Wednesday, June 10, 2009


The Professor was in town for a 45-minute coaching clinic for the National Under-10 squad, Harimau Muda, coached by Ong Kim Swee. What he shared about investing in coaches and players are not what Malaysia is interested in. The country has never been very serious or genuine about investing in sports and the last decade of quality decline is a clear indication of how terrible the sports development has become. Singapore already has a sports school while we are still wandering what is wrong with our sports development when it is very clear in black and white what is very wrong when you mix politics with sports.



Educate Coaches And Young Players - Arsene Wenger

KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 (Bernama) -- There is still room and hope for Malaysian football to improve its standard in the world stage, especially through educating quality coaches and young players.

English Premier League Club, Arsenal's team manager Arsene Wenger said it is vital and crucial to produce quality coaches who will then create and produce quality players.

"The raw material is everywhere in the world but it depends on how much had been invested to produce quality coaches.

"In certain countries, if they have money available, its goes straight to the first team instead of channeling it to the development of youth teams," he told reporters after conducting a football clinic at Dataran Merdeka, here Tuesday.

The Frenchmen also stressed that the best ages for development, especially in Asia, was between 8 to 12 years-old.

"If you do not start at that age, players produced after the age of 12, will never have technical quality. Just like when I choose players for Arsenal, they must have quality, talent, intelligence and technical ability because it is not enough just to have physical and motivated players," he added.

Earlier, Wenger who is here as the Castrol global ambassador, conducted three test sessions on the National Under-19 squad (Harimau Muda).

The three tests conducted were for T-Test Run, the vertical jump and the 20-metre sprint as these tests can reveal the real caliber of players in determining how fast a player can chase the ball in a short distance, change direction and determine a footballer's jumping ability.

As for the Harimau Muda players, Wenger said he was very impressed with them because they have versatile techniques and were playing in the Premier League, which is a good base for their development.

He said it will be interesting to see them when they are 23, because that is the most suitable time for them to play in the national team.

Wenger also believes in developing players at a young age and exposing them to important tournaments to help them mature.

"For Arsenal, next season's English Premier League (EPL) will be more interesting as the young players have matured after the experience of playing top level football, including in the European Champions League, reaching the semi-finals, FA cup semi-finals and consistently winning in EPL," he said.

The 60 year-old, who started his career as manager of AS Nancy-Lorraine from 1984-1987, AS Monaco (1987-1994) and Nagoya Grampus Eight (1995-1996) before moving to Arsenal in September 1996, has guided the Gunners to a double in the (1997/98) EPL season by winning the Premier League and FA Cup and repeated the same feat in the 2001/02 season.

Arsenal has since remained as one of the leading clubs in the EPL and finished the 2009 season in fourth place behind Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea.


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