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More improvements to come at Selangor's refurbished training centre

5:16 PM SGT 29/7/19
Selangor training centre, 28072019
The Red Giants are not done improving their training ground, and may find a new place when their three-year lease is up.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Selangor last week officiated their newly-refurbished training ground, now renamed as the FAS (Selangor FA) Training Centre.

On Sunday, Goal was invited along with several of the club fans for a tour of the facilities in Shah Alam by association vice-president Izhar Moslim, a second such tour held by the club. Back in May, Goal had attended an almost similar tour that was held while the RM1.5 million renovation was still taking place.

The main building now consists of four main areas; club office, meeting rooms, junior teams locker room, and senior team locker room and lounge.

The office and meeting room are newly-built areas, constructed on top of the existing pitchside structure, where the two locker rooms are now situated.

The view from inside and outside of the office

The club office, which overlooks the pitch, is occupied by the club's operational staff as well as its secretary-general Johan Kamal Hamidon, and allows them to move a majority of their operations to the ground from its dlapidated former headquarters in Kelana Jaya. 

The meeting rooms area sits next to the office, with the head coach's office situated at the end of the row, also overlooking the pitch. The meeting rooms are named after the local competitions the club participate in; Super League, Malaysia Cup and FA Cup rooms, while the name of the remaining room reflects their future aspirations; the Asia room.

The view from outside the meeting area

The head coach's office

The Asia meeting room

The two locker rooms and training pitches sit at the ground level, and they are designed to foster a desire to be promoted to the senior team among the youth players.

The senior team locker room and lounge area are connected, with the lounge furnished with coffee tables, a pantry, a foosball table and video game consoles, in order to promote a stronger bond between the senior players.

The lounge area

But strong camaraderie counts for nothing without hardwork, and this happens in the senior team locker and training room next door. It comes with basic weight, endurance and medical equipment, while the players are given personal lockers, their names emblazoned on them.

The junior locker room is shared by its U-19 and U-21 teams, and is more sparse in comparison. This is done intentionally according to Izhar, in order to avoid pampering the youngsters, and to stoke the hunger within them to be promoted to the senior team. For the same reason, they are not allowed to access the lounge, and there is no door between the junior locker room and the lounge.

Izhar Moslim in the junior locker room

The brief tour final stop was the two pitches, now looking much better-maintained than before (we were instructed not to step on the fields by Izhar). The field closer to the building will be used by the senior team, while the one farther by the junior teams. Progression also matters here, and the club plan to begin holding training for their senior team and the U-21 team concurrently, to allow the senior team coach to spot potential junior players, while at the same time, it is hoped that the junior players will be further motivated by the chance to train next to their seniors.

Izhar admitted that in terms of the two fields, the juniors have it better than their seniors; the junior pitch, having had works done on it more recently, is a better and firmer field than the other.

The view of the main building from between the two pitches

But this is not all the training facility improvements planned by the club, added Izhar. Although what has been undertaken so far is 75 per cent of what they have planned, more is yet to come.

"We're planning to create a half-sized pitch with artificial turf and roof covering behind the two fields. If it rains, the team can play small-sided games under the covers. 

"One other thing we have planned is to build a pool; nothing deep, the size of a cabin. It can be used for rehabilitation."

The club has a three-year lease from the ground owner, the Selangor state government, so do they plan to be there permanently? The answer is no.

"Three years is a long time. I wouldn't say [that Selangor are staying here] for good. Having somewhere that can accommodate four pitches would be nice, and the shape of the ground doesn't allow for that."

The tour then ended with everyone retiring to the lounge, and over cold drinks taken from the pantry refridgerator, Izhar recounted feedbacks from their foreign players with pride.

"Although our foreign players have played all over the world, none of their former clubs have this kind of facilities, something that I found a little strange. Rufino [Segovia] and Sandro [da Silva] have played in Romania, Belgium, Russia, and none of their former clubs have this.

"Sandro is very happy with our new training facilities, because he never had anything like this in Brazil. So for a foreign player to say this, it makes us so happy!" 

He also added that three clubs have responded to his earlier offer to assist other clubs in building their own training facilities; one Super League side, a second-tier club and a grassroots club.

But unlike previously when fans and journalists could turn up to watch their training freely, entrance to the ground maybe restricted in the near future.

According to Izhar, the club is planning to come up with standard operating procedures on media access to the ground, as well as to restrict access to fans in the near future.

He however added that they are considering organising similar tours for their VIP season pass holders, and when suggested by Goal to allow their supporters one day each week to watch the team train, remarked with a smile that they will consider the proposal.

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