Monday, November 8, 1999

Gloomy stars (07/11/1999 - Sunday Mail)

Publication : SUM
Date : 07/11/1999
Headline : Gloomy stars

IT is happening again. In the Malaysia Cup, the insufferable soccer stars
are letting their teams down. When you think they do not try hard enough
at international level, they are proving to be lazy at home too.
To the consternation of their employers, the supposed cream of Malaysian
soccer have gone sour in their performances as the states battle for
Malaysia Cup semifinal qualification with two matches left.
One can empathise with national coach Abdul Rahman Ibrahim for being
less inclined to choose stars while going for less skillful players who
have more passion for the Malaysian shirt.
In retrospect, during the preparation for September's Brunei SEA Games,
Mailsport had warned Rahman not to depend too much on the established
players for they have been known to be a let-down when it matters.
True enough, they dragged Malaysia's soccer reputation further down the
pits by getting humiliated 2-1 by Singapore and getting whacked 6-0 by
The indifferent players would not feel the hurt but for Rahman, the
Brunei episode numbed him to the marrow and taught him never to trust
stars again.
But on familiar ground, on the M-League stage where they have been
strutting, a place where their employers thought they would save their
best for, the stars are turning out to be duds.
It is no coincidence that the teams with the stars are the ones having a
stormy time in the Malaysia Cup competition.
Pahang and Penang, the best two teams of the M-League in the past two
seasons, star-studded Negri Sembilan and 28-time Malaysia Cup champions
Selangor are not even among the frontrunners in the race to the
Look at their positions in the Malaysia Cup table. They are left uneasy
and squirming. A good team are just not measured by the number of stars on
their side but by consistency.
Everything points to the hotshots holding back in their performances and
far from being the professionals they claim to be.
Whether their performances have anything to do with their differences
with their State FAs over late payment of wages and bonuses is another
In any case, as professionals, they cannot allow these problems to
affect their performances.
If they have problems, they should go through the proper channels and
not take them nto the playing field and take paying fans for a ride.
So much so, Negri coach Irfan Bakti Abu Salim has come out in the open
to say that his key players have let him down. Selangor coach K. Rajagopal
and team manager Datuk Mokhtar Ahmad said their team can play like
champions one day and novices next day.
Penang's Moey Yok Ham is too much of a gentleman to take his players to
task but that is probably the very reason why the Panthers are facing
uncertainty in the Malaysia Cup semifinal battle. Pahang, also well armed
to the teeth, are in the same boat.
Coming back to the national team where as Rahman picks his Asian Cup
training squad, uppermost in his mind will be whether the boys will play
their hearts out for the nation.
Probably the best way is to invite M-Leaguers who think they have the
heart and passion for the Malaysian shirt to turn up at Wisma FAM where
Rahman can make his selection from there.
It is sad that we have to resort to ideas like this when players should
give their right arm to play for the country.
At this stage, Rahman is indeed right to say he gets better satisfaction
from a bunch of players with lesser talent but with the heart to perform
then spoilt stars.
Anyone out there with the heart and passion for the Malysian shirt?
Stand up and be counted.

Thursday, September 30, 1999

Enough of half-baked schemes (29/09/1999 - The Malay Mail)

Publication : MM
Date : 29/09/1999
Headline : Enough of half-baked schemes

WE seem to be missing the essence of it. Malaysian soccer, trying to
regain lost flavour, is being treated like instant noodles.
While it is heartening that the powers-that-be are putting extra
emphasis on development by having long term plans, the attempt to "curry
it" with a quick fix is very much evident.
The fact that the Ministry of Education, together with FAM and State
FAs, have embarked on making soccer a more serious sport in schools with
year round programmes is indeed welcoming.
As Malaysian international soccer standards stew in bad taste, don't
talk about fast results when it comes to development. The very word
"development" in the dictionary means something that grows or changes over
a period of time into a better form.
But it is disturbing to hear of the annoucement that Malaysian soccer
fortunes will be determined in three to six months.
This came about with the challenge thrown to Briton Allan Harris, who is
expected to coach the national Under-21 team for the KL 2001 Sea Games.
Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, head of the FAM technical committee,
had said they wanted to see Harris bring instant results.
Harris has been offered a three-plus-six month contract during which the
committee are expected to evaluate his performance. While Harris comes
with impressive credentials, he surely cannot be expected to be a Midas.
If Harris had that kind of capabilities, he would certainly be the most
sought after coach in the soccer world.
Are FAM being impatient? Or is it that they have to "play along" with
the National Sports Council (NSC) and the Ministry of Sports who
apparently are results oriented?
Short term goals have happened once too many times in Malaysian soccer,
leading to a curtailing effect. What can be expected of Harris in six
months? It all boils down to the material that is available and how our
players can be moulded.
If Harris can really produce results in six months, it only means one
thing -that Malaysian soccer has talents that are already polished. And if
that is the case, why do we need a foreigner to work the levers to make a
formidable team out of them?
The sad truth is that Malaysian players have a poor foundation of the
game. And even at national level, coaches end up having to teach them the
basics, not to mention professional ethics.
Under the circumstances, for any coach to cook up a winning combination
overnight is impossible.
It was no different when Ronald Smith was appointed FAM Director of
Coaching a few months ago. He was offered a one-year contract with an
option for another year.
Do we expect results in one or two years when the work involves
development? Probably, a five-year contract with an option for another
five would have been justifiable.
Sure, FAM need to evaluate their employees first before any long-term
commitment. But is it fair to assess people on short terms when their very
tasks involve development which means a lengthy process?
When a coach is appointed, his credentials and past records will have
been scrutinised. From this exercise itself, FAM would have a good idea
of his calibre. Sure, the risk factor is always there but we have to live
with it.
When coaches are given short-term contracts and asked to produce
results, they would be inclined to go for proven players and inevitably
the same old players hog the limelight.
With short term contracts, coaches would be unwilling to spend time
working with players or experiment with ideas.
The big side-effect of this is that Malaysian soccer ended up having a
`rojak' coaching system as coaches come and go.
Can we all be a just little more patient? Be ready to go for that extra-
time goal if Malaysian soccer is to be a winner.

Monday, September 20, 1999

More bite, less bark (19/09/1999 - Sunday Mail)

Publication : SUM
Date : 19/09/1999
Headline : More bite, less bark

MALAYSIAN soccer players need to be kept on a short leash to stop the game
from going to the dogs.
Drastic measures are needed to arrest the rot and rehabilitate the
system that is littered with players without a clue to the meaning of
The rape of Malaysian soccer reputation has gone on for far too long -
leading to our degradation by seemingly impotent teams like the
Philippines, Laos and Singapore.
Something has to be done, starting with the attitude and behaviour of
the players who are making a mockery of the word `professionalism.' And
last week, several young players from Negri Sembilan were alleged to have
gang-raped a salesgirl.
The only thing our players equate professional soccer with is money,
never mind that their performances shortchange the fans. How they look is
more important than the waning texture of their game.
Going for the latest soccer boots, the coloured ones that match their
jerseys and doing up their hair as though they were going to a ball
instead of the field is more important than their game.
While they can afford to be flashy in their clothing, they couldn't get
themselves properly attired for training like wearing shin-pads - a
required protection in soccer.
They think they are mature enough to take care of themselves and abhor
being treated like kids if put under the supervision of officials. A
regimented camp life represses their freedom of expression and dulls their
skills. They clamour for `freedom' and be allowed to manage their own
When FAM granted "freedom" to the Olympic 2000 players and let them
reside in apartments instead of the Wisma FAM dormitory, they gave
themselves a bad name.
They gambled all night long at their apartments, sneaked out to discos
and had no proper rest for training. They even trashed the apartments just
before the team were disbanded.
And these were the very same players who were taught to live like
professionals by no-nonsense coach Hatem Souissi. The first thing they did
when free of Hatem's control, was to express themselves in all the wrong
Then, we had some players wearing slippers on a recent trip to
Bangladesh for a tournament and sneaking out of Wisma FAM for midnight
No one is denying these youths the joy of growing up. There is always
room for fun and frolic but it should be tempered with moderation. Just
get the priorities right.
The only way to deal with the situation is for the authorities to act in
an authoritarian way - subject the players to a regimented lifestyle. That
seems the only way because no amount of advising or educating on the
requirements of professionalism seems to work.
The rot starts in schools where the attitude of players leaves much to
be desired with poor attendance for training sessions and sloppy dressing.
At M-League-level, players perpetrate a lot of nonsense - like partying
into the wee hours of the morning, getting drunk and skipping training,
getting into brawls, quarreling over women, getting booked for speeding
or drink driving. And there have been accidents with players getting
If such a drastic measure is not feasible, then probably, our soccer
should return to the amateur days where at least the players will be fully
occupied the whole day - having to work 9 to 5 and play soccer in the
evenings. This way, they might be too tired to think of having late
But it is better to put them on a leash before someone gets killed.

Saturday, August 28, 1999

Time to make them amateurs again! (27/08/1999 - The Malay Mail)

Publication : MM
Date : 27/08/1999
Headline : Time to make them amateurs again!

