February 12, 2011
FEB 12 — I must congratulate our nation’s top striker Safee Sali for having the courage to move to the Indonesian Super League to join Pelita Jaya FC.
It proves wisdom beyond his years and strong ambition by a player with a sincere desire to succeed. I also applaud his belief that a successful attachment to a J-League club would not bring him as much benefit.
I really feel that once again Safee has proven his maturity because it is true that just training alone, minus competitive action, will muffle his development and performance level. May this player continue to succeed wherever he may ply his trade.
Also, well done Khairul Fahmi Che Mat for, as it has been reported, receiving a bungalow house from the Kelantan state government.
Many have criticised this highly-lucrative reward for the Malaysian goalie’s heroic actions during the successful campaign in the AFF Suzuki Cup. However, I feel the state government has acted wisely.
I think so because firstly, with this decision, the Kelantan government has tied their goalie to a “contract” and Khairul Fahmi will realise that it won’t be as easy to move to another team no matter how lucrative a contract he is offered.
And second, by this move, the Kelantan government seems to be making a stand that they will use the best incentives possible to encourage greater achievement among the youth in the state.
Kudos too, to the Terengganu state government for starting up a professional cycling team, the Terengganu Pro-Asia Cycling Team, better known as TSG.
It is a smart move towards encouraging the development of cycling as a sport to be taken seriously in the state. As a result, I strongly believe it also raises the state’s profile as one that places importance on sports and also will simultaneously fan the hopes of the state’s youth to success in cycling as well as other sports.
I consider this sincere effort as a turn of the tide from the previous mentality of just becoming hosts of sporting events and splurging millions of ringgit on so-called facilities, towards a direction that sees the establishment of various sports teams with the same goal of overall sports development in the state.
Okay, getting back to football, tonight we will be treated to the Manchester derby, where the City boys have a chance to pick up three points at Old Trafford. There is no better time than now for Roberto Mancini’s team to display some of the counter-attacking football that they are best suited for.
In Italy, Juventus will welcome Inter Milan, who have found some new life under new manager Leonardo. He seems to have given new meaning for a team that had been on the retreat under former manager Rafa Benitez.
Meanwhile, Real Madrid visit the city of their biggest rivals Barcelona to face Barca’s local rivals Espanyol. This tie will be tougher than it looks for Madrid.
Finally, I would like to bring you back to local football with a mention on the Premier League match on Monday between the yo-yo Johor state team and Muar Town Council, which is a Semi-Pro team trying to pull their weight in this second-tier of Malaysian league football.
My question: Is this reflective of the true strength and potential of the Johor team, which had been relegated from the Super League?
The match will definitely go Johor’s way, but seriously folks, how low have my beloved home state team fallen after all these years.
However, Muar Town Council can take heart from the wide disparity between their coffers and that of the Johor FA.
I really wonder what could Muar Town Council have done with even half the budget allocated by the Johor FA to their state team’s campaign in the Premier League this season.
* The views expressed here are the personal opinion of the columnist.