You could almost hear the full sigh of relief all over Sabah on 27th June when it was announced that our illustrious CM Datuk Musa Aman was now the Sabah FA President. Undoubtedly this can be the boost that Sabah Football needs as Datuk was a proven successful businessman even before he’s political career blossomed and undoubtedly football within Sabah needs to be run as a business.

However, I urge all Football people throughout Sabah not to fall into the trap off thinking the job is done and that Football in Sabah will now simply fall into place. This would be unfair on Datuk as without correct planning and a collective group effort then Football will not progress as it should within Sabah. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but successful Football clubs don’t just rely on one man and now more than ever is the time when everybody must work together for the common cause.

Football is the Worlds No 1 sport, is played by more people than any other sport and is rightly called the peoples game. I urge everybody associated with the Sabah FA or football in general to put aside their egos, personal vendettas and what’s in it for me mentality and starting focusing all there energy on how they can help the development of football in the State.

I was personally delighted to see KH Tan accepting a position on the Football committee. I wish we had more KH Tan,s to help with the development of Football in the state. What KH and his older brother Vela Tan have accomplished in there development of Rugby within Sabah is simply astonishing and should be used as the measuring stick for all sports associations within the state. There biggest asset is that they bring to the table a sporting background in combination with being highly successful businessmen which gives them the ability to see the big picture and what’s required to develop the sport of Rugby..

The great thing about Football is that everyone has an opinion . You throw a few different opinions together and it leads to great talking points in all walks of life. I don’t profess to know it all and have all the answers for Sabah Football. However, having represented my country in World Cup Qualifying games in intimidating places like Israel and Iran plus having progressed to Quarter Finals at Seoul Olympics in addition to my 15 years living and playing for Sabah gives me in my opinion a rough idea of what’s required to take Football in Sabah forward.

From my perspective Sabah is the most liveable state within Malaysia as vindicated by my decision to live here with my family even after retiring as a player. Ask any expatriate where he would most like to live in Malaysia and 9 times out of 10 its Sabah. So why not go one better and make Sabah the yardstick for all other states to aspire in terms of there Football programme’s. And by this I mean we start with our Youth Development Programme to our Coaching Education Programme to our School Community Programme through to our Elite Academy and finally to the performance of our Senior Professional Team.

I know personally that a 10 year old Malaysian kid is a more talented Footballer than a 10 year old Western lad. He has more natural talent, is quicker over 10 yards, is more coordinated and has better flexibility and agility. So why is it that by the time these two kids reach the age of 18 that the Western lad is a better Footballer. Simply put, the western lad has had more opportunity in terms of exposure and being taught correct technique and principles of Football. Amazingly – yes it’s that simple.
The Senior Professional team is the one that brings all the glory and that has been the primary focus for all the State FA,s and National body over the last 15 years. This has led to short term glory from time to time for the States such as Sabah in 1996 but it’s also led to long term heart ache which is why Sabah has found themselve’s stuck in Division 2 for 4 years now.

In my opinion what needs to happen is as follows,


Appoint one person whose sole job is to co- ordinate and organize League’s for under 8, 10, 12, 14 and 16 in all the various towns such as KK, Sandakan, Keningau, Tawau, and Labuan to name a few. I recently started a 10 team under 12 League in KK with a budget of rm8000 so as you can see it’s not expensive. This means 5 age groups in KK could be done for rm40 000 and all over the state for an estimated rm300 000.

How can we expect our budding young junior footballers to improve and develop as footballers if they are not playing in weekly competition. Its not rocket science and you don’t have to be Einstein to work out how vital these junior leagues are. As a young child in Sydney I went all the way through the Junior system going from junior club football to rep football to representing my state NSW from under 13 to under 18 level to being selected for Australian schoolboys . From there I was selected for the Young Socceroos and finally the Senior Socceroos.

This was a natural progression made available to me simply because my country had good organized junior leagues and coaching and for that I will be eternally grateful. It’s for those same reasons that I feel so sorry for our young Malaysian footballers who are simply not being given the most basic of opportunities to develop and improve.

On top of playing weekly games, our junior players need to attend training minimum twice a week and be taught correct technique and principals of football. For this to happen , our local junior coaches need to be taught the correct principles for coaching kids.

The answer is to appoint a Director of coaching whose sole job is to travel throughout the State and teach the coaches exactly how to coach junior players. This will ensure that by the time they reach age 14 our players have correct technique meaning coaches can start focusing on important tactical work and personal development of players in terms off there strength, speed, agility and so on.

