Friday, January 23, 2015


FAM League Expands

I hope to get to a few FAM League games this year. For those who don't know, the FAM League is the third tier in Malaysian football and includes some wonderfully named football clubs as well as the odd corporate oddity.

2015 sees the league expanded to 19 teams which have been divided into two groups.

Group A

Felcra FC
Hanelang FC
Megah Murni
PPABB (pictured)
Real Mulia
Shahzan Muda
Sungai Ara

What a great name Real Mulia is. A combination of Spanish and Bahasa, it roughly translates to Royal Royal! They seem to be serious though having appointed former Socceroo Alistair Edwards as their technical director for the coming season.

Perlis...aah, how the mighty have fallen. Between 2004 and 2009 they won the Malaysia Cup twice, the league once and the Charity Shield twice. In addition they were runners up in the FA Cup three times, and once each in the Malaysia Cup, league and the Charity Shield. A success very much built on the goals of Zambian striker Phillimon Chepita who top scored in five out of six seasons.

After finishing runners up in the Super League in 2009 they were relegated to the Premier League in 2011 and their total fall from grace confirmed when they slipped out of the second tier last season.

If they need inspiration ahead of the new season, they need only look to nearby Penang who won the FAM League season and followed that success with heavy investment ahead of their return to the Premier League.

Group B

Air Asia
Harimau Muda C
Johor Darul Tazim III
Kedah Malays
Young Fighters
Melaka United

I love MISC-MIFA or, to give them their full name, Malaysia Indian Sports Council-Malaysia Indian Football Association. Give me an M? In fact I actually went to see them last season play in an FAM League game at some stadium in surburban KL but they and their opponents never bothered turning up. No one bothered turning up apart from some guy from Jakarta and a couple of Austrian ground hoppers from, um, Austria.

At least Ipoh and Melaka United sound like football clubs as many recognise them. Young Fighters? Why not call them Under 5s and have done with it!

But seriously, how can you encourage fans to identify with teams like Air Asia or MOF? Now normally Air Asia have a slick marketing team; introducing their own club and naming it after themselves? I understand the company formed the club for its employees to have some chance for recreation but they are now in a football is slightly more than a kick around with your mates who wear red uniforms.

Still, I love some of the out of the way places being featured, not least Hanelang who hail from the hulu (boonies) of Terengganu province. play fallen giants and three time winners Kedah in the FA Cup at the end of February...a game I would love to get to!

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