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Eighteen boys travel more than 150 kilometers every weekend in hopes of fulfilling their dreams. 

This is the story of Anak Singa Utara the only team from Perlis who are one of the 18 teams from the The Allianz Junior Football Camp (AJFC) Malaysia League 2017 Northern Region. This is also the first time a team from Perlis has joined the tournament. The 18 boys who hail from three different schools are under the tutelage of Mohd Annif bin Amt Aman who plays the role of coach for the team for the past three years.

Perseverance has paid off as the team has breezed to the finals in the Northern Region after beating Perkasa FC 6-0. In the 6 weeks the team played, they have won every single game.  Mohd Annif credits passion and determination of the boys to their success thus far. 

“It has not been an easy tournament for us. I initially used my own money to fund the travel and other logistics of the team. However, after the word went around of the solo Perlis team, we had the support of kind donors who sponsored a van for transportation which has lifted a big burden for us,” says Mohd Annif. 

The team makes day trips every Saturday for the games. They gather at the school hostel the night before and leave Perlis by 4am to make it in time.  

“I am very proud of my boys. Waking up at wee hours of the morning and on the roads by 4am is no easy feat. But week in week out, they do it without any complains. Being the only team from Perlis, they are more motivated to do the state proud” adds Mohd Aniff. 

“This tournament has given my boys the exposure to not only compete with new teams and experience the pressure that comes with a league, but also teaches them discipline and determination. It is difficult times that make us stronger. Whatever the outcome of the tournament, I am very proud of my boys” concludes a very pleased Mohd Annif. 

The Allianz Junior Football Camp (AJFC) Malaysia League 2017 will take place between 18 March and 20 May 2017 at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi (Central region); Padang 10, Kompleks Sukan Hang Jebat, Malacca (South region); Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang (North region); Padang Majlis Perbandaran Kuantan and Kolej Islam Pahang Kuantan (East Coast region) and Padang Sukma, in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (East Malaysia region). This year’s league format will remain an 11-sided affair played for 70 minutes.

The regional selection panel will then select the top 18 players from each region to form five regional teams that will compete in the Regional Finals. Following three days of centralised training, the five teams will go head to head to determine the winner at the Grand Final on 15 July 2017. At the culmination of the Grand Finals, 13 players will be selected to attend the AJFC Asia in Bali, Indonesia. At AJFC Asia, the best three players will be selected to attend AJFC in Munich, Germany.

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