New Straits Times - - Sport -

academy in Gam­bang, Lim Teong Kim, have been part of FAM’s tech­ni­cal com­mit­tee as ex-of­fi­cio since last year.

“Tunku Is­mail’s idea that states should do their own de­vel­op­ment is con­sis­tent to our un­der­stand­ing. We be­lieve states should take care of their own de­vel­op­ment.

“But in terms of readi­ness, you know some states have not been do­ing their own de­vel­op­ment for the last 20 or 30 years.

“If the FAM pres­i­dent says the states should do their own de­vel­op­ment by right, they should be able to do it al­ready.”

Ac­cord­ing to Safirul, funds were chan­nelled by FAM to state FAs in the past for de­vel­op­ment but most used them for their se­nior teams’ ex­penses such as pay­ing salaries to play­ers.

“When we did a re­search on the state of foot­ball in Malaysia in 2013 be­fore the launch of NFDP, the find­ings re­vealed that the funds chan­nelled to states were used for other things.

“For in­stance, when Dun­hill was the spon­sor, states used to re­ceive close to RM1 mil­lion each but most used the money for se­nior teams’ ex­penses.

“And when FAM asked the states for an an­nual re­port on grass­roots pro­grammes, they will sub­mit about the Malaysia Schools Sports Coun­cil (MSSM)

In late 2015, Wan Kuzain trained with Dutch club Feyeno­ord’s academy and was also part of the US un­der-17 train­ing squad.

For the record, Swope Park Rangers are af­fil­i­ated with Ma­jor League Soc­cer’s (MLS) Sport­ing Kansas City.

On Satur­day, Wan Kuzain started in de­fen­sive mid­field and played for 75 min­utes be­fore be­ing sub­sti­tuted in the 3-1 win over OKC En­ergy FC in Kansas City.

“Glad to have made my pro­fes­sional tour­na­ments, which de­feats the pur­pose of de­vel­op­ment,” he said.

There are 123 NFDP train­ing cen­tres, part­ner­ing with schools in Malaysia, in­clud­ing the na­tional academy in Gam­bang, com­pris­ing 22,575 play­ers (cater­ing to those from seven to 17 years old) and 1,025 coaches.

In Jo­hor, NFDP have seven cen­tres which act as feed­ers to the Darul Ta’zim youth academy.

“Darul Ta’zim have an ex­cel­lent youth academy cater­ing to play­ers be­tween 12 and 19 years old. They dic­tate ev­ery­thing in Jo­hor and that’s how we work with them. We com­mu­ni­cate with their academy coaches reg­u­larly.

“Our cen­tres in Jo­hor are like feed­ers to their academy. The top youth play­ers will join the Darul Ta’zim academy but they do not nec­es­sary come from our cen­tres. We do not have cen­tres in some dis­tricts in Jo­hor.

“We also signed a mem­o­ran­dum of un­der­stand­ing (MoU) with the Kedah FA last year to be­come part­ners. We pro­vide the nec­es­sary coach­ing ex­per­tise.”

Last year, it was also agreed that Teong Kim will han­dle the na­tional youth squad for the AFC Un­der-16 Cham­pi­onship in In­dia on Sept 15-Oct 2. The top four teams will qual­ify for the Un­der-17 World Cup, de­but and also my first start for Swope Park Rangers. Most im­por­tantly, we earned three points to­day,” Wan Kuzain stated on his Twit­ter ac­count yes­ter­day.

Wan Kuzain has not de­cided whether he would rep­re­sent the US or Malaysia at se­nior level as he wants to fo­cus on build­ing his game with his cur­rent club and make it to the MLS one day.

The USL is a sanc­tioned as a sec­ond-tier pro­fes­sional league by the United States Soc­cer Fed­er­a­tion, plac­ing it un­der MLS. also in In­dia, next year.

How­ever, Safirul said the mat­ter needs to be dis­cussed again with the new FAM exco.

“We do not have much time left as the tour­na­ment is in Septem­ber. The pre­vi­ous exco en­dorsed it,” he added.

Wan Kuzain Wan Ka­mal (right) in ac­tion in a Premier De­vel­op­ment League match last year.

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