IF they can't behave like professionals, they might as well be amateurs.
And that could be the best way for Malaysian soccer to improve.
Sadly, it has been a decade of discontent since the game went
professional - from Semi-Pro (1989 to 1995) to fully professional in 1996.
The cause? A lack of professionalism, from both the players and
While State FAs are still very much amateurish in their administration
and management of teams, the players themselves hardly have a clue about
plying their trade properly.
Until and when officials and players are "professionalism-compliant", it
is pointless to have a professional league.
The very fact that the State FAs are still heavily subsidised by FAM and
can't stand on their own reflects the state of the sport in this country.
The fat pay that the players are getting just does not commensurate with
their efforts on the field, which more often than not, do not measure up
to expectations.
Players, these days, just do not know the meaning of "sacrifice" and
"hardwork" as they overnight, earn more than a graduate's and in some
instances, more than a doctor's.
Take the example of Pahang's rising star, midfielder Mohammad Fadzli
Shaari. He turned down an offer not only to play soccer in Germany but
also an opportunity to further his studies, citing loneliness. What is
loneliness compared to a bright future ahead? It all boils down to making
sacrifices again.
Nowadays, players have the audacity to complain about being overworked
and tired from two competitive matches a week, and that too travelling by
At most, the so called professional player puts in only about 18 to 20
hours of work, including training, in a week. For that, they get anything
from RM2,000 to RM12,000 a month.
In comparison, a bank clerk has to put in a minimum of about 40 hours a
week to earn RM2,000. A sports journalist, with 20 years of service, only
earns RM3,000 a month.
But can we blame the players when basically, they are not educated on
professional ethics?
Ask Santokh Singh, Soh Chin Aun or current Selangor coach K. Rajagopal
what it was like playing soccer in their era and they would all say it was
just pure passion for the game and sacrifices.
They held 9 to 5 jobs and only played soccer after their working hours -
be it for club, State or nation. They did it because of their love for the
game, no money involved.
The difference between them and the present generation of players was
that Santokh and company learnt about time management, along with it, the
sacrifices and hunger.
When FAM decided that foreign players would not be allowed to compete in
the M-League this season, many described the decision as taking a few
steps backward.
But it seems the right thing to do - if the discovery of a veritable
number of talents this season is anything to go by. In the absence of
foreign stars, they got the break and shone.
All things considered, the idea of going back to the amateur era seems
Talking about sacrifices and determination, look at Lim Teong Kim and
Fandi Ahmad. Teong Kim journeyed to Germany, all alone, didn't know about
the language, unused to the food and culture of the land. Yet, he returned
speaking German, having made a name for himself, both as a player and
coach, in Franz Beckenbauer's country.
Fandi, despite having blessed with great skills, continued to work hard
and make sacrifices. He was really disciplined and for his efforts all
these years, he is now a millionaire.
Nonetheless, the next generation of players have given us hope. But the
code of professionalism has to be instilled in them. And for Malaysian
soccer to go forward, our game must go "backward".

Wednesday, June 23, 1999

KL load up on talent (The Malay Mail)

KUALA LUMPUR will get a big infusion of talent for the Malaysia Cup
competition starting on Sept 21 with the return of six Olympic 2000
KL coach Mat Zan Mat Aris, while happy with the new players at his
disposal, is at a loss as to how he will fit them into the team.
He will, in fact, have seven new players as defender Yuzaiman Zahari,
left out of the Olympic 2000 squad to undergo a nose operation, is now
The other six currently with Olympic 2000 in Japan are goalkeeper
Jamsari Sabian, defenders M. Karunakaran, S. Jayaprakash and M. Gopal and
midfielders Mohamad Shawal Mohamad Johadi and Rosle Derus.
Karunakaran played for KL in the M-League this season before gettting a
late call-up to the Olympic side.
"It is good that I will not have to look far to strengthen the team for
the Malaysia Cup competition," said Mat Zan.
"But I will also have to decide on the players I need and how I am going
to fit them into the team.
"We already have 21 players and there are only four places available to
make the maximum 25 allowed.
"I have to be fair to the present players who have worked very hard to
put us in the Malaysia Cup competition and the FA Cup semifinals.
"I cannot discard them."
Mat Zan said the admission of the Olympic players will strengthen the
team and give depth to the squad.
He is considering registering a few of them with the M-League side and
the rest with the Reserve League.
"I will have to discuss the matter with the management committee before
making any decisions because of the extra expenditure involved.
"KLFA are working on a tight budget and we have to be careful on our
spendings," sai Mat Zan.
States get first pick on their Olympic players. Only if they cannot
accommodate them, will the players be released.
But there is a possibility of the FA of Malaysia coming up with a
different plan for the Olympic players after the qualifiers.
The other players with Olympic 2000 are: Abdul Rauf Ahmad and Jaafar
Mohamad Salleh (both Selangor), M. Elangoo and Chow Chee Weng (both Negri
Sembilan, Das Gregory Kolopis (Sabah), Gilbert Cassedy Gawing and Johnny
Joseph (both Sarawak), Akmal Rizal Ahmad Rakhli and Mohamad Rafdi Rashid
(both Kedah), Megat Amir Faizal Ibrahim (Penang), Mohamad Sany Muhammad
Fahmi (Johor), Muhammad Khalid Jamlus (Perak) and Tg Hazman Raja Hassan

Friday, June 18, 1999

It takes yen and zen (The Malay Mail)

MALAYSIAN officials can scour the whole world for a recipe for soccer
success but it just will not work without the right cooks in the FAM
Following Wednesday's 4-0 loss to Japan which all but ended our Sydney
Olympic dreams, we embark on a `Look East' policy.
Fifa's latest world rankings, which pushed Malaysia down to 118th, is
our worst ever and another bitter pill to swallow.
The FAM study group to Japan might as well buy some chrysanthemum tea
leaves as a panacea for the ills of Malaysian soccer.
We have seen FAM delegations going to England, Germany and to World Cups
in the USA and France and coming back with fantastic reports for a cure.
Where has all that taken us? World No 118. The root of the matter is
that no matter what the group to Japan comes back with, the problem lies
in implementation of the programmes.
The observers to Japan are FAM head of academies, Datuk Paduka Ahmad
Basri Akil, Director-General of Education Datuk Dr Shukor Abdullah, FAM
assistant secretary Yap Nyim Keong, head of reserarch and development
Winsdor John, director of coaching Ronald Smith, council member and former
international Dell Akbar Khan.
And who are the ones going to implement the recommendations of the `Look
East' policy? Definitely not these people going on the study tour.
In fact, ask any of group members what needs to be done to salvage
Malaysian soccer and they can come up with the answers without going to
It is certainly not that we do not know what is wrong with our game and
what needs to be done.
It is a case of not having the right people to carry out the programmes.
Malaysian soccer's failure is because of impatient people.
We all want instant results. And going to Japan, who give the world
instant noodles, is not going to help.
Now with Japan making sushi out of our boys, we start talking of the RM6
million spent in building Olympics 2000.
Do we honestly think that the course of Malaysian soccer can be changed
by RM6 million and four years of hothousing?
To select a squad of 25 players, more than 3,500 players from all over
the country were assessed.
When a nation cannot name a squad of 25 players around 17 or 18 years
old off-hand, the problem is obvious.
Mike Brown, who was the Pahang coach in 1992, once asked me if I could
give 10 names of the top Under-12 players in the country.
I couldn't.
Brown's point was that Malaysia, while making preparations to host the
1997 World Youth Cup, should have assembled an Under-12 training squad
first. As it turned out, FAM only assembled a team two years before the
By then, it was already too late to develop the skills of players around
16 to 17 years old because most of them are already set in their ways.
No matter how much money is pumped in, turning uncut diamonds into fine
gems in two years is next to impossible in soccer.
The same fate met the Barcelona and Atlanta squads. When are we going to
What we need is a vision for players between eight and 10 years old with
a specific programme tailored to their age. We must wait patiently for
them to mature and that is not going to happen without sheer hard work.
But when State FAs are busy with the M-League, who has the time for
Looking to Japan is fine. But one factor which we have to consider is the
different cultures of the two countries.
Coming to mind is the Tidak Apa attitude and the procrastinating habit
of Malaysians who are just not hungry enough and unwilling to make
But the Japanese are a race full of pride and honour and their warriors
were known for committing seppuku for failures.
So how can Malaysian players embrace the teachings of the sensei?
Besides, the Japansese certainly did not reach their current level
overnight. It took years of blood, sweat and tears to get there.
The yen is only part of the ingredients for success but it is the zen
and the spirit of the Japanese soccer administrators that contributes to
their success.
Getting the right people who are willing to go through the hardwork,
sacrifices, patience and long term planning.
And success does not come overnight.

Sunday, June 13, 1999

PD reaping dividends from development (The Malay Mail)


IF only more districts like Port Dickson put in concerted efforts in
soccer development, there would be budding talents in the country in time
to come.
Port Dickson, although known as a seaside resort, has also produced a
fair share of players for the State of Negri Sembilan.
Among the notable players from Port Dickson who have donned the Deers
jersey are defender Kamarulzaman Adam (1983-'96), midfielder Mutalib Adam
(1981-'85) and strikers C. Baskaran (1984-'88) and Adnan Din (1982-'90).
There were several others who played for one or two seasons, including
defenders Shamsudin Yusop, Abdul Rahim Buyung and Abu Bakar Ahmad,
midfielders Kasim Samsul, Shukur Adam and M. Suresh and striker Rosli
And there are now two budding talents from Port Dickson in Suffian Abdul
Rahman and Mohd Razly Abu Bakar playing in the Negri Sembilan Reserve
League team.
But Port Dickson District Officer Hasan Nawawi Abd Rahman, who was
elected Port Dickson FA president last October, has bigger things in mind.
He wants to see players come out of Port Dickson not by chance, but by
And he is talking about a long-term plan, which may bear fruit when he
may no longer be the D.O. of Port Dickson.
The first thing when Hasan was approached to become the PDFA president
was to state his conditions of getting people who know and love the game
working for him.
He insisted that people like Adnan, Baskaran and Abu Bakar be in the
"I wanted action-oriented people in the setup who were willing to work,"
said Hasan, who was the former Assistant District Officer of Manjung in
"And I was not so concerned about having a glamorous league although it
was part and parcel of the organisational aspect of the association.
"I was more interested in developing talent for the future.
"It was then that I appointed Adnan, who is a teacher at the SMK Dato
Abdul Samad to be in charge of the youth development programme."
Hasan rounded up about 30 Form One students, who were all 13 years of
age, in the district to attend his school.
The programme was launched in February and the players trained under
Adnan, with Baskaran and Abu Bakar assisting.
A hurdle Hasan faced when he took over the association was that they
were in the red and did not have ready cash for the youth development
To overcome this, he organised fund-raising dinners, which brought in
much-needed cash for the PDFA's kitty.

