Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The return of Malaysian footballing exiles

Haziq Zikri Elias plays for Stevenage

Is it Izzat? Yup, that's him alright, the one on the left. He has impressed the Chelsea coaches but problem is, he's coming back to Malaysia...Pic NST

Six-year old Muhammad Izzat Daniel, as reported by Zaharah Othman in the New Straits Times here, has probably the talent to hack it as a football pro.

Problem is, he's returning to Malaysia for good and chances are, his potential may not be realised due to the domestic environment which does little to encourage excellence, unless there is a concerted effort by the relevant stakeholders to help him attend the Chelsea academy in August.

There's someone on the horizons though. Haziq Zikri Elias is returning from his English exile to answer the call-up from Harimau Muda chief coach, Ong Kim Swee. He's expected to arrive in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

Zikri has been playing in England since 1997 and is currently on Stevenage Borough FC's books in the Football Conference Youth League.

Discovered by Robert Alberts and Kim Swee while on tour in Brickendonbury and later Slovakia two years ago, Zikri will be out to stamp his mark. He and four other 18-year olds, D. Saarvindran, Wan Zack Haikal Wan Nor, Mohd Fakhururazi Musa and Mohd Khairul Izzuwan Rosli, have been called up to beef up Kim Swee's training squad.
Zikri had been back before when his offensive skills in the later stages of the tournament helped Kim Swee's Under-17 squad lift the Youth Cup (Piala Belia) in 2007.


Anonymous said...

there is also a malaysian youth plying for yokohama FC youth...u should also keep tab of him...cheers

Anonymous said...

Realising the dream
March 09


Teenager Tam Sheang Tsung is the first Malaysia to make the grade in the J-League, getting a deal with Yokohama FC’s youth team.

DREAMS do come true if you work hard enough to make it in football — whether home or abroad. Last month, a 13-year-old Malaysian boy living in Japan was picked to play for the Yokohama FC Under-15 team. Tam Sheang Tsung, who is currently a Form 1 student in Ginza Junior High School in Chuo-ku in Tokyo got to know about his selection into the team on Feb 16.

His mother Ang Hui Chin, 41, said that he was spotted by Sports Network Japan, one of the agencies for the Japanese Olympic Commitee and the Japanese Football Association.

BOOTED UP ... Tam looking good to make the news in the J-League.
“They were head-hunting to train potential sportsmen between 12 and 15 to undergo intensive training in preparation for the 2016 Olympics under the Japan League clubs,” said Ang, who has been living in Japan for almost 15 years and runs the Rasa Malaysian Cuisine Restaurant in Ginza, Tokyo with her husband Tam Yun Tong.

Tam was born and raised in Tokyo. The lad has a keen command of the Japanese and Mandarin languages.

Ang said that Tam had impressed the talent scouts when he captained the Narimasugaoka Primary School team to a silver medal in the West Tokyo Tournament.

Tam, who is a big fan of English Premier League team Chelsea, has been playing football since he was seven and lists Frank Lampard as his idol.

While he usually plays as a midfielder, he is also comfortable taking up multi-positions in the game.

Tam Sheang Tsung, the first Malaysian to be recruited into the JLeague Division 2 Yokohama FC Under-15 team, is no stranger to the hard training regime.
“I used to train from 7am to 8am before school and resume training at 4pm,” said Tam.

With his inclusion in the Yokohama FC team, his schedule will be even more hectic, having to rush for training with the team on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6pm to 10pm at a venue about 40km from Tokyo and playing in matches on the weekends.

The Japanese system has moulded Tam into an independent and disciplined footballer because even in primary school, parents were not allowed to send their children to the training field, let alone accompany them while training.

His passion for the game continues off the field and he enjoys watching BPL, Bundesliga and Serie A matches.

While Ang hopes to see her son playing for the national team before he turns 20, Tam seemed to more inclined towards European football.

“I hope to follow the footsteps of the Japanese senior players and play in European clubs,” said Tam.

Yokohama FC is currently in the Division 2 of the J-League, finishing 10th during the 2008 season.

Following the socio model used by FC Barcelona, the Fulie Sports Club created Yokohama FC in 1999, the first professional sports team in Japan owned and operated by its supporters. Former German World Cup star Pierre Littbarski had two stints as the club’s manager.

As a high point, the club spent one season in the J-League in 2007 but was relegated with five games to spare.

Anonymous said...

ask not what the country can do for you...but what you can do for the country.

for the game. for the world.

Anonymous said...

the boy was not discovered, he sent an e-mail to RA of his existence in the UK and requesting for an opportunity to tryout for the Malaysian Junior teams. Joined them when our under 14/16's boys had a stint in UK sometime in 2006/2007.

Anonymous said...

the boy was not discovered, he sent an e-mail to Robert Alberts of his existence in the UK and requesting for an opportunity to tryout for the Malaysian Junior teams. Joined them when our under 14/16's boys had a stint in UK sometime in 2006/2007.