Empowering Youths


Perak FA head coach Azraai Khor Abdullah has officially revealed that he will be utilising some of the President Cup players for the upcoming Malaysia Cup campaign.

The Seladangs are currently preparing for the tournament and Azraai has called up six names from the highly talented Perak President Cup squad, including the likes of Mugenthirran, Nurhakim Isa and Syamil.

Empowering Youths

Speaking to Ipoh Echo, Azraai said, “I have always liked the idea of developing youth players and that is exactly what I’ll do for the Malaysia Cup. Six players have been brought in from the President Cup squad and I’m hoping they’ll make a big impression.”

“Mugen and Syamil in particular, netted 14 goals each in the President Cup, and that’s a terrific start for players of their age. So, hopefully, these guys will be able to make us proud by doing well.”

Preparation for the Malaysia Cup has been going well, despite them only being able to train at night due to the fasting month of Ramadan. However, a mini crisis erupted recently when Thai side Muangthong United expressed their desire in prematurely ending Paulo Rangel’s loan stint in Ipoh.

“We’ve been training from 10pm to 12am every day due to the fasting month but everything seems to be going well.”

“Yes, Muangthong wants Paulo back but the man wants to stay, so that’s a good thing. We’ve expressed our desire to keep him so I think he’ll remain here.”

The Malaysia Cup should be an interesting battle ground for Perak, as they seek to regain some pride from what has been a frustrating year. Azraai’s decision to empower the Perak youth players is commendable. Let us hope it will reap dividends.


Going Out With Pride


Perak football team - SeladangsIt was deja vu for Perak team as it succumbed to a second 0-1 defeat to Johor Darul Takzim at the Larkin Stadium on Friday, January 25. This time around though, it was in the FA Cup, as the Seladangs were effectively booted out in the first round by a clinical Johor side.

A few weeks before that, Perak impressed many with a resounding performance despite their 0-1 defeat to Johor in the Malaysian Super League. They had two men sent off in the first half, leaving them with nine players for the second half, in which they defended like heroes to only go down by a solitary goal. Aidil Zafuan netted the winning goal with a terrific header and he came to haunt the Perakeans again three weeks later.

Perak were still missing most of their big guns, with skipper Shahrul Nizam Mustapha and midfielder S. Chanturu still out injured. But the match kicked off on a rather predictable note as big-spending Johor seized initiative with former Spanish international Dani Guiza playing upfront. However, it was Perak who had the first real chance of the game as Hadi Yahya laid a defence-splitting pass for ex-Anderson School player Norhakim Isa. Unfortunately, the youngster scuffed his attempt and a good chance went astray.

Knowing that set-pieces could be their best attempt to surprise the Johor goal, Rafael Novais had a customary long range free-kick from 35 yards. But his spectacular shot was stopped well by the Johor keeper. In fact, the Seladangs meticulously edged into the game and were the better side, as the match approached half time.

After the break, the Southern Tigers came out firing on all cylinders and they got an immediate response. Safiq Rahim stepped up to curl in a corner kick and Aidil Zafuan was placed perfectly to head home the winning goal which, ultimately, saw Perak out of the FA Cup. It was a disappointing end to what was a brilliant performance from the youthful Seladangs.

Credit has to be given to Azraai Khor Abdullah, who has instilled faith in his younger troops. The fact that Perak were missing so many key players through injury and yet managed to put a good fight against Johor Darul Takzim was commendable. Norhakim Isa was arguably the stand-out player of the night, as he rattled the opposition midfield, which had national team players like Safiq Rahim and Nurul Azwan Roya in the midst.

The quality of play shown by Perak’s youthful team signals an encouraging future for the side. In fact, Perak’s successful President Cup squad in 2012 was one of the major motivations in convincing Azraai to take charge of the Seladangs. The ex-Kedah coach is well known for his passion for working with young talents and the abundance of it in Perak augurs well for the team.

Nevertheless, with the FA Cup out of sight, this could very well be a blessing in disguise for the boys. The injured players are recovering and should be in the team very soon. Perak will have a full strength squad to continue the quest for the league’s title.


Perak Team 2013 Unveiled


Perak FA announced its squad for the 2013 Malaysian Super League season during a specially organised event at the Mydin Mall in Meru Raya recently. Team manager Khairul Azwan and head coach, Azraai Khor Abdullah were present along with almost 800 fans jam-packed in the mall. Foreign signings, Rafael Novais and Karim Rouani, were also there. The occasion provided an opportunity for diehard fans to get a glimpse of their idols. All players were present except for S. Chanturu, who was nursing a knee injury and Farizal Marlias, who was given an extended break after his national team duty in the AFF Suzuki Cup 2012.