Hasan - a man who is always on the move
PORT Dickson District Officer Hasan Nawawi Abd Rahman (left) is an action-
oriented man and it is not difficult to understand his hyperactive nature
because his motto is simply: "Put more spice in your life".
He is not the normal bureaucratic officer who sits in the office all day
but is one who is always on the move.
And his sporting background probably accounts for his gung-ho spirit.
The 46-year-old father of four children does jungle hiking, mountain
climbing and cycling.
He has climbed Mount Kinabalu three times and Gunung Tahan once.
If one thinks that is a feat, he has a bigger ambition in the offing -
he wants to cycle around the world with his younger brother within a year.
Plans to achieve that feat are already in motion.
Hasan plans to pick the right occasion to take off on his tour and has
targeted to leave in January 2001, which may probably coincide with the
Tour De Langkawi.
In preparation for the Tour, he has already cycled in India for 20 days
in 1994 and in February this year, he covered over 1,700km in 12 days from
Hanoi to Saigon.
Come October, he intends to cycle to Tajikistan, formerly part of the
Soviet republic, to check on the weather conditions as he will be passing
through this region during the world tour.

Thursday, June 10, 1999

We need a vision for the mission (The Malay Mail)

THE one-day National Soccer Seminar, organised jointly by the FA of
Malaysia and National Sports Council yesterday in Shah Alam, is not going
to change the the game overnight.
The general complaint among the 200-odd participants was that one day
was not enough to discuss the ills of the game.
Most of the observations, suggestions and criticisms at the seminar was
nothing new.
Even guest speaker Roy Hodgson's paper A Ladder to the Stars, which
touched on the national team's pre requisites for preparation, are
suggestions already use in Malaysia and the Briton admitted to the fact.
There was still a great deal of ideas received on youth development,
development of coaches and referees, competitions, facilities and
preparations of the national team.
However, the question is whether all the ideas and suggestions to
improve Malaysian soccer are going to be implemented or just compiled and
kept in the archives.
FAM deputy president, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, said a task
force will study all that came out of the seminar and bring it up at the
Council meeting for action.
While the sincerity to raise Malaysian soccer standards cannot be
questioned, it all has to start at the grass roots.
This where the State FAs, schools and clubs play a key role.
Until these bodies implement the resolutions by the task force, the
seminar yesterday could well be a wasted exercise.
Tengku Abdullah said the State FAs have to double their efforts and
start working if soccer in the country is to improve.
For as long as State FAs are just interested in seeing their teams win
the M-League, Malaysia Cup or FA Cup, soccer in the country is going to
remain in the doldrums.
They have to start working with the young ones and be patient to see
The Minister of Youth and Sports, Tan Sri Muhiyiddin Yassin, was spot on
when he said a time frame has to be determined for results to be seen.
He also said that a time has to be set for the resolutions to be
And the time frame cannot be like in Hodgson's words: "I want to see
results or success, yesterday."
Development means time, money, expertise, hardwork and patience above
everything else.
It cannot be less than five years to see any significant changes. It
could take 10.
But with a new breed of players from the Olympic 2000 squad and a crop
of national players whose average age is 26, some significant changes
could take place in the next three years.
However, one has to be persistent and cannot afford to be content with
glimpses of success.
The task force have to outline the areas that need to be addressed and
set a time frame to achieve their targets.
It will allow everyone involved in the game to put in concerted effort
in their respective areas to help raise the standard of the game.
It has to be action orientated and done with sincerity.
Maybe a vision, like Vision 2020, to achieve something substantial in
the next 10 years should be adopted.
Otherwise, we will just be going around in circles.

Tuesday, May 25, 1999

Secret to a great future (The Malay Mail)

HOW do you go about fixing Malaysian soccer.
Well, if you ask Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, he will insist you start
with the youngsters.
The Frenchman says hard work must be done at youth level for Malaysia to
climb to greater heights.
"You will have to start with players from the ages of 10 to 18.
"This is the learning stage and a strong foundation is a must.
"I am confident if you put in hard work, in line with the requirements
of the game, Malaysian soccer and Asian soccer will rise," said Wenger who
once coached in the J-League.
He observed Malaysian players, like most Asian players, lacked a good
physique and the power and strength that comes with it.
He says success in modern soccer requires physical strength in addition
to technical ability and that is where the Europeans have an unfair
But Wenger says there are ways of getting around the handicap.
"Asian teams could be built on mobility, skills and stamina," said
"And they will certainly do better with more exposure to high level
However, Wenger stressed things are not going to happen overnight. It
is going to take years of work.
On the current Malaysian team, Wengers said: "I thought they were
committed, good in offensive play and had good tactics.
"But I was convinced they were not going to score after watching them
miss the early chances because the strikers lack confidence.
"You may get only one or two chances in a match and you have to put them
away," he said.
Wenger was happy his team won last night's clash at the National Stadium
"We always play to win. My players gave a reasonably good account of
themselves despite being tired."
Arsenal played at almost walking pace for most of the game but did
enough to strike twice through French internationals Nicolas Anelka (54th
minute) and Emmanuel Petit (62nd).
Arsenal could have got a hatful but Anelka muffed some easy chances in
the first half.
Still, Malaysian goalkeeper Azmin Azram Abdul Aziz and the defence,
marshalled by V. Thinkaran, did they part to keep the Gunners at bay.
Arsenal, nevertheless, gave their opponents a lesson in soccer with
their simplicity, keen understanding of one others game, zonal play and
effective invasion and utilisation of space.
Arsenal's play also forced the Malaysians to keep their game simple by
moving the ball around, providing effective support and working hard.
Malaysia did enough to keep the game interesting and competitive.
Arsenal may have been a club side but they had an array of international
stars from several countries and Malaysia soccer gained valuable
experience playing them.

Monday, May 24, 1999

Khairul does Malay Mail in (The Malay Mail)

KHAIRUL ANUAR YAHYA destroyed Kuala Lumpur Malay Mail when he scored all
four of Perak Lintau's goals in their 4-2 FAM Cup Group A win at Merdeka
Stadium yesterday.
It was Lintau's second victory after their 5-1 win over Sabah's
Gunosukod last week.
Coached by former Perak and national player Mohamad Zakaria, Lintau, who
are making their FAM Cup debut, played a higly disciplined game.
They took the lead in the 8th minute and added another 15 minutes later.
Though Malay Mail pulled one back through Afandi Sahar in the 29th
minute, Khairul made it 3-1 four minutes later for his hat-trick in the
first half.
Surprisingly, only a few Malay Mail players seemed to be in the match.
Just when Malay Mail thought they could get back into the game with an
Afandi goal in the 60th minute, Khairul completed his magnificent day with
his fourth strike.
Said Zakaria: "I am proud of my strikers who have scored nine goals in
two matches. It is really a good start for us.
"The players are carrying out my instructions well and their dedication
and spirit has been vital to our success.
"We have found capable replacements after losing seven players to State
Malay Mail coach Lucas Kallang said: "This is certainly not the team I
"Nothing went right for us. There is a lot for us to work on."

Sunday, May 23, 1999

Just the right blend (The Malay Mail)

ALTHOUGH this season has not been very impressive for Arsenal, clearly
Arsene Wenger has survived the test of foreign coaches making their mark
in England.
It is an open secret that the Frenchman has built his team around an
international array of players instead of just sticking to homegrown
And he has managed to do this despite the strict rules on allowing
foreign players to play in England.
Wenger, who was in Kuala Lumpur last Wednesday when Arsenal played a
friendly against a Malaysian selection, said his team's success had a
great deal to do with the right blend of different classes of players.
"I believe that the influx of foreign players to a team in England will
not only give a new dimension to the League, but also benefit the English
players themselves," Wenger said.
Wenger is arguably the foreign coach with the best record in English
soccer as barely 18 months after he joined the Highbury club in the autumn
of 1996, he steered them to win a double - the Premiership and FA Cup.
"Of course the influx of foreign players has its good and bad points,"
Wenger said.
"If there are too many foreign players, it will stiffle the growth of
local players.
"But, with a right mix, it will not only help develop the local players
with the exposure to different kinds of soccer from Europe, but also help
the team play with a variety of styles."
Although Arsenal consist of basically English and French players, they
do have flavours from Argentina (Nelson David Vivas), Holland (Marc
Overmars), Portugal (Luis Boa Morte) and Nigeria (Nwankwo Kanu).
Their French players include Emmanuel Petit, Nicolas Anelka, Patrick
Paul Viera, David Grondin, Gilles Grimandi and Remi Marie Garde.
"With such a combination, we'll be better prepared to meet the demands
of European soccer," Wenger added.
"Now the English players themselves are more accustomed to the European
Wenger also emphasised that big bucks are not the only means to
strengthen the team.
"While it may be the easiest way, it often draws criticisms and, when
results are not forthcoming, it brings about tremendous pressure.
"There is always the possibility of getting good players for a
reasonable price with time and patience."
And Wenger should know what he is talking about because he has acquired
some of the current top players for a bargain.
Arsenal scored 59 goals and only conceded 17 this season to finish a
close second to Manchester United.
Wenger admitted that he needs to further strengthen the team next season
when they hope to regain their League title and present a stronger
European challenge.
"We are looking for at least three players, but I cannot give any names
Wenger also said a bigger squad is vital in the wake of suspensions and
After all, the Gunners do not plan to misfire next season.

