Malaysian trio earn golden ticket to AJFC in Munich
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Sharvin Selvakumaran, Shankar P Ghanais and Ruventhiran Vengadesen will represent Malaysia at the Allianz Junior Football Camp (AJFC) in Munich, Germany from 25 to 30 August 2016.
The three players out of 13 Malaysians had thoroughly impressed FC Bayern Munich U-13 youth coach, Maximilian Knauer and AJFC 2016 ambassador Giovane Elber during the recently concluded AJFC Asia 2016 at Canggu Club in Bali, Indonesia from 19 to 22 July 2016.
The youngsters were among 50 teenagers aged between 14 and 16 from China, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia who attended AJFC Asia this year. Only 14 players were chosen to go to Munich.
"It was very difficult to select just 14 players from 50 here as the talent standard was very high. So we first shortlisted 25 players and slowly worked our way there. We didn't see them as someone from Malaysia or Indonesia but as football players. It was a hard decision because they were all very good," said Elber during the press conference to announce the winners of AJFC Asia 2016 at Alila Hotel today.
"We looked at every little aspect of the players from discipline to their mindset on and off the pitch and teamwork over both days. Skills were also equally important, but in the end these were the criteria we looked at when choosing our winners today. And all of them showed that including the Malaysian boys," added Elber.
Apart from the trio, representing Malaysia at AJFC Asia were 16 year olds Muhammad Iqbal Norazizan, Arfan Azman, Ahmad Nur Rahman Abd Rasid, Kamal Amirul Afiq Kamalazman ,Muhammad Shafiq Aliff Ishak and 15 year olds Cik Muhammad Syafiq Cik Kasiki, Muhammad Shahril Suparman, Muhammad Alif Safrie Mohd. Sallahuddin, Muhammad Iqmal Ramlan and Muhammad Fakrusy Syakirin Mohd Fairoh.
During the camp, the young footballers participated in daily training sessions which culminated in a tournament in 21 July 2016 where the AJFC Asia winners from each country were decided. Part of the festivities at AJFC Asia included get-together activities, My Finance Coach programme (financial literacy programme) and a cultural performance by each participating country.
AJFC is an annual football event held globally since 2009 with AJFC Malaysia debuting in 2012 followed by AJFC Asia in 2014. The AJFC Malaysia League 2016 was officially launched in Kuala Lumpur on 16 February 2016. Teams of 18 players aged between 14 to 16 year olds participation in the six-week league which kicked off on 2 April 2016. In five editions, 4,185 young aspiring footballers have tried out AJFC Malaysia. Malaysia's participation at AJFC in Munich, Germany has steadily grown from two entrants in 2012 to five entrants last year including a set of twins who were wildcard winners from the AJFC Asia in Bali, Indonesia.