In August 24, 1999, I wrote a preview ahead of the youth development workshop conducted by the National Sports Council (NSC), expecting changes to be implemented...
THE youth development workshop at the National Sports Council (NSC) today is set to moot the idea of a complete restructuring in the FA of Malaysia (FAM).
The proposals, assuming they be implemented, will not exactly launch Malaysian soccer into orbit but at least, we would have a solid base to identify the best young players from.
* FAM must be independent of the State FAs
The FAM council are the highest authority in Malaysian soccer. They are the policy-makers.
Most of them are representatives of the State FAs who do not give two hoots about development. And they too have been relying on FAM for grants rather than sourcing their own income.
Conclusion - Amend the FAM constitution to enable the national body to shift focus towards developing the sport. FAM must be run by technical people and corporate figures with the principal office-bearers as figureheads.
* A new league structure run by a separate entity.
The time is ripe for a separate entity to run the M-League, similar to the J-League in Japan.
The J-League, introduced in 1993, requires each club to set down deep roots throughout its home community, with the corporate sponsors providing crucial back-up with their administrative skills.
The J-League's board of directors and auditors are elected by the general meeting. The executive committee consists of the chairman, directors with specific responsibilities and one representative selected from each club.
The board of directors is the J-League's highest authority in deciding the aims and policies of the league.
The executive committee puts those aims and policies into effect as well as deliberating and deciding on matters entrusted to it by the board of directors.
And not everybody can play in the J-League because there are five conditions to be met - Incorporation, players and coaching licences, team structure with emphasis on junior teams, stadia facilities and contributions to home community.
Incorporation means each club must be a registered corporation specialising in football. This is to ensure that each club provides a secure management base which serves as an effective vehicle for players, coaches and other club officials.
Conclusion - it's worth a try. But are we bold enough? And can we see a league without the likes of Terengganu, Kelantan or Melaka?
* Players' education
If the two proposals are implemented, then FAM can emulate the Japan FA (JFA) by drawing up a complete coaching system designed to produce creative players. Of utmost importance is football education for players from the age of eight - the dos and don'ts as well as the motivational, technical and tactical aspects of the beautiful game.
Conclusion - We are different from the Japanese but why should that be a hindrance? Malaysia used to whip Japan in the 70s and 80s until they decided to commit themselves to soccer while Malaysia have been irresponsible in letting the youth development in our game drop in standard.
* Coaches' education
FAM director of coaching Ron Smith has recently pointed out a fact - how youth coaches tend to emphasise on results rather than education. Most coaches, Smith said, want results even at school level which in turn puts fear and pressure to the young players. In Japan, JFA have devised a modern training module which is updated regularly, to be implemented at all levels.
Therefore all coaches, from the schools right up to the J-League, adopt the same methods and principles of soccer. JFA have also introduced a coaching licence - more of a certificate on how to organise games for the young - called the Boys and Girls licence. The emphasis is to enjoy the game. Only from the ages of 15 that the players are taught the basic tactical movements.
Conclusion - We have nothing to lose but everything to gain if we adopt the same attitude.