Wednesday, May 19, 1999

Just be there! (The Malay Mail)

IT has been a long season for Arsenal. And an equally long journey to
Malaysia at the end of it on Sunday when they beat Aston Villa 1-0 at
Still, you can expect the best from the Gunners despite surrendering
their League title to Manchester United when they play Malaysia in a
friendly at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil tonight.
"We have had a long season, missed out on the League title and travelled
a long way after our match on Sunday to be here. But the team will
definitely play with concentration and motivation against Malaysia," said
team manager Arsene Wenger at a press conference on arrival in Malaysia
yesterday evening with his cosmopolitan team. Only Dutch striker, Dennis
Bergkamp who fears flying, was missing.
"Of course the players are tired from the long season and the journey
here and are down after failing to win the title but we are not here on a
"We will play our normal brand of soccer and give a good game."
Skipper Tony Adams when told there have been speculations Arsenal are on
a holiday here, replied: "I will look for the fella who said that."
Wenger said: "We will certainly not disappoint the Malaysian fans.
"We always play to win and it is not going to be any different here."
Arsenal ended only one point behind United on Sunday and did not fare
any worse than last season when they won the coveted double - the League
and the FA Cup.
Arsenal lost out to Manchester United in the semifinals of the FA Cup
which was one of the highlights of this season.
In the Premiership, the Gunners attained the 78 points which won them
the title last season and conceded only 17 goals in 38 games.
And this despite their back four being no younger than 32.
The Arsenal defence comprises veterans Adams, Nigel Winterburn, Lee
Dixon Steve Bould and Martin Keown who have mostly been at the club for
the past decade.
And with the likes of French internationals Emmanuel Peti, Nicolas
Anelka and Patrick Vieira, Dutch star Marc Overmars, Nigeria's Nwankwo
Kanu and experienced keeper David Seaman, Malaysian fans are indeed in for
a treat tonight.

* DAVID SEAMAN'S middle name is Andrew and he has broken Jack Kelsey's
club record of 353 appearances for a keeper last year.
* Rightback Lee Dixon hopes to have his testimonial match this year.
* Tony Adams is the most successful skipper in the club's 113-year
* Martin Keown joined Arsenal in Oct 1980 as a schoolboy, when Nicolas
Anelka was less than two years old.
* Argentine Nelson Vivas is the shortest player in the squad at 1.66m.
* Senegal-born Patrick Vieira remains the youngest skipper in the French
first division. He captained his first club Cannes at the age of 18 in
* Midfielder Emmanuel Petit earned his first international cap at the
age of 19 - courtesy of the then French coach Michel Platini - at
* In a truly cosmopolitan side, Ray Parlour and Adams are genuine local
lads who were both born in Romford, a few kilometres away from Highbury.
* In a research carried out by the football simulation computer game FA
Premier League Football Manager '99, Marc Overmars outpaced his rivals in
the speed section, based on acceleration, speed from standing starts,
flatout sprint and pace running with the ball, obtaining the maximum
points of 30.
* Tallest in the squad is Nigerian showman Nwankwo Kanu who stands at
1.97m, taller even than the three custodians Seaman, Alex Manninger and
John Lukic.
* For a player considered the French attacking saviour, Anelka buys his
own boots. It is learnt that Adidas, Nike and Puma are still hunting for
his signature.
* Manager Arsene Wenger who played for Mutzig, Mulhouse and Strasbourg,
graduated from Strasbourg University with a masters degree in Economics in

Monday, May 17, 1999

MM off to a good start (The Malay Mail)

KUALA LUMPUR MALAY MAIL got off to a good start in the FAM Cup tournament
when they overcame Kelantan JKR 2-0 in their opening Group A match at KLFA
Stadium yesterday.
K. Balamurugan was the toast when he scored once in each half on a heavy
Despite the rain, KL Malay Mail took control of the match and should
have taken the lead in the first five minutes of the match if Mohamed Sham
Nor had been more affective upfront.
Quite rightly coach Lucas Kallang was unhappy with several of his
"Some of the players have yet to settle into the system we are playing
and they were directionless.
"Though I am happy we collected full points, the players should realise
it is only the opening match," said Lucas.
The other teams in Group A are Pahang Bentong District, Perak Lintau,
Kedah JKR and Sabah Gunusukod.
In Group B, Kuala Lumpur JPA are with Kedah Ansel Kulim, Sarawak Ibraco,
Kelantan SKMK, Police and Terengganu Perkasa Alam.
Kelantan JKR coach Hamid Ghani said his team was only assembled recently
and the heavy pitch did not help any.
"There was no communication among our players," said Hamid.

Sunday, May 16, 1999

Club teams battle for honours again (The Malay Mail)

THE sixth edition of the FAM Cup, played under the League format, kicks
off today with a promise to see more clubs striving for excellence and
securing M-League slots of playing with the "big boys" (State teams).
With four club teams locking horns in Premier Two this season,
especially Johor FC making an impact with their second spot in the
standings, the Cup only serves as an inspiration for others to join the
`elite' ranks.
And with the qualification criteria for teams from the FAM Cup more
clearly stated, it will be battle stations all the way from the first
Unlike last year, when the FA of Malaysia, announced who would qualify
for Premier Two only after the end of the FAM Cup competition, everything
has been spelt out the clubs this time around even before the start of the
The FAM Cup champions will automatically qualify for Premier Two next
year with the losing finalists and the two losing semifinalists taking
part in a playoff against the bottom seventh-, eighth- and ninth-placed
teams from Premier Two in September.
Only three teams from the playoff will make it to Premier Two.
The 10th-placed team in Premier Two will automatically be relegated to
the FAM Cup next year.
The competition starts today with last year's Premier Two team Police,
who faltered in the playoff in February, as favourites of the competition
- at least based on their experience of playing in the lower division.
The other two clubs who will also draw attention from the other teams
are Kuala Lumpur Malay Mail and Kelantan JKR, both losing semi-finalists
in last year's FAM Cup.
Malay Mail, the newspaper team, especially can expect some stiff
competition from their opponents.
And today's opener against Kelantan JKR at KLFA Stadium is set to be a
fiery clash.

Group A: Kelantan JKR, KL Malay Mail, Pahang Bentong District, Kedah JKR,
Perak Lintau, Sabah Gunusukod.
Group B: Kedah Ansell Kulim, Kuala Lumpur JPA, Sarawak Ibraco, Kelantan
SKMK, Police, Terengganu Perkasa Alam.

Tuesday, May 11, 1999

Imran having a fine run (The Malay Mail)

FOR a rookie in his first M-League season, Mohamad Imran Ahmad is becoming
the most battle scarred player in the Kuala Lumpur team.
Leftback Imran, 23, has played in all of KL's 13 matches - 11 League and
two FA Cup matches - so far.
Only two other Hawks match his record but stopper M. Karunakaran has
left to join Olympic 2000 and skipper P. Saravanan will miss today's away
match against Sarawak because of chicken pox.
That will see Imran becoming the "most capped" KL player when he goes
for his 14th consecutive match in Kuching.
A remarkable season indeed for someone who had knocked on the doors of
M-League teams the past few years while playing for the Malay Mail.
In retrospect, Imran got his first team break when regular leftback
Ahmad Faisal Abdul Aziz left for Malacca Telekoms at the start of the
KL coach Mat Zan Mat Aris tried Imran out in their opening League match
against against Brunei in Bandar Seri Begawan and Imran has not looked
back since.
Mat Zan said: "He is the most conistent player in the team. Of the 13
matches has he played, I think he was slightly below par only against
Pahang and Malacca.
"He has been very reliable and gets the job done without any frills. He
is committed and strong and lets nothing get by him."
As an afterthought, Mat Zan said he might even have a problem if Imran
is indisposed.
"I don't have a natural leftback and might have to use a make-shift
player if Imran has to miss a match," he said.
Imran picked up a yellow card in his debut against Brunei but managed to
stay out of trouble in the next 12 matches.
But that does not mean he is holding back. Imran remains very
competitive with a sense of fairplay.
Imran said: "All the frustration of waiting for my M-League break has
been worth it.
"I am enjoying every minute with KL and I am surprised I have played in
all our matches so far.
"It is even more rewarding when the team are doing reasonably well
despite being a young side.
"We have worked hard to earn some credible results to be among the top
teams in the League."

