KUCHING: Sarawak for the first time will send in two teams to compete in the 2010 Borneo Football Cup which will kick off in Kota Kinabalu on Sept 30 to Oct 6.Flying the state colours will be Kickalob Sports Academy, a private football academy in Kuching, who will send in their under 12-year-old (20 players) and the under 14-year-old (20 players) squads.
Pitting themselves against teams from Australia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and hosts Sabah, it is expected to be a high level of football marking a huge benchmark for the development of young footballers.
“This is a good opportunity for the players to be exposed to high level of competition,” said Daud Aba, technical director of the academy after receiving financial aid from Ministry of Social Development and Urbanisation (KPSU) presented by Dato Sri William Mawan Ikom at his office yesterday.
Regarding the end result, Daud is rather optimistic of their campaign saying that teams, especially the football academy from Australia have boasted of producing national players.
“It will not be so much of the playing skills that set us apart from the Australians due to the age group. What will set us apart is the physical built of our players compared to them,” said Daud.
He also said that their participation in the decade old tournament will compliment the state’s five years football development programme spearheaded by KPSU and the Sarawak State Sports Counci (MSNS).
“We are not trying to compete with the ministry’s programmes,” explained Daud who shares the same vision of every football enthusiasts in the state in elevating the development of football and revive Sarawak’s football glory days.
Daud also said that the tournament is sanctioned by the Football Association of Malaysia whereas their trip is sanctioned by the Football Association of Sarawak who also provided aid to the academy as their participation in the tournament is instrumental to the development of football.
The academy which is overseen by eight coaches trains at SK St Joseph’s field on the weekends and adopts a revolutionary style of football training which is suited for the young developing players.