Wednesday, 13 October 2010 13:17
KUCHING: Many football fans, especially those in the Peninsula, think they know a lot about Awang Mahyan Awang Muhammad, the coach synonymous with the war-cry Ngap Sayot.
Or the coach who bravel y jumped into the Sarawak River when Sarawak famously qualified for their first Malaysia Cup semifinal back in the 80s.
But Awang is more than the coach wrongly associated with robust tactics, as many opposing teams had claimed when they were defeated by Sarawak then.
The man, who is now more involved with lawn bowls and cricket (he’s the president of both the sports’ state bodies) and taking care of Sarawak referees, is a sophisticated character when it comes to football.
Awang, during a chat while he was watching the Kuching under- 14 cricket final between SMK Bandar Kuching 2 and SMK Muara Tuang last week, was refreshingly open and thoughtful when probed on football matters and coaching.
On his coaching and man management philosophies, Awang can teach many coaches and managers a thing or two. For one, he liked to be firm but friendly with his players.
And he’s definite on what makes a successful player or team.
“I was once asked on what I look for in a player. I told the person, a VVIP who loves football, that to succeed a player needs to have all the 6 Ss.
“And what are the Ss? To be a winner, a player needs to have Size, Speed, Strength, Skills...and he also must be Smart. The other S? He must have sex! “It’s true. A good player should be mentally relaxed and if they are married, players should not be cooped up too long in their hotel rooms. They must be allowed to visit their wives,” said Awang.
Awang said the best football team in the world are Brazil. And the Brazilians, apart from the skills, are known to be more open and understanding when it comes to giving freedom to their players to satisfy their physiological needs.
Awang has a mind of his own, too, when asked to comment on the move to bring back foreign players into the M-League.
He is not quite agreeable to the idea.
“I think one of the ways to raise standards is to take better care of our local players.
Instead of paying big salaries to the foreigners, we should use the money to pay our local players more.
“That way they can be motivated to train harder and play better in the M-League matches.
Remember, the local league did not have foreign players when Malaysia were one of the top teams in Asia back in the 60s and 70s,” said Awang.