Below par! (The Malay Mail)

NO disrespect to coach Mike Pejic but K. Rajagopal (right), the assistant
to the Englishman, could have done a better job with Selangor.
Rajagopal was the interim coach of the Red Giants, who at present are
not looking good in Premier Two, before Pejic arrived in January to take
Pejic, reported to have quit his job with the English FA to join
Selangor, is way off his target of taking them to the Premier Two title.
Under the 49-year-old former Aston Villa player, the 28-time Malaysia
Cup champions have managed only eight draws and three wins with the season
past the half-way mark.
The Selangor FA's move in signing a foreign coach was not well received
by some of their members as they were cash-strapped and the economy was
then going through a downturn.
Despite starting the season as the heavyweights of Premier Two, the Red
Giants have not been able to crush their perceived lesser rivals that
include club outfits.
As the rumbles of discontent at Shah Alam grow, some quarters feel that
Rajagopal could not have done worse.
Rajagopal, in all probability, would have taken the Red Giants on a
better run as after all, he is familiar with the Selangor team and
continuity, a proven recipe for success, is ensured.
Rajagopal, who won five Malaysia Cup medals with Selangor in the late
70s as a dazzling winger, is more than competent after working as an
assistant coach for many years.
Above all, many of the players in the present squad were his proteges
from his President's Cup days.
On coaching qualification, Rajagopal is also impressive. He got his A
Licence as early as 1992 and, last year, he earned an A Licence from the
German FA.
In fact, local coaches have proven to be a hit this season.
A study of the M-League teams shows that local coaches, who have been
acting as understudies or assistants in the past few seasons, are going
great guns.
Heading the charge is Pahang's Fuzzemi Ibrahim who was thrusted to the
forefront when Australian Alan Davidson quit abruptly days before League
kicked off.
Fuzzemi, assistant to Dane Jorgen Larsen the past two season, has turned
the Elephants around, from a struggling defensive team in the pre-season
to second on the Premier One table.
Kedah''s Azman Eusoff, who was promoted to chief coach this season after
several years as an assistant, is flying high too with the Canaries in
third place.
And Kuala Lumpur, the cross-town rivals of Selangor, were more pragmatic
and practical in putting their faith in Mat Zan Mat Aris.
Despite their limited resources and to the envy of Selangor, Mat Zan has
taken a relatively young and inexperienced team to fifth place in the
first division.
Sarawak's Abdul Jalil Ramli, also an assistant to Alan Vest before
taking over the Crocs this season, is also doing credibly well. So is G.
Torairaju for Malacca in Premier Two.
No surprise that Azman, Mat Zan, Jalil and Torairaju, like Rajagopal,
are also former State stars who continue to flourish in the game after
their playing days.
With so many former assistant coaches shining for their own State teams,
it all points to Rajagopal doing well for Selangor if he had been in
charge at Shah Alam.
In all fairness to Pejic, Selangor have not done badly as the statistics
show that they have not lost a match this season. But what upset their
fans is that they are not winning enough.
It is not too late for Selangor to win the Premier Two title. It is not
too late to give Rajagopal a chance.

Sunday, May 9, 1999

Airport not at full flight yet (The Sunday Mail)

IF there is an area where the Sydney Olympics 2000 may encounter problems
in is their airport in handling the influx of athletes, officials, media
personnel and visitors during the Games.
The Sydney Airport is comparatively small and whether it can handle the
bumper influx into the Australian capital is left to be seen.
However, works are well underway in their enhancement expansion
programme, which costs A$365 million (about RM876 million) and is due for
completion early next year.
Among the features in the expansion programme are:
* A GREATER variety of retail shops;
* MORE check-in counters and baggage carousels;
* IMPROVED signages both in and around the airport;
* PLUSH interior design to welcome visitors;
* ADDITIONAL seating;
* MORE aircraft parking bays;
* AN easy access roadway in and out of the Airport;
* BIGGER and better taxi area; and
* SHELTERED waiting areas for buses and shuttles.
At the moment, there are 24 aircraft parking bays and the building of
additional bays is absolutely necessary.
The major question as to whether the airport will be able to cope during
the Olympics is its curfew time from 11pm to 6am daily because it is
located in a residential area.
With the closure of the airport during these hours, it could well cause
a heavy traffic in-flow when the airport opens in the morning.
The arrival schedule could well go haywire because of the heavy traffic.
And even if the airport authorities can cope with the flow, the ground
handling of baggage, immigration clearance and transporting the athletes
to the Games Village will pose a challenge.
There have been suggestions that the curfew be lifted to facilitate the
arrival of the Olympic athletes but it has been met with strong objections
and is therefore unlikely the curfew will be lifted.
But Scoot Crebin, co-ordinator and media information manager for the
Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympics Games (SOCOG), said they are
confident that they will not encounter any problems.
However, he admitted the curfew hours were discussed and whether they
could be lifted was left to be seen.
"But we are confident we can still manage with the airport closed from
11pm to 6am," said Crebin.
"Philip Cash, the Sydney airport manager for the Olympics, has a
strategy all worked out and we are confident that everything will go on
without a hitch."
Crebin added the entry of the Olympic athletes is going to be staggered
and through various entry points.
"For instance, the British contingent will be flying in through Brisbane
where they will set up their training camp prior to the Games.
"Likewise, we expect many more countries to come through the various
entry points apart from Sydney."
While all the other facilities for the Games will undergo a series of
test events in the run-up to the Olympics, there will be difficulty in
assessing the real situation at the airport once the Games' contingents
start arriving.
SOCOG will conduct the test events and will be sharing joint
responsibility with the relevant national federations in organising them.
The purpose of these tournaments is to test out the Olympic competition
venues, to train technical officials and volunteers who will help conduct
events at the Olympics and serve as a trial run for accreditation,
transport, security, broadcasting, media and other services.

Wednesday, May 5, 1999

Smooth sailing (The Malay Mail)

SYDNEY: The 500 days countdown to the Sydney Olympics begins today with
the Australians looking pretty confident as most of the work is bang on
As proud as their world famous Opera House, the hosts are looking
forward to unveilling the 27th edition of the Games from Sept 15 to Oct 1
2000, that will herald the new millennium.
No boomerang effect has happened though the world economy has had its
ups and downs as the Sydney Olympics progress report says it is 80 per
cent ready.
A visit to Sydney last week was greeted by a positive outlook of the
city's state of readiness despite the fallout from the International
Olympic Committee (IOC) sleaze scandal.
Confidence is written all over the face of the Sydney Organising
Committee for the Olympics Games (SOCOG) which was established on Nov 12
1993 after the IOC awarded the Games to Sydney at a meeting in Monte Carlo
on Sept 23 1993.
Responsible for preparing the Games venues and delivering them is the
Olympic Co-ordination Authority (OCA).
And the theme for their work and responsibilities is: "OCA provides the
theatre, SOCOG puts on the show."
Both Scott Crebin, the SOCOG media information co-ordinator, and Sandie
Watson, the OCA manager of international media relations, were a picture
of enthusiasm and optimism as they took me on a guided tour of the Olympic
site - the 760-ha Homebush Bay in the heart of Sydney.
Up to 10,200 athletes with about 5,000 support staff from 200 countries
and 15,000 members of the world press catering to an audience of 3.5
billion are expected to converge on the Games.
"Although the new Olympic venues are due to be completed at least one
year before the Games, 80 per cent of the facilities are well ahead of
schedule," said Sandie.
"This will give the athletes and Games organisers time to try out the
new facilities in a series of pre-Games test events.
"In fact, a series of tests, consisting of special events, have already
been successfully carried out while we have a long list lined up until the
"Technical officials and volunteers are being trained at the venues to
handle matters like accreditation, transport, security, broadcasting,
media and other services."
Sandie said in most cases, SOCOG will conduct the events or share
responsibility with the relevant national federation.
The 110,000 capacity Australia Stadium - the main venue of the Games and
centrepiece of the Sydney Olympic Park - has already hosted a Test match
between Australia and New Zealand.
Australia Stadium will be officially opened on June 12 with a soccer
match between the Australian XI and the Rest of the World.
The stadium, built at a cost of A$690 million (RM1.725 billion), began
its construction in September 1996 and was completed in March this year.
Another test of the facilities, its transport aspect, was held during
the 1998 and 1999 Royal Easter Show by the Olympic Roads and
Transportation (ORTA).
ORTA came up with a successful transport strategy where, in a trial run,
a total of 1.1 million people commuted to Homebush Bay by public transport
over 16 days. Some 78.5 per cent used the train and 21.5 per cent the
eight new regional bus routes.
The A$95 million Olympic Park railway station was opened on March 8
1998. It includes four below ground platforms and a rail loop connecting
onto the main line near Flemington and Lidcome.
At peak attendance on Easter day, passengers to Homebush Bay approached
Olympic levels for the first time. This included a peak of 43,645 people
arriving by train where the rail loop can handle about 30 trains per hour
and a passenger capacity of 175,517.
The IOC Transport Working Group gave the thumbs up after observing the
successful "simulated runs".
A Bee Gees Concert was also used to test the transport system,
especially during the dispersing of the crowd after the show.
The Games plan itself is based on a commitment to provide the right
conditions and atmosphere for athletes to peform at their best.
For the Games, access to the venues will only be by public transport
with a Park `N Ride system adopted.
For the first time in Olympic history, all athletes will live together
in one village with most able to walk to their events.
All Olympic events will be held in metropolitan Sydney (except football
preliminaries in Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne and Canberra). All
competition venues will be within 35 minutes travel from the Olympic
Village and no training facility will be more than 45 minutes away.
The Sydney Games will focus on four precincts - Sydney Olympic park,
Darling Habour, Sydney East and Sydney West - with all the areas connected
by road, rail and water transport services.
"Everything is well ahead of schedule and we are confident that
everything will go smoothly when the big day arrives," said Crebin.
"However, like all Games, we do expect some unforseen or last-minute
hitches, but we have contingency plans.
"We are confident that everything will be ironed out before the Games by
having many tests earlier."

