Thursday, 7 August 2014 | MYT 7:14 PM
Tunku Ismail: Time to groom and develop our young players
Johor FA president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim said the association would be focusing on youth development programme to nurture new talents for their football team. — LIM CHENG KIAT / The Star
JOHOR BARU: The Johor Football Association (Johor FA) will send some of their President’s Cup players on attachment with clubs in Spain and Italy next year.
Johor FA president Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim said they would be concentrating on their youth development programmes to develop skilful players for the Southern Tigers (Johor Darul Ta’zim) in the future.
“We have identified the players. The President’s Cup players have shown their full potential in recent friendlies and we are very proud of them. We want to further enhance their development by sending them to clubs in Spain and Italy.
“This is part of our long-term plan to groom and develop our young players by giving them the opportunity and the exposure to play with the top European clubs,” he said during a press conference at the Larkin Stadium here on Thursday.
The Tunku Mahkota of Johor also said the Johor FA would be sending their Under-12 team to compete in a tournament in Japan in March next year.
“It will be a good avenue for these kids as there will be teams from all over the world taking part in the tournament,” he added.
Tunku Ismail also stressed that the Johor FA would be organising a tournament for players between the ages of eight and 14 next month.
“Those who perform well will be picked to join our academy programme. It took Germany between 10 and 15 years to change their youth system. By doing so, they went on to win the recent World Cup.
“We want to start now and mould these players physically and mentally at a very young age and groom them to become better footballer not only for Johor, but also for Malaysia,” he said.
Tunku Ismail also urged both JDT and JDT II players to go all out in the Malaysia Cup tournament, which begins on Aug 13.
“If we win the Malaysia Cup, it will great for us and the fans as well,” he said.