PETALING JAYA: Get the basics right.
National football goalkeeping legend Wong Kam Fook believes that the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) must get their junior development programme right if they are to stop the rot at the senior level.
“The system to train the young footballers is all wrong,” lambasted the former national goalkeeper.
“I’m not a qualified coach, but I have represented the nation at the highest level. I can tell just by looking at the deteriorating results in international competitions that something is seriously wrong with the coaching of our junior footballers.
“From what I’ve gathered from friends in the football circle ... more than 60% of coaches at the junior level here have no football playing background. So, how are they to teach the right techniques? Why can’t they (FAM) look around for ex-internationals?
“For kids to learn, they need to see the coaches demonstrating the right way of playing the game. These experienced coaches will be able to share their technical knowledge of the game better. But if FAM continue to stick to what they’ve been doing all this while, then it defeats the purpose.
“It’s sad that we are still unable to get our act right after all these years,” added Kam Fook, who was disappointed by the appalling performance dished out by the national team in the 10-0 loss to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the World Cup qualifying match in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.
“I don’t blame the national players ... I blame the training system.”
The 66-year-old Kam Fook is no stranger to Malaysian football, having been part of the national team who played in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. It was the national football team’s one and only historic appearance at the Olympics.
Kam Fook, who represented Malaysia from 1970-72 before playing professional football with clubs in Hong Kong for 12 years, is grooming his son – Shanghai-born Oscar Wong Tse Yang – to become a professional goalkeeper.
“I started work with my son in 2011 and I leave it to him to decide on his future,” said Kam Fook, who added that his son is likely to further his studies in Hong Kong or England next year.
The 20-year-old Tze Yang has only played in the Malaysian Chinese FA (MCFA) Cup competition on a part-time basis due to his studies. He also had short training stints with the Armed Forces and the Harimau Muda C teams a couple of years ago.
Kam Fook hopes to see his son excel and make the grade at international level one day.
“It’ll take time, but I’ll guide my son,” said Kam Fook, who played in all three preliminary round matches at the 1972 Olympics.
Malaysia lost to hosts West Germany 3-0 in the opening game but bounced back to beat the United States 3-0. Malaysia’s campaign ended after losing the third game to Morocco 6-0.Kam Fook still holds the distinction of having a clean sheet in the qualifying tournament for the 1972 Olympics in Seoul. The Malaysian team defeated Japan 3-0, hosts South Korea 1-0, Taiwan 3-0 and the Philippines 5-0.