Showing promise: Dr R. Subramaniam (sixth from right) watching a participant during a training session.
BANGI: Die-hard Manchester United (MU) fan, Mohd Shamel Suhaime, 19, grins from ear to ear when he talks about the club he eats and breathes for.
Elated to think that he might be one of the 16 selected players to be trained at the Manchester United Soccer School (MUSS) in April, he said it had been his childhood dream to visit Old Trafford and be a professional footballer.
“I enjoy watching MU icon player Eric Cantona on YouTube over and over again.
“If I’m selected for the stint, I hope to contribute whatever I’ve learned to my home state, Penang, and hopefully play for the Penang team,” he told reporters here yesterday.
Shamel, representing UiTM Perlis in Piala Mamee 1Malaysia, was one of the 180 youths aged between 16 and 19 vying for a training slot in MUSS.
Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) in collaboration with Mamee-Double Decker (M) Sdn Bhd and MU jointly held the pilot programme to train young Malaysian footballers.
Started last November, the programme offers the inaugural Piala Mamee 1Malaysia and a 10-day stint at MUSS which includes a private tour at Old Trafford.
Professional football consultant and FIFA Match Agent Dr R. Subramaniam who is overseeing the selection process said the boys had a lot of potential and could go very far in their game with the right guidance and mental strength.
They had gone through five preliminary rounds competing in five zones – North, South, Central, East Coast and East Malaysia – with the champions and first-runners-up in each zone now competing for the grand finals to be held at Stadium INSPEN, Kajang on March 2 at 4.15pm.
The match is open to public.
“After the grand finals, we’ll announce the selected players,” he said adding that the organisers did the right thing towards producing better players for the country.