Only when the Leagues have been going for at least 2 years should we look at forming Academies. In the past throughout the country Academies have been set up even though there is such a small amount of players to choose from.
Does it not make sense that you have much more chance of identifying talented young players with a greater pool of players. If the whole country had a data base of over 1 million players then I guarantee that fantastic young kids will come through the system.

The Sabah M- League is obviously the team that brings all the glory or heartache. My argument is that in order to have a successful senior team you need to get the basics right from the ground up which means junior leagues upwards. Form your pyramid from the bottom up and 10 years from now we wont have to rely so highly on imports. However, all this takes time and we do have a professional Sabah team to cheer.

In order for Sabah to hit the ground running and have a good chance of gaining promotion next year we need to start planning right now. Identify who the coach is going to be and start identifying what type of players we require to take the team forward and start negotiations with these players as soon as possible. Don’t leave it to the last minute and then wonder why the team is struggling.

We have good football people all over the state, for example Hassan Sani in Labuan. We need to get a quality scouting system going so as to identify what talent we have in the regional areas who may be good enough to play for the State.
The Sabah State Team is the peoples team. It should be a team that brings pride to all Sabahans throughout the state. In my opinion it’s a community team which is why I feel the successful local corporate companies should start supporting the local State Football team.

Imagining the 25 most successful local companies all contributing rm100 000 to the State FA. This will give 2.5 million ringgit to be used for both the professional team and football development throughout the state. The days of relying on the president only to fund the team is unreasonable.


To summarise, undoubtedly it is possible for Sabah Football to make a u – turn and start progressing. People talk about the glory days off the 90,s when Likas Stadium would be packed to the rafter’s with success hungry fans. Well let’s stop dwelling on the past and get Sabah football back to the top where it belongs.

A combination of good planning, hard work and perseverance goes a long way in Football and fortunes can turn around very quickly. It’s time for legacies to be built and attitudes to change. Mediocrity can be no longer tolerated and high standards need to be set. Learn what humility means and lets all start working together for the common cause.




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.

23 thoughts on “HARD WORK AHEAD

  • August 14, 2009 at 7:30 am

    Hear hear

  • September 11, 2009 at 6:35 am

    Saya ingin bagi cadangan kepada SABAH SAFA agar laman web ini juga dapat di tulis dalam bahasa melayu atau cari format untuk translate bahasa. Maklumlah kita ni orang melayu. Patutnya kita lebih bangga menggunakan Bahasa Melayu. Ramai peminat SABAH ni yang tidak tahu atau belum dapat lagi menguasai bahasa ni sepenuhnya…

  • September 14, 2009 at 8:04 am

    Rahul, saya menyokong cadangan kamu tetapi walaupun bahasa kebangsaan Malaysia ni bahasa Melayu, tolong jangan anggap bahawa kita ni orang Melayu. Kebanyakan penduduk Sabah bukan orang Melayu – kita semua berasal dari berbilang kaum.

  • September 14, 2009 at 3:55 pm

    Salam Nat K.. Mgkn jg saya silap, Maksud sebenar saya kita ni orang Malaysia… Sebagai orang Malaysia adalah lebih mudah untuk semua orang memahami situasi SABAH SAFA setiap masa dalam bahasa Malaysia. Bukan sahaja di dalam negeri tetapi jg di luar negeri. Mgkn akan lebih banyk lg pendapat / pandangan yg lebih baik diberikan oleh penyokong setia SABAH d luar sana. Klu pun kita ingin memudahkan org luar negara membacanya, kenapa kita tidak sediakan ruangan translate bahasa? Itukan lebih baik. Saya hanya bagi pandangan shj, terpulang kepada pihak pngurusan. Kepada Nat K. TQ atas sokongannya. Apa2 pun bersama-sama kita membantu SABAH, MENGGEGARKAN LIGA MALAYSIA….

  • September 14, 2009 at 3:56 pm


  • September 14, 2009 at 4:04 pm


  • September 15, 2009 at 7:12 am

    Salam kembali Rahul. Setahu saya, laman web Sabah Rhinos ini dilancarkan oleh badan peminat pasukan Sabah dan bukannya SAFA. Mungkin terdapat peminat yang sudi menterjermahkan artikel-artikel drp Inggeris kpd BM? Itu satu pendapat.
    Bagi saya, saya menetap di luar negeri dan ianya lebih senang bagi saya membaca dalam bahasa Inggeris, tetapi saya setuju bahawa para pembaca patut diberi pilihan.
    Ini terserah kepada para penyumbang dan “administration” laman web ini.

