Monday, November 21, 2005

Two out of three touring Malaysian clubs "arrive"

Newly promoted Malaysian Super League side, Selangor, was delighted with its eight-day visit to Melbourne and Sydney where they played against Victoria-state Premier League club Fawkner-Whittlesea Blues (losing 2-3) and New South Wales-state Premier League clubs, Marconi Stallions (losing 1-4) and Hajduk Wanderers (winning 1-0). Selangor FC has been home to many Australians over the years, including Alistair Edwards, Ante Kovacevic, David Mitchell, Ross Aloisi, Joe Biskic and Mehmet Durakovic.

The trip to Australia was a reward to the 22 players for winning the Malaysia Cup, FA Cup and Malaysia Premier League title, a treble record not previously achieved by any state in Malaysia.

The squad trained daily in preparation for the new Malaysian football season which begins on 3 December. "Our players gained valuable experience and they are bound to benefit from it. I have already found a change in our players' attitude and they appear to be motivated and very keen about their football careers," Datuk Dr Mohd Satim Dimen, vice president of the FA of Selangor, told Neville D'Cruz of Bernama newsagency.

He said a highlight was going to the Telstra Stadium to watch Australia play against Uruguay in their World Cup qualifying match. "It was a great game and Australia deserved to win," he said, adding that Australia's participation in the World Cup in Germany next year will draw world attention to the region which will be good for the game in Asia.

Taiwan's Dah Lih Puh Super Cup Football Tournament concluded at Taichung Football Field with another newly promoted Malaysian Super League club, Negeri Sembilan, showing solid defense and strength in attack to defeat Taiwan First Division runner-up Taipower 3-0 in the final. Sembilan's victory meant it was crowned DLP Super cup champion and scooped the NT$ 200,000 prize money.

The DLP team, which comprised Brazilians and players from Taiwan's National Football Training Team and took it's name from Taichung-based shoe manufacturer Dah Lih Puh, the tournament's sponsor, finished in third place match after winnning 5-2 against Taiwan First Division champion Tatung.

"Before leaving Malaysia, I told my boys this is not just a friendly tournament." Devan, the Malaysian club's coach, told Robert Lee of Taiwan News. "We needed to be champion to get more confidence to challenge in the Super League," he said. "Now we have achieved our target. I am satisfied at this moment, but the most important is the Super League. I hope that we will be one of the top three by the end of the season."

And after two games against Taiwanese teams, Devan had some words of advice for his hosts. "Taiwan's players have really good spirit ... Tatung and Taipower are all very aggressive on the ground," he said "but their skill is not enough. Maybe that's the main difference between us."

Malaysian Super League champion, Perlis, has disappointed Indian football fans, tournament organisers and broadcasters by pulling out of Kolkata's historic IFA Shield at the last minute. "In rage", the IFA secretary has shot off a letter of complaint to the All India Football Federation to take up the case with the Asian Football Confederation and FIFA.

Perlis had given a written confirmation to play in the tournament on 10 November. Then on 17 November, it sent another letter informing of its unavailability. The reason it gave was that the 2006 Malaysian league had been rescheduled and will begin in December 2005 instead of February 2006 and so it will miss a couple of matches if it was to participate in the Shield.

According to Jaydip Sengupta of Express India, an Indian club, probably JCT, was to replace Perlis and the match against Ever-ready played on 20 November just before the Mohun Bagan-Mohammedan Sporting encounter.

See also: Malaysian club to join Taiwan's Da LI Pu Cup (9 Nov) and Bayern Munich discovers India in "South East Asia" (9 Nov)

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