A boost for youth football


A Tunas Lagenda FC player (in white) getting pressured by a Dream-MBSA opponent during their match. —Photos: YAP CHEE HONG/The Star

MIFA-SASYA captured the inaugural Epson Youth Cup Under-19 title after two days of intense battles, defeating KL Cityboy FC in the final 2-0.

In the group stage of the six-team tournament, the tenacious youngsters booked a place in the semi-final after beating PNSB FC 1-0 and losing 2-1 to group leaders UITM FC.

The squad of youngsters picked up form on the second day of the tournament, securing a spot in the final when they edged Group A winners Dream-MBSA 2-1.

Aside from finishing as runners-up, KL Cityboy FC also had the honours of capturing the Best Player of Tournament through Muhammad Alif Aiman Mohd Rashid.

In the bronze medal match, UITM FC managed to pip Dream-MBSA 3-2 in a closely fought battle in the highest scoring match of the tournament.

Two other teams which contended in the youth cup were PNSB FC and Tunas Lagenda FC (TLFC) who was also co-organiser of the tournament with Epson Malaysia.

Lee (centre) officiating at the Epson Youth Cup 2017 Under-19 Football Challenge.
Lee (centre) officiating at the Epson Youth Cup 2017 Under-19 Football Challenge.
 

Digital imaging and printing solutions provider Epson supported the tournament to bolster the local youth football scene, building on its earlier efforts which saw the company sign on with TLFC as the club sponsor.

“Building on our fruitful collaboration with the local football community via TLFC since we embarked on our CSR effort to support youth development through sports, Epson Malaysia is proud to present a tournament that also celebrates this sporting spirit,” Epson Malaysia managing director Daisuke Hori said.

“The tournament offers young football teams a platform to showcase their talents, up their creative game skills and challenge themselves in this sport – which is in line with our global tagline ‘Exceed Your Vision’– as these players break through barriers in pursuit of football excellence,” he added.

Epson Malaysia sales and marketing general manager Danny Lee, an avid footballer himself, said the skills learnt from football or any sport related to many other aspects of life, which is why Epson believes in investing and nurturing young football talents.

On a global level, the company also has current sponsorship deals with Manchester United, Japan’s Matsumoto Yamaga F, Geylang International FC in Singapore as well as the Football Association of Singapore in the past.

Epson Youth Cup 2017 Under-19 Football Challenge champions MIFA–SASYA with Hori (centre, in white). — Photo courtesy of Epson Malaysia
Epson Youth Cup 2017 Under-19 Football Challenge champions MIFA–SASYA with Hori (centre, in white). — Photo courtesy of Epson Malaysia
 

TLFC founder, president and head coach Bakri Ibni commended Epson Malaysia for taking an interest in football youth development and being able to appreciate the value of tournaments in helping unearth and showcase local talents.

“What with our successful outing during the recent SEA Games, we believe the sponsorship of this tournament by Epson Malaysia will help to keep the football spirit among local talents alive,” said Bakri.

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