  • September 15, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Saya sekadar bagi cadangan sahaja untuk menambahbaikkan lagi laman web ni, demi memudahkan semua peminat SABAH utk berkunjung disini. Sekarang pun kita boleh cari free translate language di google. Copy code nya kemudian masukkan dlm laman web kita. Itu tidak akan menjejaskan lamn web yg sedia ada cuma penambahbaikan. Klu bagi pendapat saya lebih baik sesuatu perkara tu dapat memudahkan semua org. Terpulanglah kepada pihak pengurusan. Sebagai peminat saya hanya boleh bagi cadangan.

  • September 27, 2009 at 12:20 am

    Baru sebentar tadi kami menyaksikan SABAH lwn Selangor bertempat di Kompleks Sukan Tawau. Patutlah SABAH asyik kalah saja. Ada beberapa pemain yg langsung tidak berkualiti. Mcmana jurulatih memilih pemain yang ada sekarang ini? Beberapa orang pemain tahan bola pun tidak kemas serta hantaran seperti orang hilang arah. Semua ini tidak patut berlaku kepada sebuah kelab besar seperti SABAH. Kamu hari-hari dengan bolabah.. Corak permainan pun langsung tidak ada. Bagaimana ni COACH? Permainan mereka kucar-kacir. Beberapa pemain pertahanan & penyerang tadi patut gantilah… ada yang seolah-olah berlatih kung fu bukan bola. Saya bukan mengutuk tetapi ingin supaya pihak Pengurusan SABAH cuba buka mata, cuba jangan berputus asa mencari pemain yang lebih berkualiti. Percayalah ramai pemain yang lebih baik diluar sana daripada yang ada sekarang ini. Cuma, kamu kena ada pengorbanan.Jangan hanya berbincang di bilik mesyuarat tetapi turun mencari bakat-bakat baru disetiap inci bumi SABAH yang tercinta ini. Yang paling penting sekali kejujuran mencari pemain. Tidak perlu rasa bersalah dalam pemilih pemain, Percayalah b/sepak kita akan maju seperti suatu ketika dulu… SABAH PASTI AKAN GEGARRRKAN LIGA MALAYSIA… SABAH BOLEH..BAH..

  • September 27, 2009 at 10:31 am

    Hi Rahul,

    Terima kasih untuk komen anda yang mungkin berada dalam fikiran ramai peminat Sabah yang lain.

    Saya rasa kamu patut menyertai forum di laman web ini. Di sanalah, kamu dapat menyuarakan cadangan dengan lebih efektif dan juga mendapat pandangan peminat seakal.

    Jika saya tidak salah, kebanyakan warga forum berasal dari pantai barat atau pedalaman dan bukan pantai timur, jadi komen anda mengenai perlawanan di Tawau yang mungkin tidak disaksikan oleh orang KK akan dihargai.

  • September 27, 2009 at 7:57 pm

    Trima kasih Sahabat NAT K. Saya akan setia menyokong SABAH walaupun sekarang ini pasukan SABAH dalam keadaan persembahan tidak berapa memuaskan. Saya seorang yang amat meminati b/sepak. Saya tidak sanggup melihat kejatuhan pasukan yang kita sayangi ini. Kalau diperlukan, saya sanggup berkorban dengan seikhlas hati membantu mencari bakat-bakat baru di setiap pelusuk bumi SABAH ini. Saya tidak perlukan publisiti atau mencari nama. Saya hanya perlukan & pentingkan persembahan yang terbaik serta kemenangan. Kalau Sahabat NAT K ada masa boleh lebih mengenali kami. Klik ja nama RAHUL tu. Keluarlah blog kami GENG BOLA TAWAU.