1 Sydney SuperDome
* Due to open in December 1999
* Accommodates a maximum of 15,000 people for smaller events, through to
a maximum of 20,000 people for concerts.
* Adjacent 3,500 car park.
2 Stadium Australia
* Already completed and being used for Australia soccer league matches.
* Official opening of the stadium scheduled for June 12 where the Rest
of the World Team will play Australia XI in a soccer match.
* 110,000-seat capacity for the Games.
* Will host track and field, marathon, football final and opening and
closing ceremonies for the Games.
* After the Games, will seat 80,000 people for sporting and cultural
3A Sydney International Athletic Centre
* Opened March 1994
* A multi-functional, two-arena complex with international track and
field facility.
* Seating capacity of 15,000.
* Warm-up facility for the Games.
3B Sydney International Athletic Centre
* Training venue for the Games.
4 Sydney International Aquatic Centre
* Opened in October 1994.
* Just under 5 million visitors since opening.
* Leisure, training, Olympic and utility pools in a temperature-
controlled building.
* Landscaped leisure garden, child minding centre, gymansium, restaurant
and shops.
* Currently seats 4,400 with capacity for 15,000 during Games.
5 State Hockey Centre
* Opened August 1998.
* New surface for both pitches.
* Olympic capacity 15,000 people.
6 State Sports Centre
* Opened in 1984, this multi-purpose venue features Australia's first
sporting Hall of Champions.
* Venue for Olympic table tennis and taekwondo.
7 Tennis Centre
* Centre court and two show courts.
* Seven match courts.
* Six practice courts.
* Venue for Olympics tennis and Paralympic wheelchair tennis.
* Scheduled to be completed in September
8 Golf Driving Range
* Opened in 1995.
* Accommodates up to 60 players at a time.
9 Australia Centre
* Commerical precinct.
10 Homebush Bay Information Centre
* Opened January 1997.
* Close to half a million visitors since opening
11 Hotel
* 19-level, 168-room Novotel.
* 9-level, 150-room Ibis Hotel.
* Due for completion in early 2000.
12 Olympic Park Station
* Walking distance to major facilities.
* Capacity to move 50,000 people per hour during major events.
13 Olympic Boulevard
* 1.5km boulevard through the centre site.
* Links major sporting venues, the Olympic Village and other facilities.
14 Sydney Showground
* Opened April 1998.
* Includes pavilions, sports halls/exhibition space, main arena.
15 Main Arena
* Main Arena of Sydney Showground will be used for baseball during and
after Games.
17 Athletes Village (not shown)
* Accommodation for 15,300 athletes and officials.
* A new solar-powered suburb for up to 6,000 people after the Games.
18 Homebush Bay Warf (not shown)
* Opened September 1997.
* 30 minutes from Circular Quay.
19 Sydney Interantional Archery Park (not shown)
* Opened July 1998.
* To seat 4,000 people during the Games
20 Millennium Park
* A major new metropolitan park.
* Walking and cycle paths.
* Larger than Sydney's Moore Park and Centennial Park combined
21 Brickpit
* Dramactic feature of Millennium Parklands
* Formerly the quarry for State Brickworks
22 Bicentennial Park
* Opened in 1998.
* 60ha wetland and 40ha parkland

Tuesday, May 4, 1999

It all points to a win for Torai's men (The Malay Mail)

MALACCA are quietly confident of stretching their 1-0 advantage over Kuala
Lumpur in the return leg FA Cup second round match tonight at Kubu
Malacca coach G. Torairaju could not help mentioning his team's unbeaten
record at home and how they want to keep it intact.
Torairaju said the slim lead takes some of the pressure off his men.
"It is an advantage to play at home with a one-goal lead," said
Torairaju yesterday.
"The morale of the team is high, especially since we are unbeaten at
"We are on a good run and our League wins over Kelantan TNB, at home and
away, have been a further boost for the team."
However, Torairaju is worried he will be without striker Abdul Karim who
was injured in the match against Kelantan TNB.
Malacca are already without hitman Sri Jaafar A. Rahman who suffered a
knee injury in the return leg FA Cup first round match against Kuala
Lumpur Malay Mail.
"Our strikeforce have been crippled and I can only hope the reserves
will live up to expectations.
"Even with a one-goal advantage, home ground and an unbeaten home
record, we will still start as the underdogs against KL.
"We have to be prepared for a tough match and not allow complacency to
get the better of us. KL certainly cannot be taken for granted," said

Sunday, May 2, 1999

Injury forces Ollie to call it quits (The Malay Mail)

SCOTT OLLERENSHAW, twice Golden Boot winner of the M-League, has
prematurely retired from soccer at the age of 31.
Ollerenshaw, who played for Negri Sembilan last season, had to call it
quits after he went for surgery on his left ankle early this year.
Ollerenshaw, who is now in Sydney with his Malaysian wife Michelle Koh,
also has arthritis in his hip.
The surgeon, who operated on Ollerenshaw, said the Australian striker
will no longer be able to play soccer because his ankle has been badly
damaged due to neglect.
The Australian, when met in Sydney on Wednesday, said:
"I had not expected the injury to be so serious that I had to call it
quits. I was hoping to play for another three or four years in Australia."
He added his ankle was badly damaged because of all the injections he
had taken while playing despite the injury.
"The surgeon said that there was no more muscle between the bones in my
ankle and there was no way I could do anything strenuous even if it was
operated on.
"To add to the misery, my hip was also affected and my whole left side
was in pain.
"My whole world has come tumbling down because, all my life, soccer has
been my world.
"I was devastated and really did not know what to do.
"I knew something was wrong when I was not performing up to expectations
during my stint with Negri because I could not move as freely as before."
Ollerenshaw, who has a one-year-old son, Jordan, is planning to return
to Kota Kinabalu this month where he plans to work at a fitness club with
"Michelle is a qualified trainer while I will use my soccer experience.
"If things work out well, we might consider setting up our own fitness
centre in the near future in Sabah."

Friday, April 30, 1999

Mitchell tipped for Aussie coaching job (The Malay Mail)

DAVID MITCHELL, who scored the winning goal for Selangor in the 1996
Malaysia Cup final, is tipped to be the next Australian national coach.
Roy Hodgson was expected to take over from caretaker coach Raul Blanco
but the Englishman has decided to handle Italy's Inter Milan.
Hodgson, who coached Inter from 1995-97, is the club's fourth coach of a
disastrous season.
He became available after his English Premiership side Blackburn Rovers
fell to the bottom of the table last November.
Hodgson's name was also linked with Singapore, who were keen to have him
in their vision to reach the 2010 World Cup finals.
Now that Hodgson's gone to Inter, Singapore are said to be interested in
Terry Venables as Director of Football/Goal 2010.
Blanco has been handling the Australian team on an interim basis since
the departure of Venables last year after failing to steer them to the
World Cup in France.
Australia were edged out by Iran in the play-off for the last Asian
Mitchell, since returning to Australia from his stint in Malaysia,
played with Sydney Olympics for a short while before becoming coach-player
of Sydney United two years ago.
He has earned the tag of a miracle worker for transforming the bankrupt
and hopeless club into champions.
He lost nine first team players to European clubs in his first season
but managed to rebuild the team wihtout going into the transfer market.
Sydney United finished a creditable fourth in the National League.
Among those who played for him last season were Abbas Saad and Joe
Calleta who plied their trade in Malaysia.
Abbas is out with an injury this season while Calleta is still with the
Mitchell lost another eight players this season but rebuilt the team and
steered them to the League championship on Wednesday.
Sydney United beat Adelaide Sharks 3-1 to pip South Melbourne to the
title by just one point - 58-57 - after 28 matches.
But the League title is viewed as a minor achievement in Australia and
it is the Ericsson Cup final Series which is the big one.
The top six League finishers play in the Series.
Mitchell is also in the running for the Australian Coach of the Year
Mitchell confirmed in Sydney on Wednesday he is in the running for the
national job.
"And of course I am interested in the job," said Mitchell. "It is the
national job we are talking about and I am honoured to be linked with it."
Mitchell sees his chances improving with Hodgson going to Inter Milan.
"I must admit Hodgson was the front-runner. But with him taking up the
job at Inter Milan, I recknon I have a better chance."
And ironically, Mitchell will only be going for his coaching badge later
this year.
"It is not about coaching badges. It is about management and player
management. Of course, my years of playing under various coaches in
different countries and with and against some of the top players in the
world, have taught me a great deal," he said.
Since Mitchell rose to prominence as a 19-year-old in the Fifa World
Youth Cup in Australia, he has gone on to play with Glasgow Rangers, the
place he was born on June 13, 1962 before migrating to Adelaide at the age
of five.
After two years, he ventured to West Germany where he played for
Eintracht Frankfurt before moving to Holland's Feyernood for two years.
It was England's Bobby Campbell who spotted him when he was in Holland
and offered him a place with Chelsea.
It was then to Swindon Town and Millwall before moving to Selangor.
Mitchell said coaching has been a big challenge but he is enjoying it.
Mitchell, who has 36 international caps and scored 16 goals for the
Socceroos, said should he fail to get the national coaching job, he will
take up one of the several other offers from Australian National League
Will he consider returning to Malaysia as a coach?
"Why not. I loved Malaysia and have fond memories. It will be great to
come back as a coach.
"But for now, I would like to look at things close to home first," said

Sunday, April 18, 1999

Local coaches stealing the limelight (The Sunday Mail)

