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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Some advice from Ollerenshaw


FORMER Australia international Scott Ollerenshaw, who played for Sabah in the 1990s, believes football associations in Malaysia should invest more in junior development to produce quality players. “We need to reach out to the villages and also get more youths to participate in the sport by organising clinics and tournaments,” said Ollerenshaw in the Gold Coast yesterday.

 “When I was a kid living in Australia, there were opportunities for me to develop my skills but it is not the same in Malaysia.” Ollerenshaw, who played 18 times for Australia, noticed the shortcoming in Sabah — which has become his home since retiring from football in 1999 — and decided on organising a junior tournament five years ago.

 “My dream then was to reach out to those in villages and I initiated the Kota Kinabalu Junior League to encourage them to form teams. The tournament has encouraged participation and the Sabah FA will be funding it this season,” he added. “Many players with talent have been identified from the league and I believe Sabah will have a strong senior side in four to five years.

 “Only a few states in Malaysia have junior leagues. Selangor and Kuala Lumpur are among the most active while the rest need to put in more effort.” Ollerenshaw, who scored 110 goals in 106 appearances for Sabah, through his sports tourism tour company, also organises the Borneo Football Cup.

 The competition, which was incepted in 2008, has a huge following and attracts youth clubs from Malaysia, South Korea, Australia, and Singapore. By Ajitpal Singh

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