Kim Swee embracing new training methods in Australia

Three’s not a crowd: (from left) Datuk Ong Kim Swee, Sydney FC coach Steve Corica and Brad Maloney at Sydney FC’s training centre. — picture courtesy of Kim Swee’s twitter page

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Ong Kim Swee is getting to be a whiz at new methods of training footballers, thanks to his time in Australia.

The former Malaysia Under-23 coach, who is in Sydney for the AFC pro diploma attachment with top A-League club Sydney FC, has moved on from the SEA Games debacle and is learning things that he wishes Malaysian youngsters would embrace.

Together with national Under-19 coach Brad Maloney, he is learning the ropes of Australian football from Maloney’s international teammate, Steve Corica, who is the head coach of Sydney FC.

“The attachment has been perfect so far. The reason why we chose Sydney is that in the course module, we have to do our attachment with an AFC Champions League club,” he said.

“Through my time here in Australia, we have learnt the many ways of developing players’ fitness, the importance of video analysis, which we did together with the first-team video analysts.

“Also, we have studied the various youth programmes here, and also how the salary cap has, in a way, benefited the league in the long term.”

Kim Swee said that based on his assessment, the youngsters in Australia do not mind grinding it out in the local league even though their pay is not as high as in other leagues.

What drives them is the ambition to play overseas, and they will do whatever it takes to start regularly with their local clubs to make that happen.

“The players have high ambitions. Football is not the most popular sport here, but we can see that all those involved in football here are quite passionate to raise the standards.

“Even the National Premier League (NPL), which is a semi-professional league in Australia, has unearthed some top talents. Players are willing to start from the bottom to reach their dreams.

“They realise the importance of game time. I hope our youngsters will emulate that. Whether you are in a small or big club, strive to do your best. Work every day for your own betterment.

“Take Safawi (Rasid), for example. Some of us felt he made the wrong move when he left Terengganu’s T-Team for Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT), but he worked hard and look at him now. He is one of the best players in the Malaysia League.”

He said Malaysia had an abundance of talents, but the one thing that plagues players in age groups is continuity.

Kim Swee said some young players tend to take things for granted. They learnt in Manila how things could unravel if you underestimate things.

“It was frustrating to go out in that fashion, so we reflected on it, but it was too late. I lost my job, but the boys will learn from this.

“My hope is to see the young boys, who played in the SEA Games, to get regular competitive action.

“From there, they must have the hunger to succeed and aim for better things.”

Kim Swee hasn’t really lost his job. There is a place waiting for him in the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) and he will make a decision on it once he returns to Malaysia.

FAM secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam said they have offered Kim Swee the post of director of youth development.

“I will surely decide what is best for me. I prefer to do the youth programme and coaching clinics. I want to take part in conferences and give my thoughts.

“I want to learn new football trends and impart that to local coaches. I have been in youth football for quite a while, and I would like to continue that journey.”
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Ong Kim Swee , Australia


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