THE number of foreign coaches in the M-league has been drastically reduced
this season, which in turn has pushed their local counterparts into the
In Premier One, only two teams of the 10 are coached by foreigners -
David Booth (Brunei) and Karl Weigang (Perak).
In Premier Two, there are three foreign coaches in charge - Selangor's
Michael Pejic, Johor FC's Ronald Smith and Johor's Steve Darby.
While the top two Premier Two teams - Selangor and Johor FC - are
coached by foreigners, it is the other case for the top flight, where
locals are hogging the limelight.
Penang's Moey Yoke Ham (pic right) has his team hugging the top of the
table but this is no surprise considering he hit the limelight last year
when he led his players to victory in the League.
The islanders had depended on foreign coaches but now look like they
have made the right decision in hiring a local.
Second-placed Pahang are coached by Fuzzemi Ibrahim, who was only
supposed to be an assistant until he was thrust into the forefront when
Australian coach Alan Davidson resigned just before the season kicked off
last month.
Fuzzemi, who is still only a caretaker coach, has done well and Pahang
FA should seriously consider appointing him chief coach on a permanent
While Pahang had problems scoring goals during their pre-season matches
under Davidson, Fuzzemi seems to have turned the team around where they
have scored 11 goals and won three and drawn two matches out of the six
Fuzzemi is a prime example of an understudy coach who has done well in
observing and learning from his experienced superiors. He is also carrying
on the work initiated by Jorgen Larsen, Pahang's coach for two years.
Fuzzemi has also proven his foresight at spotting new talent to
strengthen the team.
Among the players Fuzzemi recruited before the arrival of Davidson were
defender K. Ramachandran, Wan Rohaimi Wan Ismail and Darul Nazri Daniyan,
all of whom are doing well with Pahang.
Ramachandran has provided a steady defence, Wan Rohaimi is the leading
scorer while Darul Nazri has proven to be an able substitute and it is
only a matter of time before he moves into the first XI ranks.
While Fuzzemi's abilities were unearthed by chance, there are several
other local coaches who are doing well with their respective teams.
Among them include Kedah's Azman Eusoff, Kuala Lumpur's Mat Zan Mat
Aris, Sarawak's Jalil Ramli, Malacca's G. Torairaju, Perlis' Tajudin Nor
and Kelantan's Mosthakeen Omar.
The FA of Malaysia increased the grants to State FAs this season in the
hope they would acquire calibre foreign coaches with the intention of
moulding better quality players.
But it turned out to be a blessing when the grant was announced late and
many State FAs had already decided to go local.
There is no doubt that local coaches can learn a great deal from their
foreign counterparts who are willing to impart their experience and
A good idea would be for State FAs to rope in well-known and experienced
technical advisers who can contribute even more to the game with locals
still in charge of the team.
This way, the local coaches will not only have expert advice but the
players can also benefit with the foreign technical advisers around.
These advisers can also spend more time in helping out in the
development, planning and implementation aspects so that a better
foundation can be laid in the States.

Tuesday, April 13, 1999

Malay Mail bow out after early promise (The Malay Mail)

KUALA LUMPUR MALAY MAIL bowed out in the first round of the FA Cup
tournament when they lost 3-0 to Malacca in the return leg at Kubu Stadium
last night.
MM, reduced to 10 men in the 37th minute when striker U. Suresh was sent
off by referee Halim Abdul Halim for apparently elbowing Mohamad Paizal
Mohamad Yasan, were held 3-3 in the first leg.
It was an evenly contested match until the sacking as Suresh and strike
partner, Mohamad Sham Mohamad Nor, were proving to be a threat to the
Malacca defence.
Sham scored twice and Suresh once in the first leg on March 9 and the
duo came in for extra attention from the Malacca defenders last night.
While Malacca had played six Premier Two matches since the first leg FA
Cup clash, MM played only several friendly matches to keep their edge.
Malacca, fresh from their 2-0 win over Kelantan in Premier Two on
Friday, were in high spirit and determined not to allow a club side to end
their unbeaten run at home.
But the hosts had to wait until the 63th minute before Ahmad Fadzli
Abdul Latif beat goalkeeper M. Pavalamani for their opening goal.
MM brought in Mohamad Afandi Safar to help Sham out and the duo went for
However, MM's fight ended when leftback Mohamad Ishak Kunju Mohamad
misjudged a cross and Abdul Karim Rahman sent it past a hapless Pavalamani
in the 77th minute.
Ishak also conceced a penalty for a tackle on Khairul Nazri Salman in
the box in the dying seconds of the match.
Malacca goalkeeper Abdul Zainal Rabin had no trouble beating Pavalamani.
Malacca, coached G. Torairaju, are having a good run this season and
they have been rewarded with fairly large attendances.

Monday, April 12, 1999

Uphill task for MM (The Malay Mail)

KUALA LUMPUR Malay Mail (MM) are ready to throw caution to the wind
against Malacca tonight in a FA Cup return leg first round at Kubu Stadium
though things are not in their favour.
For the newspaper team, it is like going into battle after a long layoff
whereas Malacca have been active.
This is because MM are only playing a competitive match four weeks after
their last one, the first leg against Malacca at KLFA Stadium that had
ended 3-3.
The second leg was to have been played on March 16 but was postponed to
today as the Kubu Stadium was then found by FAM to be unfit for
Besides the match between Malacca and MM, the other FA Cup tie postponed
is between Malacca Telekom and Johor FC and it will be played tomorrow at
Kubu Stadium.
The delay of the FA Cup return leg fixtures did not affect Malacca,
Malacca Telekom and Johor FC as they have been competing in Premier II and
have played six matches since March 19.
But, MM, who narrowly missed qualifying for Premier II when they were
edged out by Armed Forces in the play-off, do not have such luxury.
MM, who will also play in the FAM Cup competition kicking off on May 3,
had to arrange for friendly matches to sustain the interest and fitness of
their players.
MM assistant coach Tony Mariadass said: "It has been difficult for us to
be kept waiting for four weeks to play the return leg.
"Malacca are involved in the Premier II competition and, having played
six League matches, they are certainly on stride.
"They have been doing well and are unbeaten at home. Their morale must
surely be high.
"It is indeed going to be an uphill battle for us, but we have nothing
to lose and everything to gain."

Thursday, April 1, 1999

Unfair to compare present with the past (The Malay Mail)

TWO veteran school sports officials feel it is unfair to compare present
trends with the golden era of yesteryear.
A. Vaithilingam, who was the Selangor Schools Sports Council (SSSC)
secretary-general, and K. Balachandran, who was the Federal Territory
Schools Sports Council secretary-general, agreed that schools remain the
Vaithilingam, 64, said we have to take into account the demands of today
and the concept among teachers, pupils and parents.
"We cannot find many teachers who are dedicated to sports these days
because of the system," said Vaithilingam.
"Even if there were such teachers, they would find it hard to survive.
"Most heads of schools will not accommodate teachers who spend too much
time on sports and having to attend sports meetings in or outside the
"Of course, we do not have many teachers who are properly trained."
Vaithilingam pointed out that the paper chase is overwhelming.
There are always extra school work and with tuition thrown in, there is
little time for extra-curricular activities.
And then, there is also the matter of children more interested in
computer games.
Balachandran said one of the reasons why there is lack of teachers
committed towards sports these days is that results on the field are not
taken into account and as such, due recognition is not granted.
"Teachers want to be remunerated if they are to spend extra hours in
schools," said Balachandran.
"Gone are the days when teachers will spend hours on sports for nothing.
Teachers used to coach athletes during school holidays and public
"These teachers would spend their own money on the children and even
ferry them around for the various competitions without taking a single sen
for petrol."
Both Vaithilingam and Balachandran agreed that sports facilities in
schools, especially in the urban areas, are deteriorating in the name of
"While there are still good fields and other facilities in rural areas,
they lack the expertise," said Balachandran.
"In urban areas, many fields have disappeared. And those that remain are
in deplorable condition."
Vaithilingam also pointed out that because of the dire need for more
classrooms, school fields are sacrificed.
He cited an example of Sekolah Menengah Sultan Abdul Samad in Petaling
Jaya, which was the only school in the area which had a 400-metre track, a
full-sized soccer pitch and facilites for cricket.
"But someone decided that they will have to build another school in the
vicinity and part of the field was taken up," he said.
Both Vaithilingam and Balachandran agreed that it is pointless living in
the past.
The present calls for drastic action and unless the relevant powers that
be are willing to work together, sports in schools are further doomed.

Monday, March 29, 1999

Mail order (The Malay Mail)

IT has taken Mohamad Imran Ahmad a long time to realise his dream of
playing in the M-League. But it has been worth the wait as he has gained
first choice status in his debut season with Kuala Lumpur.
The 24-year-old Imran has played in both KL's matches and, judging from
his performance, is expected to make the leftback slot his own.
But it took all of six years and much heartbreak before Imran made the
grade. Each season he tried, but each time he was turned away by the M-
League teams he had trials with.
Negri Sembilan, Malacca, Penang and even KL were not interested in the
eager youngster.
It was left to the Malay Mail FC to provide him with the platform to
hone his skills and improve his game until he finally got his long-awaited
The Malay Mail first picked Imran when he was 16 years old for their
Under-18 team.
Imran progressed to the senior team a year later and played for them
until 1998.
Indeed, he had tremendous exposure with the newspaper team and would
have easily notched 500 matches in the six years with them.
Besides the Dunhill League and national level FAM Cup, he played for
Malay Mail in several international matches in the Philippines, Thailand
and Singapore.
Sabah coach Ken Shellito had been impressed enough to want to sign Imran
after seeing him in action against the Rhinos in a friendly match in Kota
Kinabalu last year.
But KL beat him to it.
Luck had a hand in Imran, nicknamed Along, making the first XI in his
very first match with KL.
Ahmad Faisal Abdul Aziz, who was the regular leftback, left suddenly to
join Premier Two side Malacca Telekom, and KL coach Mat Zan Mat Aris threw
Imran into the fray.
Earlier, Imran was supposed to have been the backup for Faisal or left
midfielder Amir Nor Hakim Burhan.
Imran convinced Mat Zan of his worth in the very first match against
Brunei which KL won 4-3 away.
"He has done well. And if he keeps up his performance, the position
certainly belongs to him," said Mat Zan.
But Imran is keeping his feet firmly on the ground, knowing only too
well how difficult it was for him to break into the M-League ranks.
The last thing he wants to do now is jeopardise all that he has worked
so hard to earn by getting complacent or big-headed.
"I still have a long way to go," said the Cheras lad. "I am enjoying
every minute of it and intend to improve with each passing match."
KL's gain has been the Malay Mail FC's loss as they did not receive any
compensation for grooming him all these years.
Besides Imran, Malay Mail also lost S. Saravanan and K. Hemadass to KL
and N. Suresh to Malacca Telekom.
KL are riding high after two matches despite having many newcomers in
the side. But their real test comes tomorrow when they play League
champions Penang at KLFA Stadium.
A good outing against Penang will definitely confirm that Imran has
finally arrived.

