FAM’s deputy president thinks footballers going abroad will kick-start a new period in Malaysian football
Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah is encouraged by the fact that Malaysian footballers are getting invites to play in overseas leagues.
The deputy president of the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) believes this trend marks a beginning of a new era in local football and stressed that it could only be good for soccer in this country as a whole. He also commented that Malaysians playing overseas should be used as an inspiration by fellow professionals as well as the younger generation to follow in these players’ footsteps.
Currently, Wan Zack Haikal and Wan Zaharulnizam are undergoing trials with Japanese club FC Ryukyu in Okinawa while a few Asian and European clubs have expressed their interest in signing young striker Rozaimi Rahman. Also, Malaysian starlet Nazmi Faiz Mansor is expected to sign professional terms with Portuguese Primeira Liga club SC Beira-Mar next month.
“Nazmi Faiz Mansor’s achievement of getting signed by a Portuguese club together with the Harimau Muda duo’s trials with a Japanese club should act as catalyst for current and future footballers to get their talents noticed by foreign clubs,” Tengku Abdullah told local media in Kuantan. “Hopefully this development would also bring football agents to this country to try and get our young players opportunities to play for foreign clubs,” he said.
The Pahang crown prince also suggested that more clubs will look at our players if Malaysia continue to be successful at international level. “I believe our success in the SEA Games and the AFF Suzuki Cup is one of the main reasons why foreign clubs are showing interest in our players now.”
He however reminded the players not to get carried away and to make best use of the chance presented to them. “These players have to give their best and grab this chance with both hands by securing playing contracts and eventually nailing first team spots for themselves,” he concluded.