Thursday, November 24, 2011


A Tour Too Much

The Malaysian football league may not have many teams. Just 14 in the top flight Super League and 12 in the Super League. But when you add the FA Cup and the Malaysia Cup what you have is a domestic season that begins in January and finishes at the end of October. Then the best players get to prepare for the SEA Games or the AFF Cup depending which year we are in.

That little lot does not take into account other international competitions like Asian Cup, Asian Games, World Cup of those annoying little four team competitions the Vietnamese insist on hosting each and every year.

Last Monday, in the SEA Games Final against Indonesia the Malaysian players were visibly wilting. If a football illiterate like me noticed I'm sure plenty others did. The Syrian coach for example. The Syrians won 2-0 last night at the Bukit Jalil in an Olympic Qualifier just 36 hours after the Malaysian had returned home from their Jakarta success.

Sunday sees them play Bahrain in another qualifier.

The new season begins early January. I'm sure the players would appreciate some down time with their families before beginning pre season training with their clubs. But even that looks like a distant dream with news the Malaysian Football Association is planning to take the Under 23s to Australia during December to play some friendlies there as well as some training.

I love the way the Malaysians have gone from being laughing stock to champions of South East Asia over the last four years and one of the reasons they have made such great strides is there willingness to have their best players compete on a regular basis against better players and for sure Australia fits into this developmental plan.

But so does down time. December, the hottest time of the year in Australia. This most certainly ain't the right place nor the right time. Give the players a well earned breather, Australia can wait till the middle of next year. It ain't going anywhere...

Young Tigers can take a break in December and regroup in January for new season of S-League 2012 in February. They are not at all involved in M-League January start...
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