is former Argentine
international, Rene Houseman.
Houseman, who played 79 matches for Argentina and scored 27 goals, was
the fast winger who was voted Footballer of the Year in 1977 in Argentina
and South America.
He also played in the 1974 World Cup and was in the winning team of the
1978 World Cup.
Houseman manages about 37 players in Europe and has 100 players under
his wing playing all over the world.
But this is the first time Houseman is trying to get some of his clients
to play in these parts of the world with the hope of moving on to Japan.
Selangor's signing, Mandla, is one of Houseman's players. Houseman
discovered Mandla as a schoolboy in Soweto High School in 1993.
Among the players under Houseman's management who could grace the
Malaysian League is 20-year-old Jorge Eduardo Ramirez.
Ramirez, was the target of Sarawak's Alan Vest and is still on his list
although Billy Bond has been said to be their third foreigner.
The reason Vest hesistated to sign on Ramirez is because he could not
fit into his budget.
Vest said although Bond will be in Kuching next month for final trials,
he is still keeping his mind open on Ramirez and hopes to get some
additional funds to secure him.
The players Houseman has to offer may be a little expensive, especially
their transfer or loan fees, but they are quality players.
Ramirez is a Peruian international striker who was voted the Footballer
of the Year for 1995-96 by the press in Peru.
He has already got an offer from Leeds United and several other leading
Others players available include Waldir Alejandro Saenz, a 22-year-old
Peruvian striker who has won the Golden Boot award for South America on
three occasions (1993, 1995 and 1996).
He is considered one of the best and fastest wingers in South America
and is a natural left footer.
Left midfielder German Ernesto Pinillos is another Peruian international
with 16 caps and four goals to his credit.
He has also capped nine times with the Under-23 team which he captained.
He was voted the Best Midfielder in the country in 1994.
Another notable player who is a big name in South Africa is Theophilus
Khumalo, whose nickname is The Doctor.
Khumalo, 27, is the star of the South African team and has capped 32
times and scored 11 goals till September 1996.
He was voted to the African Nations Cup XI All Star team last year by
the press.
Khumalo is a well known player on and off the field. He has made over 10
TV commercials and has his own line of shoes with Puma - the Khumalo 16 V.
Bunene Ngaduano is a 23-year-old Zairean international striker who has
played 14 times for his country and scored nine times.
He has also played six times for the Under-23 team and scored eight
goals. He played in South Africa for Qwa Qwa Stars before being loaned to
Ankaraguyu FC in Turkey.
Then, there is Argentinian attacking midfielder, Cesar Martinez who made
25 appearances for the Argentine Under-20 and Under-23 teams.
Martinez used to play for Div 1 Quilmes FC in Argentina before being
loaned to Nacional de Montevideo FC in Uruguay.
He has been playing for Aucas FC in Ecuador since 1995 and was voted the
Footballer of the Year in Ecuador.
A natural left footed player with great vision and skills, Martinez is
said to have a knack for scoring goals from freekicks.
If Negri, KL or Kelantan actually go ahead to sign some of these
players, it will indeed add quality to the League.
Houseman said in Buenos Aires: "These players are quality players and I
personally guarantee their ability. They are top professionals.
"All of them are internationals who are looking to play in a different
League. They hope to play in the J-League eventually and intend to use the
M-League as a stepping stone," said Houseman.

Wednesday, January 15, 1997

Simply delighted (The Malay Mail)

I WAS just informed this evening (yesterday) that I am Selangor's coach
for the new season and I am delighted.
It has been a long wait for the final appointment but is indeed worth
I was indeed looking forward to coaching a team like Selangor, who are
certainly a big club in Malaysia and with teremendous potential to become
one of the best in the region.
I am indeed grateful to the Selangor management team who have placed
their faith and confidence in me and it is now my duty to repay their
I intend to work very hard to ensure Selangor, who have a great
following, become a better a team.
However, I don't intend to set targets because that will only put
pressure on the team and me.
Besides, as the best team in Malaysia, there is already enough pressure
to ward off the desire of others teams to topple us.
Then, as Malaysia Cup champions, every team will be going for our scalp.
I expect a tough season ahead, especially with the general standard of
the game in Malaysia improving with each passing year.
It is best to take each match or competition as it comes.
However, after watching the Malaysia Cup final on Dec 28 at Shah Alam, I
intend to see Selangor play many, many more matches under the same
competitive atmosphere.
I see great potential in Selangor and I am honoured to be given an
opportunity to work with the best team in the country.
Selangor have a great following and I certainly don't want to disappoint
the fans.
We will all have to work as a team - from the players, officials,
coaches to the fans.
What I saw of Selangor in the Malaysia Cup final has certainly given me
great confidence that this team is destined for many more good things.
In that Cup final, the Selangor went all out but were quite unlucky.
But they did not allow that to destroy their hopes and worked hard for
I believe although sometimes luck may not be on one's side, it can
always be turned around with determination and hardwork.
That Selangor certainly did on Cup final night and that is a quality I
look for in a team.
I believe the players and I will have a good working relationship.
Selangor have many talented and calibre players and my challenge is to
come up with a good system to utilise that asset to the fullest.
Tony Cottee is a prized possession of the team and I am glad to have him
with us.
I have played against him many times and he is indeed a great player.
He can be marked out of a match for 89 minutes but one moment of
brilliance is all he needs to score.
He is very dangerous in the 18-yard box and our opponents are indeed
going to have problems handling him.
But Cottee is also human.
He needs time to settle in with the team and I hope the fans will give
him the time and be patient with him.
I can't wait to see more nights like the Dec 28 night and I believe,
together we can make it happen.


Name: Stephen John Wicks.
Date of Birth: 13 October 1956.
Nationality: English.
Marital Status: Married.
Children: Three Boys aged 17, 13 and 1 1/2 years. One Girl aged 3.

Chelsea FC: 1971-75 and 1986-88 - 324 League Games.
Derby County: 1975-76 - 46 League Games.
QPR: 1976-79: 1980-86 - 257 League Games.
Crystal Palace: 1979-80 - 31 League Games.

England Team - 2 full Caps, 4 B Caps.
1975 - Winners Medal, European Youth Championships.
1979 - Winners Medal, European Under-21 Championship.
1982 - Spain World Cup (England Squad).
- Mexico 1986.
1975 - English Div 1 Championships with Chelsea FC.
1981 - English FA Cup Runnersup with QPR.
1982 - English Div 1 Champions with QPR.
1986 - English League Cup Runnersup with QPR.

1989-92 - Asst Manager, Portsmouth FC.
1992-94 - Manager of Scaborough FC.
1994- Manager of Lincoln City.
1995- Chief Scout of Newcastle United.
1996- Coach, Woodlands Wellington FC, Singapore.