KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah state squad, famously known as the Rhinos, has a new identity following the launching of its new mascot “Sabahhawks”.
The change is seen as a rebranding process brought by the Sabah FA, who are now under the new leadership of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman.
Musa launched the mascot during the FA’s dinner held in conjunction with its Inter Zone tournament at a leading hotel here last night.
Speaking at the function, Musa hopes that with the new identity, it can have a positive impact on the fans in supporting the State team.
“To the players, I also hope that it can help inject new confidence, commitment and dedication to enable them to compete to their best of abilities with the highest sportsmanship for the sake of State pride and Sabah’s football excellence,” said Musa.
Musa also wants the FA to go back to the drawing board and start reviving the sport right from the grassroots level.
He said a complete football development programme must top their priority, including the setting up of football academies at all zones.
Without deliberating into details, Musa said the academy can also be developed at schools that have basic facilities such as hostels and football fields.
Musa also revealed that it was his aim and intention to bring in highly experienced personals and several ex-State players into the FA Supreme Council to assist him in ensuring football in Sabah return to its glory days.
“I am very sure the Supreme Council has clear plannings and strategies,” said Musa before stressing the importance of the setting up of sub-committees such as for, technical, local competitions, disciplinary, High Performance and Sports Science and football academies.
Touching on the just concluded Inter Zone tournament, Musa said that it would be a great ideal for the FA to make the tournament to be their main agenda.
He said the tournament was an ideal platform for youngsters to hone their skills thus producing more players with talent that could be groom and go on to represent the State or Country.
Touching on the just concluded Inter Zone tournament, Musa said that it will be a great idea for the FA to make the tournament to be their main agenda as it is an ideal platform for youngsters to hone their skills thus producing more players with talents who can be groomed to represent the State or Country.
“I support such tournaments that can unearth and groom talents to be roped into the State team. I believe the efforts will revive the glorious days we had enjoyed and achieved where many were unearthed and went on to make our Country proud.
“It is also my hope that the tournament will educate the players on sportsmanship, discipline and encourage Espirit de Corp among the zones and players,” said Musa.
He also hopes that the current State senior team will be a perfect role model to the teens at the Inter-Zone tournament.
Interior emerged as the champions in the Inter-Zone tournament that was organised by the FA and hosted by West Coast Zone.
Also present were the Assistant Finance Minister Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan, the FA Deputy President Datuk Lawrence Gimbang as well as the Supreme Council Members, coaches and players.