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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Safa to develop more refs, coaches

Daily Express

 Kota Kinabalu: Tournaments play a vital part in the development of junior players in the state said Sabah FA Vice President II, Datuk Yusoff Kassim who is also SAFA's Technical and Youth Development Committee chairman. He was speaking after the official opening of the Manchester United Premier Cup 2012 Under-15 competition which is hosted by Sabah FA at the Likas Sports complex.

 He praised Nike for organising the event sanctioned by FAM, which according to him is a shot in the arm for Sabah FA in addition to their own development programmes. "Mere training alone is not enough in the development of players.

 Tournaments must be held to give them a platform to apply what they have learnt and tournaments such as this has given them the opportunity to further their development by challenging themselves to be the best in their age group." He also disclosed that with Ken Shellito now appointed as the Youth Development Unit's technical director, the FA is doing all they can to groom talented players from all over the state.

 "We will set a standardised programme and pass it to the coaches in all the districts to implement so that we can monitor the development from each district more effectively." "I think it is more practical than setting up an academy as most parents would not like to be separated from their kids at such a young age."

 He said with such an arrangement he hopes to see more young talents be produced in the future. "We want to produce as many players as possible. We must take into account that some may not want to continue after a certain age due to other factors.

Therefore the more we are able to produce the more will be available to form our future state team." He added that the Sabah FA also put an extra effort to develop more qualified referees and coaches as they have a big role in molding future players.

 He also called on former state players to get involved in the development programme as well. He praised Scott Ollelenshaw for his role in staging various youth tournaments in the state and he also disclosed that Australian import Michael Baird who has just been released by the Sabah FA due to his knee injury has agreed to help out on the kids while he is still around in the state.

 "They have set a very good example and I hope more ex-state players can follow their footsteps to come forward and offer their services as well ."

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