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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Scott Ollerenshaw tips Darul Takzim to boost stadium attendance

 The former Sabah FA forward also believes that Sabah's bid to secure promotion back into the Super League could get a tad too delicate.
By Keeshaanan Sundaresan

Sabah FA legend Scott Ollenrenshaw has tipped Darul Takzim's expensive line-up to attract bigger crowds into the local stadiums and believes that the entrance of quality foreign players like Dani Guiza is fantastic for Malaysian football. Darul Takzim have been dominating headlines in recent months for assembling a majestic squad that includes the likes of Safee Sali, Norshahrul Idlan, Dani Guiza and Simone Del Nero.

The Southern Tigers have looked pretty strong in recent friendly matches, and Scott hopes for them to be a fundamental factor in attracting bigger overall stadium attendance. "It's fantastic for Malaysian football," he said exclusively to Malaysia "Hopefully these type of quality players will be able to get the fans back into the stadiums rather than just staying home and watching the English Premier League." Scott was widely known as the 'Ginger Maradona' back during his days with Sabah FA, where he astonishingly scored more than a goal a game for four years.

Malaysian football has been through plenty of ups and downs since then, but Scott believes that there are several fundamental problems that still remain until today. "It's always hard to compare eras. I do think that we have some good quality teams in the Super League now. However there is not enough quality players to sustain so many teams in both the Super League and Premier League.

 "I still feel that youth development is being neglected in this nation. For example, why aren't junior leagues set-up in every state and region throughout the country?" Nevertheless, the former Australian international insisted that there are still plenty of talents within the country, citing Nazmi Faiz and Rozaimi Rahman as examples.

 "The young lad [Nazmi Faiz] who went to Portugal looks like a very good prospect and Rozaimi from Sabah will only improve under Ong Kim Swee in Harimau Muda." Scott Ollenrenshaw remains the most decorated player in Sabah FA history until today, winning two Golden Boots during his time with them.

However, the Borneo side aren't quite the formidable side they used to be once upon a time. They were relegated from the Super League last season, and have pretty much revamped their squad for 2013, with reports of financial issues burderning them as well. Former Manchester United player David McCreery is currently in charge of them, but Scott hinted that securing promotion back into the Super League could be tricky for them.

 "It is not easy to get promoted from the Super League. To be honest, I expect Sarawak, Johor, Kedah and Sime Darby to fight it out for promotion. "However, I do hope that Sabah prove me wrong."
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