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Arslan FC from Kulim, Kedah is competing in the 2016 edition of the Allianz Junior Football Camp (AJFC) Malaysia League and their dedicated coach, Kuppusamy Krisnan has full faith in his young charges.

Having vigorously trained the boys who are from SM Kebangsaan Kulim for the last three months, the experienced coach is confident his boys will shine and knows all too well the challenges and pitfalls that come with the job.

“Young footballers are hungry for knowledge. They want to play well and learn all there is to know about the game.  However,not having basic football skills is what’s lacking and exactly where we coaches play an extremely important role. A well rounded footballer is one who develops technically, tactically, physically and psychologically. I cannot stress enough how crucial these attributes are,” says Kuppusamy who was a former coach at SM Kebangsaan Kulim and comes with more than 30 year of coaching behind him.

Kuppusamy, currently a lecturer at Institut Pendidikan Guru Kampus Tuanku Bainun in Seberang Prai was invited by the school to coach the team. For the the last three months, he has put the aspiring footballers through a gruelling training routine where they are required to train three times a week with each session lasting at least two hours.

“When I first started coaching the boys, it was tough.  I found that they had little sense of ball control, kicking, running and were merely ‘stopping’ and ‘passing’ the ball.  With a strict syllabus, hard work and some well-needed disciplining along they way, it’s gratifying to see how far they have come and I am extremely proud of them,” says the coach, who is coaching a team for the AJFC for the first time.

Arslan FC is one of the 10 teams participating in the AJFC Malaysia League and currently ranked second in the Northern region competition. Asked if Arslan FC can emerge champions, Coach Kuppusamay’s answer is one that resonates confidence.

“Every coach aspires for his team to be in the finals. I took on this challenge because I felt the boys had a lot of passion which is fundamental to the sport. I’m confident and we have been working very hard so let’s see where this journey takes them,” he says with a smile.

Kuppusamy is thankful that despite the economic situation, there are still companies that want to invest money and effort into organising such events.

“Events like the AJFC  offer the kids opportunities to showcase their skills and be spotted for their talent. It is a healthy activitiy that also provides them with valuable skills to become better footballers, “ he adds.

On 9 April 2016, the League’s Northern and East Coast Region competition got underway at Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang and Padang Majlis Perbandaran Kuantan and Kolej Islam Pahang Kuantan respectively.

The League began a week earlier on 2 April 2016 for the Central and Southern regions as teams played their first round of matches at the at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Bangi and Kompleks Sukan Hang Jebat, Malacca respectively.

After the sixth week, the regional selection panel will select the top 18 players from each region to form four regional teams. These teams will then compete in the National Finals at UKM, Bangi on 3 and 4 June 2016. Following the Finals, the top-13 players will be selected to attend AJFC Asia Camp in Bali, Indonesia from 19-21 July 2016. From the Asia Camp, the best three Malaysian players will attend AJFC in Munich, Germany in 25-30 August 2016.

For the latest AJFC 2016 league results, photos and videos please visit the Allianz Malaysia’s Facebook page at facebook.com/AllianzMalaysia  and the official AJFC website at allianzfootball.com.my

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