BY ZULHILMI ZAINAL Follow on Twitter
Read part one of the interview here.
But all the money in the world would be for naught for any club, if their performance on the pitch is subpar. And on this front the Selangor FA (FAS) will change things around beginning with their recruitment of staff.
"We want to get a technical director in," revealed FAS secretary-general Johan Kamal Hamidon. "We're actually speaking to one of two candidates at the moment. He's very reputable and we'll be very, very happy if we get him on board.
"The funding needs to be secured first, but we want to do it the right way. If you look at the English club Arsenal, you can see they have three very important individuals; their recruitment director, the head coach, as well as the technical director.
"I've realised that a lot of coaches in the country, when they join a new club, they bring in the same set of players. This is because they don't know much about other players.
"And their club simply follow the new coach's way; the club have no methodology or culture of their own. Whereas we want to have a system that we create ourselves, and is adhered to by any coach that comes in. Our vision is to have a technical director and a recruitment director, who'll be working together with the head coach to identify what's best for the club."
But while the association is looking for someone who is qualified, another aspect regarding any new hire concerns Johan; their integrity.
"It's very hard to find honest people in football; it's all about making money, and that's one of the things that has made the past few months more difficult. If you were to hire a recruitment director, how do you know he's not making bung money by selling our players to other clubs?
"Those are the issues that we need to address in finding the right candidates; honesty and loyalty," he lamented.
At the same time, FAS has also begun to improve their youth development programme, with the aim of eventually doing away with open trials in identifying young talents.
When pointed by Goal that only two Selangor players, Syahmi Safari and Syazwan Zainon, have been called up to the Malaysia squad for the AFF Championship taking place at the moment, he conceded that it is a reflection of the declining quality of talents produced by the club.
Syahmi playing for Malaysia. Photo from AFF/Lagardere
"I've submitted an MoU (memorandum of understanding), whereby we want to adopt the state sports school. This is not something new, FAS has been working with the school, but previously nothing tangible has been done. The association did not contribute funds, expertise or resources to the school. No monitoring was even done, it was simply to tick off club licensing checkboxes; the whole thing was very superficial.
"Whereas we now want to have direct involvement. We want to be involved in the running of the programme, its structure and the content. We'll also send our coaching staff, physios and fitness coaches there throughout the whole year, something that is now unavailable at the school.
"On top of this, we'll be introducing U-12, U-15 and U-18 youth state leagues which will be contested by teams from NFDP (National Football Development Programme), the state government-run youth academy and our affiliate clubs. We want to monitor the competitions consistently, to identify players who can be absorbed into the sports school. The idea is so we won't need to hold open trials in the near future anymore, because we will have the pathway for youth footballers aged from 12 to 18," explained the 31-year old official.
When asked why FAS is not establishing its own academy or youth programme, instead of simply working together with already established set-ups, so that they may expand the pool of youth footballers in the state, Johan explained that it's a matter of their current coffers.
And for this reason too, the Red Giants will continue using the state government secretariat complex (SUK) pitch in Shah Alam as the first team training ground for the time being.
"An academy would cost us money," he stated matter-of-factly. "We don't have the funds for the brick and mortar yet. For now the sports school is our academy, and not just on paper; the essence (of an academy) will be there.
"Currently we're still using SUK, but we're trying to improve the state of the pitch. We're looking for an contractor with experience to maintain the field. Money is tight, so we are looking into affordable options; the pitch and the dressing room.
"The training pitch too needs to be cordoned off; temporary structures need to be put up in order to provide some exclusivity and identity to the ground."
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