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Maniam plans to promote even more young players next season

17:11 SAST 2017/10/25
Selangor head coach P. Maniam 25/2/2017
Selangor boss P. Maniam wants his side to comprise even more young players in the 2018 Malaysia Super League.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

After the Selangor U21 side won the 2017 President's Cup by defeating Terengganu U21 2-1 on aggregate in the final matches last week, the Red Giants senior team head coach Maniam Pachaiappan has voiced his intention of promoting even more young players next season.

Selangor U21 celebrating their President's Cup title. Photo by Malaysian FA

When met by Goal after training on Wednesday, Maniam however said that the plan depends upon his contract extension at the side, which will only happen after the final round of the Super League this Saturday.

Selangor will play away to already-relegated Pulau Pinang, and a win may allow them to move up to the fifth spot, while anything less than that will see them finish the season in sixth.

"The board and I will only discuss my future after the league game.

"Apart from that, they will also decide on the players who will be retained or dropped for the 2018 season," remarked the former Selangor player.

And the recent President's Cup-winning squad members may find themselves promoted to the senior team next season, if Maniam's service is retained and he gets his way.

"I plan to promote five or six more of these young players, on top of the previous season's squad members who were promoted at the start of the 2017 season. 

"But of course we still need experienced players, and I want to have six of them in the squad," he explained.

Appointed as Selangor head coach at the start of the season without sufficient experienced players and funding, Maniam plugged the gap by promoting seven of Selangor's 2016 President's Cup squad members. Although the Red Giants were never considered a title contender throughout the season, he managed to secure them safety from relegation early on in the season, and they are now set to finish the league in the top half. 

If Selangor want to continue with young players next season, it seems that the 2009 Youth Cup-winning trainer's service must be retained.

Goal witnessed first-hand his passion for working with young players; previously he had always been happy to spend some time speaking with us after training, but on Wednesday he asked that the interview be cut short as he wanted to get home in time to catch the England vs Brazil U17 World Cup semi-final match.