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Sunday, June 09, 2013

Safa to get own venue

Daily Express

Kota Kinabalu: A Sabah Football Association's (Safa) owned building with its own training ground as well as a hostel equipped with gym facilities are on the cards according to Safa Deputy President Datuk Lawrence Gimbang. He was speaking to the press on Saturday after chairing the association's first Annual General Meeting held after the registration with the Malaysian Sports Commissioner which was attended by representatives from all 26 districts throughout the state including Labuan.

 "This is in response to one of the demands from the delegates to have our own office building and training field. It is our main aim now and we will definitely pursue the matter immediately and having our own training facility will also cut the cost down significantly in the long run." Various matters were raised during the meeting including the development of sports and Lawrence said the state body will propose an inter-districts league competition akin to the previous inter-zone competition.

 "And we will name the challenge trophy as "Datuk Musa Trophy" with the President's approval. It is likely to be held after the Malaysia Cup competition somewhere in October when there will not be much activities." He said it will be loosely based on the Sabah Games (Saga) format where a qualifying round will be held at the respective districts before the final rounds.

 He added that it will not be an open affair and instead it will focus primarily on youth while the age limit has not been determined yet. "We don't want to clash with the Malaysia School Sports council with their own age group competition and we will try to adjust the age limit though we are unlikely to go beyond 25-years-old."

 "However, it is still in the discussion stage and we may even allow to have one or two overage players in the team as well." He said the main priority is to uncover all the potential footballers from the district levels as the state is currently facing a shortage in the pool of talented junior players unlike before. He added that the FA will also try to accommodate former state players to play a major role in the development of sports in the state even though they may not have the required certificate from FAM as there is an age limit when obtaining a coaching certificate.

 Meanwhile, he said the election for a new Safa committee will only be held at the end of the year and it will involve all 26 districts. Also present were Vice President II Datuk Yusof Kassim, Secretary General Alijus Sipil and Executive Secretary Hasbullah Yahya.

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