Friday, April 11, 2014

Developing players to play a ‘national style’

COMPRISING two phases and five strategic core areas, the National Football Development Plan is one of the most detailed development blueprints produced for Malaysian football.

  The number of players and coaches involved is  staggering and the funding will be even more so.
  The 80-page plan covers the first phase from 2014-2020 while the second phase will run up to 2030.
  The first phase aims to produce junior players for  the FA of Malaysia's development programme -- the various Young Tigers teams -- and professional players for state and club sides.

  The first core area involves training players according to a "national style" -- a diamond-shaped 4-4-2 system with an emphasis on speed, stamina, ball possession, aggression and turning defence into attack in an instant.

  It is hoped that this will develop into a unique Malaysian football concept and do away with the ubiquitous "hit-and-run" concept favoured by M-League teams.

  Other core areas are creating "national football heroes" by building character in players, providing proper infrastructure and equipment, developing coaches and providing a proper competition structure at all youth levels.

  The Mokhtar Dahari National Football Academy in Gambang, which is already home to 35 Under-12 players from the MyKids Soccer programme, will eventually house 500 of the best junior talent in the country by 2020.

  The rest will train at five national sports schools, 14 state sports schools, 150 district training centres and Tunas Academies (for below 12) by 2020.

  "This plan will ensure players aged seven to 17 from all over the country, in every district, will get a chance to be trained at one of the academies," said Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin in his speech before the plan was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Gambang yesterday.

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