  • September 27, 2009 at 8:16 pm

    Ada juga saya dengar khabar angin yang mengatakan pasukan kita ingin membeli pemain luar negeri. Saya tidak berapa setuju. Apa guna kita bayar mahal-mahal jika permainannya pun sama juga. Masalahnya sekarang kita tidak pandai mencari pemain. Kita terlalu mengharap yang ada sekarang ini. Kita semua tahu & sedar pasukan kita yang ada sekarang ini, amat sukar untuk memenangi satu-satu perlawanan. Bumi SABAH ini lebih besar daripada negeri-negeri lain bah. kita boleh cari di setiap daerah seperti Telupid, Beluran, Pitas, Kudat, Kota Belud, atau di mana-mana sahaja tempat yang boleh dikatakan terpencil. Mustahil disetiap daerah itu tiada pemain yang berbakat. Kalau mereka tidak boleh cari, suruh saya pergi cari. Saya boleh tolong demi untuk mengembalikan martabat pasukan kita. Saya amat rindukan SABAH yang dulu dimana pasukan lain amat gentar berdepan SABAH. Mana sudah hilangnya?

  • October 6, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Fantastic article scott, the points you brought up will surely lead to better things for Sabah FA. On the other hand however I wouldn’t expect any difference from Musa Aman than his brother’s term as FA President. Besides being our Chief Minister and busy handing out favourable contracts for his cronies and family members, where on earth will he have time to manage Sabah FA on a full time basis? Im sure the people ‘elected’ him to govern our state and full commit himself in serving the welfare of the sabahan people rather than take part in other side projects. Politics and Sports never mix well, a prime example would be the dreary state our national FA is in. We need someone who has the full passion and commitment in reviving Sabah’s fortunes. Not some corrupt despot.

  • October 10, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    Hai semua… sebelum menulis panjang, saya minta maaf andai saya terkeluar tajuk. Pertama saya nak beri pendapat sikit tentang ‘orang melayu’. Hem… saya bersetuju dengan Nat K, kita bukan orang melayu tetapi terdiri daripada etnik-etnik yang pelbagai. Cuma dalam konteks Malaysia dewasa ini Melayu kadang-kadang digunakan untuk merujuk golongan bumiputera di Sabah dan Sarawak. Para pengkaji sejarah juga suka mengelompokkan masyrakat di nusantara sebagai melayu. Jadi terpulang kepada penerimaan masing-masing lah.
    Kedua tentang keghairahan peminat bola sepak di setiap pelusuk negeri yang tertunggu-tunggu keputusan perlawanan antara Sabah dengan pasukan lain. Bagi saya (berada diPantai Barat), amat berterima kasih kepada sumbangan cerita dan rumusan daripada sdr Rahul. Terima kasih banyak.
    Ketiga, tentang perubahan kepimpinan SAFA yng bakal barangkali diterajui oleh KM. Suatu berita yang baik kerana dapat membela sedikit nasip para pemain yang selama ini menghadapi masalah kebajikan. Sebagai peminat saya mengharap agar masalah kebajikan pemain akan dapat diselasaikan.

  • October 10, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    Maaflah saya tulis komen game SABAH lwn KM Naza sebentar tadi di sini ya…

    Saya pun tidak tahulah apa dah kena dengan pasukan kesayangan kita ni. KALAH lagi 3-1. 20 minit pertama SABAH memang bagus tetapi selepas itu… HANCUR. Hantaran dekat tidak tentu arah, tahan bola tak kena & macam-macam lagilah yang tidak patut berlaku kepada pemain yang hari-hari dengan bola. Kebanyakan pemain kita ni lebih kepada INDIVIDU bukan sebagai sebuah pasukan. Sudah susah baru hantar bola dengan kawan. Mungkin mereka ingin tunjukkan kehebatan sendiri. Kalau begitulah cara dia main bagus tidak payah ambil. Kita mahu pemain yang lebih suka main secara berpasukan. Jurulatih pun satu juga. Dia seolah-olah takut membuat perubahan. Dia pun tahu kesebelasan utama sekarang ni asyik KALAH. Kenapa tidak turunkan pemain simpanan kita menjadi kesebelasan utama? Hairan betul saya. Mereka yang jarang-jarang main ni lebih bersemangat lagi. Tolonglah manager. Kamu telah mengguris perasaan peminat yang sentiasa menyokong kamu. Saya bukannya tunjuk pandai cuma komen seorang peminat. Tetapi, kalau tiada komen dari peminat, susah kamu mahu tahu kesilapan yang kamu lakukan. Percayalah. Semoga pada masa akan datang, semoga SKUAD SABAH akan lebih MANTAP. YAKINLAH…..SABAH BOLEHHHHHH!!!!!!!

