Saturday, May 1, 2010

Can Kids Groomed As Future Footballers Get It Right?

Should there be a technical director appointed to effectively implement and oversee the State football development, not only to make sure the blueprint is carried out effectively, but to ensure that the players produced are true professionals who can adapt to the football systems?

Currently, the development, which has been carried out in a “liberalised” manner, under the Sarawak State Sports Council (MSNS), has no technical director but a “part-time technical director” and a technical director of the President’s Cup squad.

In the case of Sarawak, a technical director of coaching had been in the past been appointed by FAS like Tom Sermani in the late 1990s or Jalil Ramli who had handled the State team. 

A person like Sarawak professional coach, Mohd Zaki Sheikh Ahmad who is under the payroll of FAS and handles the State senior team should be the person. 

Just like England coach, Fabio Capello who handled the senior team where the coaches of the Under-23 or Under-19 England teams report to him.
The scenario in Sarawak is such that the players in the various squads are under different coaches like Pengiran Bala, handling the SUKMA squad, the Under-20 President Cup is coached by Shamsurin Abdul Rahman while Hazri Abdullah worked with the under-age players at SMK Tabuan Jaya.

In Germany, all the players from the kindies to the national level play the one system - the rigid German type of football and there is no confusion there in the type of system of play when the players progressed into the upper echelon stage.

In England, they might play a different system like the 4-3-3, the 4-4-2, 3-5-2 or the 4-2-3-1 but they have a technical director whose job is to ensure that the players at the various stages of development get the right coaching.

For example, the system in England is well carried out, for when the England gaffer say play a 4-3-3 system he can have Frank Lampard paired with Steven Gerrard in midfield and when he so desired to play a 4-2-2, he can play Lampard in the middle and Gerrard in the left wing as the Liverpool maestro knows how to fit into the different system.

In the case of Sarawak under the present scenario, when the system of play is altered by a different coach, the players will not be able to play or know his job functions as he might not be familiar with a different role in which he had never mastered the skills in that particular position and will be confused.

So the question is what kind of system will a young Sarawak player play if different coaches working in the State have no uniformity or a common standard of coaching module adapted in the development.

A young player who had just came off through the system will be confused if there are 10 coaches who had one time or other handled the developmental stages and all of them come up with different systems. 

So it’s the part of the technical director’s job to ensure that one or two systems should be the standard to be adopted.

If a technical director is chosen, it is incumbent on him to be a full-time professional whose job is to look after football and not multi-task such as looking after other sports like boxing, badminton or gymnastics.

In another positive development, the steering committee overseeing State development in football set up by the Ministry in charge of sports (KPSU), in a press conference announced that it has taken another step by forming a special football observation committee

At least, this is a step in the right direction in reaching one goal - close monitoring.

In the context of Sarawak with its large expanse about the size of the Peninsular, it is hard to manage and running a statewide development project which is very high in overhead costs in terms of travelling.

The special committee will comprise an officer from the various agencies which include the FAS and MSNS.
The contents of who’s-who in the observation committee is the “same committee” and their job basically is to do monitoring observed a football enthusiast!

“Why such a situation arise is because there are so many committees, comprising the same organisations where duplication is possible. In the first place, should the steering committee which had been stirred into action lately be handling the whole thing?” asked the observer.

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