STOP THE FINGER POINTING AND GO BACK TO BASICS

Another poor performance by Malaysia in the recent Asean Suzuki Cup has led to the normal finger pointing and accusations of why Malaysia continues to be stuck in the International backwaters. FAM, the coach and the players have copped it from all quarters but I am yet to read anything constructive of just what needs to happen for the long term benefit of Malaysian Football. 

I don’t profess to have all the answers however what I do know is this – FOR ANY COUNTRY TO SUCCEED AT INTERNATIONAL LEVEL THEY NEED TO HAVE AN EFFICIENTLY WELL RUN JUNIOR PROGRAMME. 

At the very least Malaysia needs to have organized Leagues for our Junior players all over the country. I will use Sabah as an example however the same principle would apply for all states.

KK JUNIOR LEAGUES

  • Under 10, 12, 14, 16 & 18
  • All Leagues to be maximum 10 teams
  • 10 teams to be taken from areas (eg-Likas,Tanjung Aru, Karamunsing, Kingfisher, Kepayan ridge and so on)
  • All Leagues to be played every Saturday on the Sukma & Likas fields from 1pm-6pm
  • Each team to have their own coach with training twice a week plus Saturdays game
  • Each League would be 3 rounds which means each team plays minimum 27 games during year
  • Top 4 teams would go through to semi finals

EXPENSES

The only expense for a League like this would be rental of grounds and referees plus some small administration costs. The cost would be significantly less than the millions spent on football development over the last decade.

DIRECTOR OF COACHING

Once the Leagues were set up the next step would be to hire a qualified Director of Coaching for each state. His job is not to train the players. The Director of Coaching would simply teach all the Junior coaches on the correct methods of coaching Junior players as per their age group. Obviously, you would teach a 10 year old differently to a 16 year old. Having a Director of Coaching is an added cost however it’s essential that the junior coaches are teaching the players correct techniques and principles of football.

OTHER TOWNS

You would also have League’s in other towns such as Sandakan, Keningau, Tuaran using same model as KK League. The time has come for proper development at grass roots level. The lessons of the past need to be absorbed. In Football, quick fixes don’t produce long term results. At the moment you have Senior coaches having to teach professional Malaysian players how to kick and control a ball when they should be working on team tactics. If you cant kick a ball at 23 ,then you”ll never be able to kick a ball.

SUMMARY

As a young kid I played football every Saturday from the age of 6. Beckham, Ronaldo, Messi all played for junior teams every weekend as they grew up. How on earth can you expect young players to improve if their not playing games. My son trains Monday with his school, Wednesdays with me ,Saturdays with David Woodfield and Sundays with Mr Matasin. 4 training sessions a week and not one competitive game.

A combination of patience, good junior development programme’s and passionate organized football administrators might just see Malaysia slowly reclaim their spot as a South East Asian powerhouse. The talent is their so lets nurture it.

But remember – ROME WASN’T BUILT IN A DAY.

scott

Scott Ollerenshaw played for Sabah from 1994 - 1997 and partnered with Matlan Marjan to become the most feared strike force in the Malaysian league. Became the second highest scorer in the league in his first season with 36 goals in all competition. Then he won the Golden Boot in 1995 and 1996, helping Sabah to win her first ever trophy, the FA Cup and the league title in 1996. He is now married to former Sabah karate athlete Michelle Koh and they have 2 children together. Scott is now residing and focusing on businesses in Kota Kinabalu. He currently owns and manages the KK Futsal centre and Borneo Sports Holidays.

4 thoughts on “STOP THE FINGER POINTING AND GO BACK TO BASICS

  • December 19, 2008 at 11:39 am
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    Very well said!!

  • August 3, 2009 at 12:26 pm
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    Scott, I couldn’t agree more.

    I’m half-Sabahan but live in Melbourne. For a country where soccer has never really been top-of-the-list and where interest in the sport is far less than in Malaysia, Australia has great junior development.

    The result of this can be directly seen in Australia’s recent unprecedented success at international level – as I write this post, it is ranked by FIFA at number 16 in the world. Amazing, for a team that was as low as number 92 back in 2000.

    What is happening in Sabah? The only real competition at junior level are interschool competitions and friendlies.

    I think you should make a serious proposal to the powers that be about a KK junior league. It’d be a win-win proposal, both for Sabah football and for sponsors.

    Anyway, keep up the blogs, I’m glad I stumbled on this site!

  • May 27, 2010 at 9:33 pm
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    Make inter-school league….instead of student going wandering around the town ‘LEPAK’ at least they have something proper to do during weekend….maybe going watching their friends playing in league…..or they became the player themself….

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