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Selangor U-19 aiming for more modest targets

06:50 GMT+3 18/03/2019
Noor Zaidi Rohmat, Selangor U-19, 10032019
Selangor U-19 head coach Noor Zaidi Rohmat is determined to let player development be his main target this year.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Selangor U-19 head coach Noor Zaidi Rohmat is determined to let player development be his main target this year, as opposed to silverware.

When met by Goal after their Youth Cup match against AMD U-16 early last week, Zaidi explained that the new team board under president Tengku Amir Shah Sultan Sharafuddin has given him space to work with their youth players.

"Praise Allah, so far the management understands the need for development. We haven't been set the target of winning the [Youth Cup] championship, only for the players to be given adequate exposure.

"And that's what I've been trying to do; we have 30 players on the roster, and so far almost everyone of them has played. I want them to get playing minutes. I've rarely stuck with the same first eleven. The board has not put us under any pressure, beyond reaching the quarter-final stage. That's all.

"For 2019 we have 24 new players on the team; 80 percent new players, from the sports schools and PLDs (district training centres). We've spent the past three months training and playing together, and so far I can see them progressing in every match. Development takes time," said Zaidi.

Now under a new management, he remarked that the Red Giants are paying closer attention to the trainees at the Selangor state sports school. 
"The association has been sending observers to the state sports school to scout the progress of the U-17 trainees studying there. Although it's  not a completely hands-on approach, at least we now know their direction. Sure, there are trainees at the national sports schools, but these state trainees are closer to us, and we cannot afford to overlook them.

"Previously it was a little difficult for us to sign the best trainees, as there are other teams in the state of Selangor, such as PKNS FC and Selangor United. But the new board has been able to work together with the state sports school, NFDP (National Youth Development Programme) and national sports schools, and we are now able to sign more of the best trainees. I see our set-up improving in the next one or two years," he remarked.

The association is also looking into making other changes into their development of youth players.

"Among the changes that we identified in an earlier workshop was the need for training facilities. We need our own facilities and the president sees this. If the players don't have their own space to work on the basics, they're going to lack the skills when they move on to a higher level

"At the same time, the teams and FAs' technical and expertise contributions to the KPM League (Ministry of Education-run sports schools-based U-17 and U-14 national competition) provide a faster input to the schools, as compared to when it's run by the schools and teachers alone," he noted.

After five matchdays have been played in the 2019 Youth Cup, Zaini's charges are currently in fourth place in Group B, out of 11 sides.

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