  • October 10, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    BULIENG saya setuju benar dengan kamu. Kebajikan adalah amat penting. PENGURUSAN YANG BAIK & JUJUR DAPAT MELAHIRKAN PEMAIN YANG LEBIH BERKUALITI…

  • October 11, 2009 at 9:14 am

    ya bah kan Rahul.. keputusan yang kita dapat daripada perlawanan semalam boleh dikira menghampakan. Jadi jurulatih harus memberanikan diri untuk mencuba sesuatu strategi yang baru. Kalau strategi lama (pemain lama) tidak berkesan , mengapa tidak kita mencuba strategi baru. Pemain-pemain baru juga harus digilap dan dimantapkan. bila lagi kan… apa-apa pun kepada Pasukan Sabah, jangan putus harapan. teruskan berjuang. GO SABAH….

  • October 11, 2009 at 4:02 pm

    Inilah masanya pihak pengurusan SABAH turun padang mencari bakat-bakat baru di setiap pelosok bumi SABAH ini. kalau kamu tidak sanggup suruh kamilah. Kami boleh tolong dengan seikhlas hati tanpa publisiti. Semoga pada masa akan datang kita ada SKUAD yang akan MENGGEGARKAN LIGA MALAYSIA, Yang DIGERUNI, Yang MANTAP, Yang BERKEYAKINAN, Yang KREATIF & Pemain yang benar-benar bersungguh-sungguh. BANGUNLAH WAHAI PASUKAN KAMI!!!!!! GEGAR & TERUS GEGARKAN!!!!!!

  • October 19, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    apapun, sabah need someone that can produce something diffrent to the team… mcm matlan marjan.. hhehe. at least everyone confident sabah ada someone yg digeruni.. hehe

  • October 29, 2009 at 1:21 am

    “and by this I mean we start with our Youth Development Programme to our Coaching Education Programme to our School Community Programme through to our Elite Academy and finally to the performance of our Senior Professional Team”

    saya sangat memahami apa yang ingin disampaikan oleh artikel ini. Dan saya pun sangat bersetujuh sangat sekiranya program ini boleh dijalankan oleh pihak2 yang bertanggungjawab dan berpengetahuan dalam program ini.

    tidak ada gunanya buat program untuk tujuan jangka pendek sahaja. rancangan jangka panjang harus dibuat.

    “latihan bola sepak haruslah teratur dan bermula sejak kanak2 lagi, sama seperti kanak2 pergi sekolah”

  • November 2, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    Pada musim akan datang, pihak pengurusan SABAH perlu bekerja lebih keras lagi untuk memantapkan skuad kita. Jangan pandang rendah perkara yang remeh-temeh.Cari kelemahan-kelemahan kita dari setiap sudut. Paling penting, jaga kebajikan pemain. Saya disini akan sentiasa bersama-sama anda. Saya tidak ingin & tidak sekali-kali sanggup melihat pasukan ini jatuh. Teruskan perjuangan kamu. Semoga musim depan & akan datang adalah milik kita……..

  • November 2, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    Terlebih dahulu, saya ingin memohon maaf kepada JURULATIH & semua pemain SABAH 2009, di atas kelantangan saya di web ini. Kelantangan saya mengkritik bukanlah untuk tunjuk pandai tetapi untuk memperbaiki diri saya & menyedarkan semua pihak pengurusan bahawa masih ramai lagi peminat yang menyayangi pasukan ini dan sentiasa mengikut perkembangan pasukan setiap masa. Cadangan saya, sekiranya ada sesiapa yang tidak boleh atau tidak mampu memberi komitmen sepenuhnya tumpuan kepada pasukan yang amat disayangi ini, lebih baiklah mengundur diri dengan rela hati. Berilah peluang kepada sesiapa jua yang mampu mengembalikan semangat juang pemain untuk terus berjuang. Saya amat berharap agar pihak pengurusan pasukan dapat berfikir kembali tentang kemerosotan pasukan kita. Cari puncanya. Sama ada dari pemain atau pihak pengurusan itu sendiri.

  • December 7, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Mana ko BULIENG? Nampaknya pengurusan baru pun cari pemain yang sudah ada. Kita tengoklah apa macam nantikan? SABAH nampaknya dah ketandusan pemain. Walaubagaimanapun semoga mereka berjaya mengembalikan maruah pasukan kita dan tidak akan sekali-kali hancurkan hati masyarakat SABAH.


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