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Friday, June 01, 2012

Former greats can still contribute

Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: The Sabah Football Association should get the service of former greats to assist the current Super League squad, urged many football fans who have been calling in to voice their concern over the FA's failure to utilize the expertise of these players. They claimed that the State has over the years produced many internationals with proven records.

 And with the team currently in pathetic state struggling to score and at the same time leaking easy goals, they wondered why the FA are not reaching out to players such as Peter Rajah, James Wong , Hassan Sani and others who have contributed so much to the state and country for help.

 Express Sports caught up with James Wong early this week and the former international who once coached and captained the State team said he was as surprised as anybody else why the FA had never approached him or any of his former colleagues to help out on the State team.

 "To be honest, I was never officially approached by the FA since I retired as a 32-year-old back in the 80's." "Over the years one or two individuals did call me up and expressed their interest to offer me a position in helping the association. But that was as far as it went and there was no news after that."
"I am not trying to blame anybody from the FA. It may be that they have their own way of doing things and they do not need us from the past to get involved." But he personally believes players from his era still have a lot to contribute if they were given the chance. "No doubt some of us do not have the needed paper qualification but we certainly have the knowledge and expertise.

 I am not putting down anybody with certificates, but to produce a winning team you need more than just a piece of paper." "Take for example a person who has a valid driving license doesn't necessary mean that he can handle a Formula One car." He said the FA can always call them for a talk as he is sure that some of them can dedicate their time to help out the team and of course at a price.

 James, who is now running a successful entertainment business, also refuses to make a comment on the current State team. "It will be unfair for me to judge them as I have never been to any of the league matches for more than 10 years now so it is better for me to just keep quiet."

 He said he has lost touch with the State team since the days of Matlan Marjan, which according to him offered a glimmer of hope at that time and since then he has given up watching the team play. "But I can make a simple comment and generally I found today's players lacked the individual intelligence as we had back then.

 They may have the ball sense but they just do not have the know-how during the game." "Today, they all want to play total football. To be able to apply this style of play, everybody must get involved and you need a bunch of intelligent players to make it work." "On top of that you need another general figure that can control the tempo of the game and also to hold the team in play."

 He said like other things in life, you need a lot of practice to make it in football. "Football to me is very simple. You need dedication, discipline and passion. If you do not have any of these then you can forget about making it."

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