Valuable learning experience for young Sabah, Labuan footballers
KOTA KINABALU: Young and budding talents from the Sabah/ Labuan Zone football academies gained a wealth of experience at the National Zone League for Football Academies in Tanjung Malim, Perak last week.
The carnival-style event was held at Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI) from November 9 to 13 and it gave the academy players under the National Football Development Programme a platform to compete and gain exposure.
For the youngsters of the Sabah/ Labuan Zone, competing in all categories (Under-12, Under-11 and Under-10) was crucial to help them develop as aspiring young footballers.
A total of 41 academy players represented the Sabah/Labuan Zone and they are from Keningau (13), Kinabatangan (9), Kota Kinabalu (8), Tawau (5) and Labuan (5).
Sabah/Labuan Zone made it to the third and fourth place play-off in the Under-11 category. They lost 5-4 on penalties to South Zone after both sides were tied at 1-1 in full regulation time.
They gave their best efforts in the group stage but succumbed 40 to Central Zone, before bouncing back with a 3-1 win over East Zone.
In the Under-12 and Under-10, Sabah/Labuan Zone played in the fifth and sixth place classification match against Sarawak.
The Under-12 team won 3-0, while the Under-10 team lost 3-2 on penalties. (2-2 in regulation time).
In the group stage, the Under-12 side lost 2-1 to Central Zone and 1- 0 to East Zone, while the Under-10 squad suffered heavy defeats to Central Zone (6-1) and East Zone (8-1).
NFDP Sabah head coach Omar Maya Amat said the experience gained would have a positive impact on the Sabah/Labuan players.
“The carnival was not just about results…the main objective was to help enhance the development of players at the grassroots level.
“Everything our players endured, including losing, added to their overall experience at the carnival. They were exposed to a competitive environment and they gained a lot of valuable experience,” Omar said in a statement yesterday.
He said it was not just the players who gained from the experience but also the coaches, and he hoped that all the experience gained would help to enhance the development of football in Sabah and Labuan.
Omar, who led the Sabah/Labuan Zone contingent, was accompanied by NFDP Sabah coordinators Hashim Hamzah (Zone 1) and Onus Amat (Zone 2).
Norsi Sabtari was head coach of the Under-12 squad, assisted by Andy Nasar and Azmi Ismail.
The Under-11 team was led by head coach Zuzaidy Salamat, assisted by Robin Carol Peter, while Rafiza Hafiz led the Under-10 side, assisted by Harun Kamal Mursidi and Ibrahim Shah Alicha.
The Sabah/Labuan Zone Under-11 squad.
The Sabah/Labuan Zone Under-12 squad.