On the hunt for new football technical director and more Sukma medals

Gooi says it is a challenge to create a platform for youths to express themselves. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

PENANG Football Club has begun its search for a technical director following a dismal showing in the Super League campaign this season.

Its chairman Daniel Gooi said the club has turned its attention to next season with the hope of getting the right person to turn its fortune around.

For now, Chong Yee Fatt is the club’s head coach cum team manager.

In August, the services of their technical director Kamal Kalid and team manager Ong Eng Hua were terminated following a run of poor results in the Super League campaign.

With four matches to go, the club is lying in 10th spot in the 14-team league with 19 points.

Gooi said the club was now in talks with several potential candidates.

“A reputable technical director will be appointed to chart the direction and strategies of the club for the new season.

“Things are moving within the club, although the new season will only begin in May.

“Our priority is to get a technical director on board, so that he can help us look into revamping the coaching line-up, the formation, plus strengthening the team with a few good new signings.

“The role is vital to help provide a direction for the club, be it the first team, reserve, youth and those in the presidential cup team.

“There will be an announcement even before the end of the current season,” he said in a recent interview with StarMetro.

The Penang youth, sports and health committee chairman also spoke on the next Malaysia Games (Sukma) in 2024 in Sarawak.

In the last Sukma, Penang finished in seventh spot with 30 gold, 28 silver and 42 bronze medals.

“The Penang Sports Council has set a target of 40 gold medals this time.

“The target has been put forth across the board of all respective associations, coaches, sports officials of either the council or representatives of associations.

“All of them have been preparing after the end of the 20th Sukma.

“To fly high, we need to aim high and hopefully by doing so, the contingent would be able to improve its position by finishing in the top five,” he said.

Gooi said among the medal prospects were those competing in gymnastic, swimming, athletics, judo, karate and boxing.

“We will take part in 37 sports. The Penang Sports Council has been working closely with all sports associations.

“We have posted a challenge to all the sports associations and state coaches that they must work towards contributing podium finishes.

“We believe with the current efforts and enhancement programmes with all stakeholders, the target is achievable,” he said.

On his portfolio as the state’s youth committee chairman, Gooi said among the challenges was to create a platform for youths to express themselves.

With the advent of globalisation and technological advancement, he knows he has a tough job in hand to keep up or be on the same wavelength with youths.

“Even with a one-year age difference, the interests of youths nowadays can be miles apart.

“Social media platforms have proven to be a major influence.

“My task is to provide a platform for them to ‘shine’,” he said.

On public healthcare, Gooi said many people were not aware of the Madani Medical Scheme, which is a primary healthcare service for the people, especially the B40 group, to seek treatment at registered private general practitioners.

He said patients who qualified for government aid only have to produce their MyKad to obtain treatment at private clinics.

“The response is slow because not many are aware of this scheme.

“Those who qualify can get free treatment at participating private clinics in all the five districts in Penang.

“Go to https://kelayakan-spm.protecthealth.com.my/ to check eligibility and participating clinics,” he said, adding that more activities would be held to promote the scheme.

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