Mail order (The Malay Mail)

IT has taken Mohamad Imran Ahmad a long time to realise his dream of
playing in the M-League. But it has been worth the wait as he has gained
first choice status in his debut season with Kuala Lumpur.
The 24-year-old Imran has played in both KL's matches and, judging from
his performance, is expected to make the leftback slot his own.
But it took all of six years and much heartbreak before Imran made the
grade. Each season he tried, but each time he was turned away by the M-
League teams he had trials with.
Negri Sembilan, Malacca, Penang and even KL were not interested in the
eager youngster.
It was left to the Malay Mail FC to provide him with the platform to
hone his skills and improve his game until he finally got his long-awaited
The Malay Mail first picked Imran when he was 16 years old for their
Under-18 team.
Imran progressed to the senior team a year later and played for them
until 1998.
Indeed, he had tremendous exposure with the newspaper team and would
have easily notched 500 matches in the six years with them.
Besides the Dunhill League and national level FAM Cup, he played for
Malay Mail in several international matches in the Philippines, Thailand
and Singapore.
Sabah coach Ken Shellito had been impressed enough to want to sign Imran
after seeing him in action against the Rhinos in a friendly match in Kota
Kinabalu last year.
But KL beat him to it.
Luck had a hand in Imran, nicknamed Along, making the first XI in his
very first match with KL.
Ahmad Faisal Abdul Aziz, who was the regular leftback, left suddenly to
join Premier Two side Malacca Telekom, and KL coach Mat Zan Mat Aris threw
Imran into the fray.
Earlier, Imran was supposed to have been the backup for Faisal or left
midfielder Amir Nor Hakim Burhan.
Imran convinced Mat Zan of his worth in the very first match against
Brunei which KL won 4-3 away.
"He has done well. And if he keeps up his performance, the position
certainly belongs to him," said Mat Zan.
But Imran is keeping his feet firmly on the ground, knowing only too
well how difficult it was for him to break into the M-League ranks.
The last thing he wants to do now is jeopardise all that he has worked
so hard to earn by getting complacent or big-headed.
"I still have a long way to go," said the Cheras lad. "I am enjoying
every minute of it and intend to improve with each passing match."
KL's gain has been the Malay Mail FC's loss as they did not receive any
compensation for grooming him all these years.
Besides Imran, Malay Mail also lost S. Saravanan and K. Hemadass to KL
and N. Suresh to Malacca Telekom.
KL are riding high after two matches despite having many newcomers in
the side. But their real test comes tomorrow when they play League
champions Penang at KLFA Stadium.
A good outing against Penang will definitely confirm that Imran has
finally arrived.

Monday, March 22, 1999

High price to pay for neglecting development (The Malay Mail)

WE reap what we sow.
In football, the seeds are sown at school and district soccer
tournaments. And right now, we are not exactly getting fertile soil.
Football fields are badly maintained. There are unqualified people
running these matches, much less teaching the young ones how to do it
If we are not going to spend at this level to develop players for the
future, we cannot expect the standards of soccer to rise in Malaysia for
years to come.
If we cannot teach the schoolchildren the basics of the game and apply
its rules, how in the world do we expect to produce players for the
Only after the FA of Malaysia Council meeting on March 14, its deputy
president, Tengku Mahkota of Pahang, Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah,
had said that they had a good working relationship with the schools with
the representation of the Director-General of Education, Datuk Dr Abdul
Shukor Abdullah in the council.
But this goes beyond council representation. Work has to be done at the
grassroots, like having proper playing fields, coaches, match officials
and a year-round programme.
Having a couple of Sports Excellence Schools alone is not enough.
Just as Tengku Abdullah had called for M-League coaches to produce at
least one national player from their teams, the call should be for each
school in the country to produce one potential national player for the
youth team.
The State FAs should also work with schools in their respective States
like providing coaching assistance, organising clinics, making match
officials available at nominal fees and even doing their part in adopting
several school fields and upgrading them to make them playable.
But then again, when the State FAs are neglecting development at the
youth level, to expect them to be involved at school level may be asking
too much.
Or we may find some State FAs asking for more grants from FA of Malaysia
to be involved in schools soccer!
It is all fine having national age-group tournaments and all, but basic
work has to be done directly with every school in the country, if we are
to unearth talents or have a bigger base.
Right now, most players coming through to the youth team are more by
chance than design.
That is why it is important that the better coaches should be involved
at school and youth levels where players are learning.
Now, coaches at school and youth levels are regarded as second-class or
insignificant and are more often than not paid a pittance.
Until and unless we change our concept towards youth development, a
vital link in upgrading the standard of the game, we can go on holding
seminars and not head anywhere.

Pitch-ure this! & Appalling state of affairs! (The Malay Mail)

MUDDY pitches fit for water buffaloes, fields with knee-high grass,
clueless referees ...
Welcome to the world of district school soccer - the nursery of
Malaysian football.
Just take a look at the state of grassroot football in the city. The
recent Bangsar District Tournament is an eye-opener for those seeking a
cure for the ills of the nation's football - and possibly sports in
Here are some of our observations:
* One match was actually played in free-for-all `kick-football' style in
soggy overgrown padang.
* At an under-12 game, not only was the field in bad shape and the lines
almost invisible, there was not even a Class 3 referee officiating but a
* The teacher-referees were mostly hazy about the rules. Every other
throw-in was a foul, there were kicking and dangerous tackles from behind,
all these without the whistle being blown. The `men-in-black' were only
there to kick off the match, blow for a goal (which was sometimes
questionable when it was offside) and end the game.
* One teacher did away with the usual togs by officiating in slippers,
rolled up track bottom and designer T-shirt while parking himself at the
* Pupils recruited as assistant referees or linesmen were often ignorant
of the rules.
It's no surprise that M-league coaches are saying they need more time
for corrections and teach players to play proper football at the highest
So what do those in position to make a change have to say? Is there hope
for a football in Malaysia?

Read next story titled:
Appalling state of affairs!

SPORTS activities in schools are suffering because the facilities are
deteriorating, teachers are unqualified or uninterested and qualified
match officials under-utilised.
This is the opinion of veteran schools sports official and retired
teacher, Yap Yew Kim.
Yap, who taught for 26 years in Kuala Lumpur and was a sports co-
ordinator for soccer with the Federal Territory Schools Sports Council for
six years before retiring, said conditions are now appalling.
"If we are to produce better quality sports boys and girls in any
sports, we have to make drastic improvements in the facilities available.
"Even then, many schools have lost their playing fields in the name of
development and conditions were beginning to deteriorate," said the 60-
year-old who is still deeply involved with the FA of Malaysia's "First
Touch" coaching programme for schoolchildren.
He said the situation has worsened as he has seen schools matches played
under deplorable conditions.
"Under the circumstances, how are we going to develop these young
Yap said another reason for the drastic drop in the quality of young
players coming through the schools is because unqualified teachers are
involved in coaching at this grassroots level.
"Some of the teachers in charge of certain sports don't have the
faintest clue about sports," he said.
"Then we have teachers who are not interested in sports but are in
charge because they have been directed to do so."
He said they used to have dedicated teachers who would go out of their
way to coach in the various sports even during school holidays and
"Now we have teachers who are just waiting to get over with the
Yap said he understands that there is only so much the schools can do
and for this reason, they must seek the expertise and funds from State or
national sports associations.
"Schools should also work closely with local authorities like City Hall
in helping them to maintain playing fields," he said.
"Help will not come until we seek it. For that, we need dynamic sports
officials in schools."
He said during his tenure, there were many soccer clinics and
competitions for various age groups through collaborations with the State
"This meant that there were more matches played by the children, besides
the Sports Council programme," he said.
"How can we expect to produce talent when these schoolchildren are
involved in any particular sports for just a month or two in a year?"
He said they need year-round programmes and since the schools cannot
provide this due to the many sports they have to handle, those involved in
soccer have to work with the various sports organisations in their
respective States.
Since funds are hard to come by, he said schools can benefit from their
close relationship with various sports bodies which can source the money
for them.
"Schools cannot carry out development work on their own. They have to be
closely associated with the national and State sports organisations."
Yap warned that unless something is done quickly, the future of
Malaysian sports is bleak.
He added that having a few schools of excellence in each State or around
the country is not enough.
"Schools are the factory of the future for both leaders, sportsmen and
women. Unless they are tapped to the maximum, we will end up looking for
talent by chance.
"The schools are the base and we have to get our act right if we are to
hope for a brighter future in sports."