BY NIK AFIQ Follow on Twitter
Former Selangor defender, Robert Cornthwaite has described Malaysian football as lacking in professionalism, and advised any foreign players or coaches who want to ply their trade in Malaysia to look after themselves.
Cornthwaite, who is currently playing for Western Sydney Wanderers after he was unceremoniously cut from the Red Giants squad in the 2016 June transfer window, stated that that during his stay with Selangor, players were only made to buy a popular fast food chicken brand for the team as punishment for being late to training.
Speaking in an interview with A-League.com , Cornthwaite said: “Malaysian football is another world. As a foreigner, you must look after yourself. There are a lot of things that will not be up to standard.”
“Foreign coaches face similar problems. If you try to change too much, then players can turn against you.”
“There is a real lack of professionalism and if you are late to training, the punishment was to buy KFC for the whole team. Not what you would expect from a professional football team.”
The former Australia international spent one year and a half playing in the Super League with Selangor, winning the 2015 Malaysia Cup with the Red Giants under Australian coach Mehmet Durakovic, the Selangor head coach at the time.
His 2016 departure however was not the first time the Red Giants attempted to give him the sack. Just days following their 2015 Malaysia Cup win, he expressed his surprise at the club's decision to not extend his contract, but fan uproar forced the Red Giants to offer him a one-year extension.
In the article, he also shared several tips for any Australian footballers interested in playing outside A-League in Asia, as he has played not just in Malaysia, but also in the K-League in South Korea.
Some of the tips he shared are for players to show respect, adapt to the local culture and to play a simple brand of football.