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.

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