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Published: Saturday December 21, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday December 21, 2013 MYT 8:21:07 AM

Under-19 football players to get once-in-a-lifetime chance to train at Manchester United

Prized possess ion: Ung and Pang with the 1Malaysia- Mamee Cup.

Prized possess ion: Ung and Pang with the 1Malaysia- Mamee Cup.

PLAYERS who excel at the inaugural 1Malaysia-Mamee Cup under-19 football tournament will be given a once-in-a-lifetime experience to train at the Manchester United Football Club.

The tournament, which has been divided into five zones with the finals scheduled to be played at a yet-to-be-named venue in Kuala Lumpur early next year, will boast the participation of 80 teams from all over the country.

Jointly organised by Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia and Mamee-Double Decker (M) Sdn Bhd, the Football Association of Malaysia-sanctioned tournament aims to, among others things, provide a platform for the youth to gain experience as well as compete against their peers from other states.

Ung Su Ling of YR1M said the objective was also to further strengthen unity and to allow the youth to consider taking up a career in football.

“Players who show promise will be given an opportunity to train at Manchester United. We have not decided on the number of players to be chosen as we are still working out the details,” she said, adding that only those who had not represented their respective states in the Malaysia Cup or President’s Cup would be eligible.

Mamee-Double Decker chief executive officer Datuk Pang Tee Chew said the company was happy to do its part by getting the Red Devils to support the programme.

Mamee-Double Decker, one of the leading brands for instant noodles in Malaysia, is the official noodles partner of Manchester United in Asia-Oceania and the Middle East.

“We will also try our best to fly in Man United legends here to share their experiences with budding footballers and give them tips on how to improve their skills,” he said.

Tee Chew added that the legends would also hold sessions with students in selected areas.

Ung said the tournament, which has been divided into the Eastern, Southern, Central, Northern and Sabah/Sarawak/Labuan zones, will culminate with a grand final to be held from Feb 26 to March 2 next year.

“The winners and runners-up from each zone will compete in the grand final. The overall champions will receive a cash prize of RM15,000 and the Mamee Cup challenge trophy,” she said at the launch of the Central region tournament.

The runner-up will receive RM7,500, while the team that emerges third will receive RM5,000 and fourth RM3,000.

Teams that win the regional titles will get RM5,000, while the runners-up will receive RM3,000, third place RM2,000 and fourth RM1,000.

Ung added that the programme was also designed to help instil the spirit of helping the less fortunate in the players.

“YR1M has agreed to donate RM10 for every goal scored in the tournament and the team that has the highest goal difference at the zone level will be given the opportunity to decide who the recipients of the doantions should be,” she said, noting that coaching clinics would also be held for both coaches as well as players during the tournament.

Ung said the organisers had also decided to hold training sessions for aspiring female footballers.

“Since an increasing number of women are now taking up football, we felt it was only proper that they, too, are given some exposure at a higher level,” she said.

In the tournament’s souvenir booklet, Manchester United manager David Moyes said he was glad to see many young players participating in the event.

“Play hard, support your team-mates and most importantly, enjoy the experience,” said Moyes.

“The team here at Manchester United and myself wish you good luck and look forward to welcoming the selected players to Old Trafford.”

Manchester United group managing director Richarad Arnold said the club took pride in supporting football from the grassroots level across the globe.

“We are also pleased to be able to offer the opportunity for selected players to visit us at Old Trafford,” he added.

Tags / Keywords: Community, Community Sports, Central Region, mamee

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