THE FA of Penang’s dream to nurture homegrown talents has taken shape.
This was evident when they sent not just one but three teams of promising young players for the 1Malaysia Cardiff City (1MCC) North Zone challenge when it kicked off in Penang.
FA of Penang’s Technical Development chairman Muhammad Firdaus Chew said their teams, despite being formed just recently, were sent into the fray to gain much-needed exposure.
He said the three teams comprised players from the Under-10 and Under-11 groups, although the 1MCC tournament was more for the Under-12 category, because the experience would be invaluable, especially for their Under-10 outfits Projek FAP and Pulau Mutiara.
“Our Under-11 side under the name Harimau Kumbang FC Penang have been enjoying a wonderful campaign since the challenge kicked off at the beginning of the month,” said Muhammad Firdaus.
Drawn into Group B, Harimau Kumbang FC Penang opened with a thumping 9-0 win over Seberang Prai Tengah Indian FA.
They went on to oust Projek FAP 4-1 in their second assignment.
Last Sunday, they handed Pulau Mutiara a 12-0 beating and edged MUFA FC 3-2 to confirm their fourth straight win.
Their feat has placed them second on the Group B table, three points behind current leader Taman Pauh Indah FC, who have played one match more.
Butterworth-based Taman Pauh Indah FC have also been enjoying a great run in Group B, trooping out victors in five outings.
S. Sundram, the project team supervisor of Projek FAP, Pulau Mutiara and Harimau Kumbang FC Penang, said he was highly impressed with his three teams.
“I am confident that with proper guidance, they will become better players and be transformed into future stars.”
Sundram’s vision is not at all far-fetched as the FA of Penang is already reaping the fruits of their labour with an older crop.
Among young players making their mark are Muhammad Fadlee Ghazali, Muhammad Faizat Ghazali, Muhammad Jafri Chew, S. Kumahraan, S. Sanjet, Khairul Akmal Rokisham, Izzen Nojat, Muhammad Anas and Shafiq Ahmad of Kedah.
Muhammad Fadlee, who featured for Penang and Universiti Sains Malaysia FC, also enjoyed stints with Perak and Sime Darby in the Super League campaign.
Muhammad Faizat and Jafri are with Harimau Muda A, Kumahraan and Sanjet with Harimau Muda C, Khairul with Harimau Muda D, and Izzen and Muhammad Anas with Gambang U-15.
Perak and Kedah are also represented in the 1MCCC challenge held at a field beside St Mark’s Primary in Butterworth during weekends.
While Perak entered three teams in Perak Kidz, Anson Kidz and Susi Kick, Kedah had only one representative in Bukit Pinang FC.
FIXTURES (today, all matches at the field next to St Mark’s Primary, Butterworth)
MUFA FC vs TFV-PSFC (Pitch A, 8.30am); SPT Indians FA vs Projek FAP (Pitch B, 8.30am); Pulau Muiara Penang vs Taman Pauh Indah FC (Pitch A, 9.30am); Bintang Biru vs Susi Kick Perak (Pitch B, 9.30am).
Butterworth FA vs Harimau Kumbang FC (Pitch A, 10.30am); Taman Pauh Indah FC vs MUFA FC (Pitch B, 11am); Projek FAP vs Susi Kick Perak (Pitch A, 11.30am); Butterworth FA vs TFB-PSFC (Pitch A, 1pm).
Pulau Mutiara Penang vs SPT Indians FA (Pitch B, 1pm); Harimau Kumbang FC vs Bintang Biru (Pitch A, 2pm); MUFA FC vs Projek FAP (Pitch B, 2pm).