TO MEET TUNKU ISMAIL
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.