Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Roses among thorns

Sammi and Muzdalifah steal the show

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 - The Malay Mail

HOLDING COURT: Zahra being cornered by boys to win possession of the ball
HOLDING COURT: Zahra being cornered by boys to win possession of the ball

It is a game more widely played among men.
But for 12-year-old Zahra Muzdalifah and 32-year-old Sammi Wei Chun Yi, that did not stop them as they played alongside and against the other gender at the RSC-International Soccer 7s at the Royal Selangor Club (RSC) facility in Bukit Kiara.
While both insist they do notsee a problem with it but in fact enjoy playing with their male counterparts, Sammi believes “when you play football with the men, you have to play like them.”
Both the foreign talents also hope that more girls would pick up the sport in time to come.
“I don’t see a difference playing with men and women apart from physique. It is as normal and very much as fun. I am glad no one stayed away from me but treated me as equal to the men. I had fun playing in this tournament and it was more of playing for the joy of it than winning," said the Chinese national.
“I just tried my best on the fi eld. I could have scored in our fi rst game against Korean Club but I decided to pass the ball to my teammate to score.
“I enjoy playing with the men,” Sammi laughed.
Sammi, who has been in Malaysia for five years, only started to play at RSC last year, but had represented China at youth level during her teenage years.
According to her, uncertainties in the sport back then in her homeland drove her away from pursuing it further but was delighted to be kicking some footballs again.
The My Malaysia Second Home programme resident came to Malaysia five years ago to pursue her studies before setting-up a land consultancy business. It was through some good friends at RSC that she begun playing football once again.
Sammi, has a coaching licence but does not have the time to coach in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Jakarta-born Zahra had been following her dad for futsal for three years until the age of 10 before she decided to play football.
It was only two years ago she began learning techniques before enrolling in one of Jakarta’s top football youth academies Asiop Apacinti, last year.
Zahra, who doesn’t know much about global football apart from Barcelona, hopes she will be able to continue playing at a higher level in the future.
HAS FUN PLAYING FOOTBALL WITH MEN: Sammi Wei, one of the two female players in the RSC International Soccer 7s..
“It all started when I followed my dad. I never looked back since. It is not a big deal to play in a team full of boys. I want to continue playing with them until I can and then seek other options in the sport.
“I would love to someday play for the Indonesian women’s team but if they don’t have a team, then I will have to play outside the country,” said Zahra.
Asiop Apacinti is a youth development academy catering for football aspirants aged six to 17. It was set-up in 1997 and is currently headed by Indonesian national team assistant coach Yeyen Tumena.
The academy marked its debut in the Under-12 category by defeating defending champions JSSL Arsenal Wilshere 3-0 in the fi nal yesterday. Asiop Apacinti also won the Under-12 Norway Cup in Olso last month.

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