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."