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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Musa: Play with passion!

By FRANCIS XAVIER Francis@newsabahtimes.com.my
SOUVENIR … Musa (centre), shows off the Sabah jersey as Gimbang (left), and Grace One MARCOM Director Richard Tsen (right), look on during the function.
 KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman urges state players to emulate the spirit and commitment of the legendary James Wong and Hassan Sani, who relied only on passion for the sport to guide them to greatness. He said if they can do that, it is not impossible for them to do well this upcoming new season. Musa, who is also the Sabah FA Supremo, said back in the day they (James and Hassan) had no salary and only had a small allowance, but they still managed to become great players because they played with passion.

 “If you have passion and play football wholeheartedly, you can be successful like them,” he said, at the 2016 Jerseys Launching and Players Introduction ceremony here yesterday. Also present were Sabah FA Deputy President II Datuk Lawrence Gimbang, Secretary-General Alijus Sipil, Sabah Education Department Director Datuk Jame Alip, team manager Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan and Safa Supreme Council Members, among others.

 Both James and Hassan are undoubtedly living legends of Sabah football who in their era were among the country’s top players. Musa said the reason they have decided to bring in both James and Hassan into the team as assistant team managers is because they hope the duo could impart their knowledge and experience to the current players. He went on to say that aside from passion, players must also possess the will to succeed and mind-set of champions.

 “We must strive to be the best in everything and in football it is the same. You must strive to be the best and more importantly you must believe that you can do it. As the saying goes, if there is a will there is a way,” Musa said, as he urged them to be strong in taking criticism constructively without being mentally affected by negativity which is bound to be out there.

 “There will be ups and downs in football and there will always be criticism. Do not feel humiliated, learn to take it constructively and use it to strengthen your spirit. He called on all players from the senior squad, reserve league squad and youth team to also be committed in their careers as footballers.

 He said the Sabah FA has been generous in giving chances to local players this season and that they only hope it would be reciprocated with the commitment and dedication shown by the players. “This is a healthy trend that there are many local players in the team, but as footballers you know what you must do.

You must train hard, be committed and possess a high level of discipline. “We do not expect much from this season because most of our players are from Sabah and almost all of them are very young. “We only want to see progress. Progress from year to year and good quality football is all we expect,” he said. Musa said players must realise that they shoulder the hopes of the fans, but even if they do not become champions, they will still be loved if they play good quality football and play wholeheartedly.

 Meanwhile, Gimbang said the FA requires huge funds to compete in the Premier League, President’s Cup Challenge and Under-19 Youth League. “We will spend as much as RM10 million this season so we hope the players will strive to become the best and win as many matches, because in football only one thing counts and that is winning. If you don’t win you will not progress. But if you win you help to lift the team, you help to lift the state’s name, you help to lift the CM’s name and you help to lift your own name so you must win,” he said. For the record, the sponsors for the state teams this season are Sabah Energy Corporation, Asian Supply Base, Uzma Berhad, Warrix and Grace One.

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