After Malaysia won the soccer gold medal at the recent SEA games, suddenly so many parties got interested with the game. The most talk about is the sending of players overseas for training stints for the hope that our players becomes better and then became a world conquering team (?).
I must say the intention is noble but looking at the past do we think we could stand tall with the likes of Japan or Korea? I doubt so. Japan and Korea develops their soccer through their own system and their football leagues has become very competitive. Besides seeing their senior teams participate regularly in the World Cup, their age group teams have also made headways in similar tournaments. Our teams were always struggling even in the regional tournaments.
The African nations does not have good league systems nor we have heard their national associations splashed out money for their soccer development and yet they have taken turns to showcase what they can do at the world stage. What do their players have? They have the courage, the hunger, the need to show scouts how best they are to play and earn good money with great European sides, and if they do not have the size, they will show their silky skills or speed or toughness to take knocks. For us we always hear our national players will report for national training camp unfit even during the middle of our league. Have we not brought good coaches to coach our players? Have we not already spent loads of money trying to develop our soccer players? Have we not had all these before? Where are those players who train and played the U-17 World Cup in Malaysia where Henry, Trezeguet, Owen and the likes also played? How much money have we spent on them training together overseas for months? Have we not learn from all these? Came on laa…bukak la mata sikit.
So lets us look at some questions whether we could make it to a higher stage in soccer.
1. Do we have players with size that can match top notch opponents?
2. Do we have players that can take knocks from opponents double their size?
3. Can we run faster than our potential top notch opponents? (masa MU datang aku tengok dorang nak match Gary Neville yg dah tua, injured, tak fit pun susah, ini kan pulak kalau nak match the like of Drogba, Ibrahimovic atau yg paling kodi skali pon si Peter Crouch tu)
The above are basic needs of the modern soccer players. Do we have that? I don’t think we can even match the many Asian players, Japan and Korea included in terms of physicality. So tak payah la buang duit nak develop soccer kat Malaysia ni. Baik la kasi duit tu kat sports yang kita memang bagus macam hoki ke, squash ke, bowling ke, memanah ke, badminton ke, yang kita kira hebat la at world stage. Look at this. Do you agree that any sports that we uses the hand, we becomes very good. Takkan la sports scientist kita tak pernah analyse this. Han Jian ke sapa ntah dari China yang dulu jadi world champ in badminton pun dulu nak main bola tapi sports scientist dorang nampak kebolehan dia menjurus ke sukan badminton and they took and groom him to become a world beater. Kat negeri China nak jadi penari pon they look at the physical aspects tau. Tak percaya pergi la tanya Zhang ZiYi tu. Interest dan semangat aje tak cukup bang.
So I think tak payah lah nak debate pasal nak hantar ke atau tidak those players. Use the money to good cause. Perhaps, sell the rights to organize a soccer league to business people who wants to make money from the league. Tak kesah la kalau league tu is represented with teams that does not want to use any local players. Tapi dorang kena bawa competitive players lah. Perhaps out of favour players or retiring players from great Euro, J-League, K-League of that sort la. We can have a team or two, the shadow national squad probably to play in the league. State teams that have strong financial backing can play and they should be managed by qualified professionals, not politicians who more often than not do not know to even manage themselves.
Enuff said. I call upon all interested parties to Malaysian soccer to think before you leap! Otherwise we will be wasting more monies and time. Jangan la sampai ada coaches yang kata our players are a bunch of donkeys. Ingat lagi tak? Baik la guna duit tu untuk sabsidi gula ke, minyak ke atau guna untuk kebajikan masyarakat. Worst case just tell the 30 players (or any Malaysian yg gila main bola) if they can get Malaysia to play in the next World Cup after South Africa, they will be given RM1 mil each. Perhaps that could boost them to do well in any matches to qualify for the World Cup! Would you? I would but am too old for that. 8-p