BUDDING football stars take note, Million dollar Feet (MDF) the one of-a-kind football talent search which combed the country last year in search of Malaysia’s best young football talents, will return for an electrifying second season.
This was announced at the launch attended by former England manager and player Sam Allardyce. Also present were former Liverpool legend and MDF head coach Steve McMahon, MDF founder and director of football Peter de Kretser and presenting sponsor Baba’s head of advertising and promotions Claudian Navin Stanislaus.
The second edition follows the success of last year’s inaugural season where Adam Roshan Kris Azman from Kuala Lumpur and Mohd Yusry Haziq from Sarawak were selected to receive the coveted top prize of a trial in Britain.
They were each awarded an exclusive two-year scholarship from one of Europe’s top football academies – Brooke House Football Academy – worth a total of RM1mil.
“Youth development is critical in establishing a top footballing nation. The game is truly global and I strongly believe that a Malaysian can play at the top level in the English Premier League in the coming years,” said Allardyce.
“We want to see a star from South-East Asia and that’s why I fully support what the chaps at MDF are aiming to achieve.
“It’s an astonishing initiative and my only advice to the youngsters is enjoy the ride and education that comes with this programme.”
Similar to last year’s format, MDF 2017 is open to all youths residing in Malaysia. To give all Malaysians access to the competition, try-outs will be held nationwide starting with Penang (Oct 7 and 8), Sarawak (Oct 13 and 14), Kelantan (Oct 20 and 21), Johor (Oct 27 and 28) and Kuala Lumpur (nov 3 and 4), followed by the grand finals on nov 5.
“We hope to eclipse last year and see over 10,000 young participants in 2017,” added de Kretser.
“The best of the best will travel to KL for the grand finals where two winners will be crowned and flown to Britain for an opportunity to showcase their skills to scouts and academies from the country’s finest football clubs.
“We hope to add two more exciting additions to follow in Adam and Yusry’s footsteps and achieve their dreams.”
While the try-outs were open to youths aged 11 to 14 last year, it has been widened for this year’s MDF which will be open to youths aged 11 to 16.
“If there’s anything to be learned from last year’s MDF, it’s that Malaysia truly has exceptional young footballing talent. Given the right opportunity, platform and training, these potential talents are capable of making it into the big leagues in Europe, which is what this programme is all about.
“I said this last year and still maintain that Malaysia will have its first representation in the big football clubs in the not too distant future, and we’re all committed to making this a reality with MdF.
“The second season will be bigger and better and a lot of hard work will be put in as the end goal is very satisfying,” said McMahon.
The new season of MDF will once again receive continued support from the Education Ministry and the British High Commission, Kuala Lumpur.
Season two of MDF will also see more sponsors coming on board, including Baba’s, Malaysia’s leading spice brand, as the presenting sponsor.
“With a rich history dating back more than 30 years, we are now a household name throughout Malaysia with a multiracial clientele from all walks of life.
“When you look at it, these are the values that MDF stands for as well, to give an equal opportunity to all young Malaysians to shine, which is why we wanted to be part of this truly amazing initiative,” said Stanislaus.
Sponsors for the second season of MDF include Brickfields Asia College (BAC), Etihad Airways, TGV Cinemas, national Kidney Foundation, Anita, LAC Printing and 100 Plus.
Young football talents who wish to try out for the competition can register for free by going to www.milliondollarfeet.com.