Proper youth development programmes for Sarawak football. Are we seriously serious?

Posted on November 5, 2011


Go Crocs!

But the reason I ask if we’re seriously serious…is that I’ve heard about one football youth programme or another since I myself was a youth.

No longer a spring chicken, I ask myself now – how come we’ve yet to reap the success of our development programmes for football?

Although we did experience our golden years of football briefly in the 1990s, courtesy of the flamboyant Awang Mahyan and then later with the unflappable Alan Vest, our success on the pitch these days has been erratic, at best.

And when you really think about it, was it a proper youth development programme that attained the success for Sarawak football so many seasons ago?

Or was it more likely the magic of Mahyan and vision of Vest that pushed a team of players to (borrowing a metaphor from boxing here) punch above their weight?

Or could we say that the two talismanic managers/coaches were simply at the right time and at the right place, whereby they had in their hands the most talented bunch of players ever to don the kit of our beloved Crocs?

I’ll probably just let the professional coffeeshop pundits settle these mysteries because I’m more concerned about when we’re going to have our NEXT golden age of Sarawak football!

That’s why I remain optimistic about every football youth programme for Sarawak children that I read about.

And that’s also why when I learned that the MyKids Soccer (i.e. Football) Sarawak Zone development programme launched last month, it gives me a glimmer of hope for the future of Sarawak football.

I think it’s great that they’re talking about picking children as young as six years of age.

Even though the programme’s goal is to develop national players for a tournament in 2019, there’s no reason why we can’t use the programme to mould Sarawak’s next Malaysia Cup winning team or the No.1 team in the country, is there?

In fact, why don’t we now seriously look at developing the potential sporting talents of our pre-schoolers? Seriously!

If you don’t know it yet, Sarawak is dead serious in developing the academic potentials of our pre-schoolers by placing greater emphasis on early education…and we may even put in more effort into it than any other state in Malaysia, currently.

Perhaps it’s time the footballing powers-that-be in Sarawak take the cue from this development and start sending the talent scouts to the local kindies, to search for the next Lionel Messi (so that we can train him early!)

Go Crocs!

How The Borneo Post reported it:

Sarawak MyKids Soccer devt programme launched

October 28, 2011, Friday

KUCHING: The integrated national football development programme reaches another milestone with the official launching and registration of ‘MyKids Soccer’ Sarawak Zone yesterday.

According to the programme technical assistant director Ibrahim Mohamed, the mission of the programme is to build a capable national team to qualify for the FIFA Youth Under-17 World Cup 2019.

“Therefore our target age are kids aged six to eight years who will be in the ideal age to play for the tournament in 2019,” he said.

The programme, according to him saw for the first time collaboration between Football Association Malaysia (FAM), National Sports Council (NSC), Youth and Sports Ministry and the Education Department.

“The involvement of the four bodies will overlook all possible angles in the youth talent development. Those who were previously left behind, especially potential talents in their tender age would be given the chance to show their abilities,” he added.

Among the aims of the programme are to supply and provide abundance of well trained and coached individual team and players, to give and ensure that everyone has an equal chance to progress. On the programme itself, Ibrahim revealed that 120 students were selected from SK Bandar Baru Samariang who would be coached by a team of qualified trainers.

“They will be given a chance to prove themselves from time to time and after three months will undergo an assessment which will include a game to see whether they can apply what they have learnt.”

“Those who shown no improvements will be eliminated while those who shown tremendous performance will continue with the programme at National Sports School,” Ibrahim added.

“In the sports’ school focus will be toward building the team and creating mutual understanding between potential key players,” he further elaborated.

Parents of the students were also present at the first session yesterday and given an insight of the overall programme.

Present at the training yesterday were the National Football Development Programme Technical Director Lim Kim Chon, the former player for Melaka, Kuala Kumpur and the national team.

Chon, who holds the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Professional Football Diploma previously holds various positions in professional football arena.

Among his positions were the technical director for AFC, FIFA instructor for football coaching, Football Association of Maldives Technical Director and had conducted various FIFA coaching courses around the world.