Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Malaysians in Football

Recently, I read that Tam Sheang Tsung, a 13-year old Japan-born Malaysian has been recruited into the Yokohama FC U-15 team, part of the J-League Division 2. Hope he graduates to the Yokohama FC first team and would want to play for the Malaysian national team in future.

The highest profile Malaysian abroad has always been Titus James Palani who is now 22, playing as a winger in France for FC Villenoy (a 3rd division team). Titus apparently is vying for selection in Ligue 1 fuelled by his youth experience with Le Havre.

These are but two Malaysians pursuing their dreams of football superstardom. Akmal Rizal tried his luck in RC Strasbourg before retreating to the backwaters of Malaysian football. Syed Adney also failed to impress at Middlesborough and now is also back in the M-League. An 18-yr old Penangite had a one-month trial at Belgian club, Germinal without any success. A couple of promising players had stints in Fulham and Birmingham. Yet, none of them has achieved the desired success. Success in football requires not only skill but also a dogged personal determination. Together with the right conducive environment and training facility, one can be successful. So looks like Malaysian footballers are not a very determined lot, eh? I shudder at the thought.

But when all hope seemed lost, I stumbled upon Brendan Gan, a 20-yr old Australia-born Malaysian, who has found success playing for Sydney FC in the A-League. He has been described by the Australian sporting press as a midfield prodigy and an extremely bright prospect. Brendan himself has lofty ambitions reportedly. Hopefully, he will want to play for Malaysia rather than Australia.
I await the day when the Malaysian national team, consisting of overseas-based players (like Brendan, Titus and Tam), lifts the Asian Nations Cup and regain the glamour of the 70's.
Now THAT would be something to look forward to.


wan said...

hie..i too can't wait for players like titus, brendan n tam to don our national jc..but the problem is with selection process.. if u r from selangor, pahang n perak team, u r guaranteed of a place in the national team. i was gutted when the bicksei guy was in charge of our national team. titus was called up for training but was told there was no place for him becoz he was too young for the squad ( i forgot whether it was for the u-19 or u-23). what an excuse..hope the selectors would called these 3 young players to streghten our young tigers when they joined a tourney or watsoever. if not, what is the point asking our players to try their luck overseas when they will be overlooked when it comes to representing the nation..jeez..i should be in FAM setup..heheh

TheFlatBackFour said...

Hi, you have good points. The FAM is far too political and becos of that, it's hard to go far. I think Rajagopal is a good coach but the whole national team is definitely a community i.e. anyone outside do find it difficult to get in. I hope Titus, Brendan and Tam will play for Malaysia but unless some mindset change happen in FAM, I wouldnt want them to play for Malaysia but instead find success in their adopted country.

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