Perak Football Team - SeladangsHaving drafted several big names, the Seladangs is geared to make a strong impression in 2013, something that PAFA President, Dato’ Zainol Fadzi, felt was possible with a solid home support. The fans’ presence, said Zainol, would inspire the players.

The following day the squad of 22 players departed for a series of friendly matches in the Northern region of Malaysia. They trashed Perlis FA 4-0 at the Kangar Stadium. However, head coach Azraai Khor Abdullah wasn’t impressed.  “The players need time to gel, especially with the two foreign players, Rafael and Karim. It’s too early to judge anyone. So far, I am happy with what I see,” said Azraai to reporters.

There is bad news in store for Perak fans ahead of the start of the new Malaysian Super League season. Football Association of Malaysia requires stadiums to be fitted with 1000 lux floodlights for night play. The Ipoh stadium is fitted with 800 lux floodlights.

Perak FA has brokered a deal to upgrade the facility which will begin in January. This means the Seladangs are likely to play their night home matches at the Lumut Naval Base Stadium until March.

The full Perak squad for 2013 Malaysian Super League season:

Farizal Marlias (GK), Khairul Amri (GK), Mohd Jibrail (GK), V. Thirumurugan, Syazwan Roslan, Hisyamuddin, Rafael Novais, Shahrom Kalam, Khairi Kiman, Noor Hazrul, S. Chanturu, M. Sivakumar, Shahrulnizam Mustapha (C), Mohd Nasir, Rafiuddin Roddin, M. Yoganathan, Yong Kuong Yong, Mohd Failee, Azlan Ismail, Hadi Yahya, Karim Rouani.

The Seladangs’ initiation to this year’s Super League began with a last minute win over Kuala Terengganu’s T-Team at the Lumut Naval Base Stadium on Tuesday, January 8. It was a scrappy 90-minute affair with both teams playing a cautious game. A header by Rafael Novais was deflected by a T-Team player and the ball went straight into the opponent’s net.


Delicate Draw for Seladangs


perak football teamPerak will be in for a rough ride in the upcoming Malaysia Cup. The Seladangs are in Group C along with Super League sides Negeri Sembilan, Felda United and FA Cup finalist, Sime Darby.

The obvious threat comes from Negeri Sembilan, who is the reigning Malaysia Cup champion. The Deers’ final position of sixth in the recently concluded Super League does not reflect their true credentials. Azraai Khor’s men are well-equipped in terms of experience and youth, with Super League top scorer Jean-Emmanuel Effa Owona leading their line upfront.

Sime Darby too had an impressive season that saw them marching all the way into the FA Cup final, before losing to eventual champion Kelantan in the final last May. The Premier League side boasts one of the hottest foreign signing, Patrick Ronaldinho the team’s leading campaigner. Felda United too cannot be taken lightly. E. Elavarasan’s boys were only narrowly defeated twice in the Super League earlier this year, with the scoreline being 2-1 in favour of Perak on both occasions.

Though their group matches appear delicate enough, a bigger challenge awaits them in the knockout round. The two teams that qualify from Group C will face off against two qualifiers from Group B, which is the official “Group of Death” with the likes of Kelantan, Terengganu, ATM and Kedah in it.

There is no denying that Perak will be in for a tough Malaysia Cup campaign. Not many feel they will go far. However, midfield maestro, Michal Kubala is optimistic.

“The team has been training hard. We’ll show our true form in the Malaysia Cup. Every game will be a hard game as there are no easy games in football,” he told Ipoh Echo.

Nevertheless, the Seladangs have made a positive move to bolster their squad. They have snapped up three Sabah players in the form of skipper Reithaudin Awang, Zuraindey Jumai and Fariss Azlan. Reithaudin is already well-known for his experience in defence while Zuraindey and Fariss will add more oomph to the side.

Jang Jung is likely to introduce several talents from the successful Perak President Squad into the senior team. Players like Kenny Pallraj and Nurridzuan Abu Hassan are likely to make the cut.

With Perak set to open their Malaysia Cup campaign against Sime Darby on Wednesday, August 22, the final preparation kicks off now. Inconsistency was a niggling issue throughout the Super League season. Jang Jung is keen to sort things out before the big day. With the inclusion of the new players, the squad is definitely capable of going far. That is my honest to goodness view.


Together, We Can Make A Difference


Together, We Can Make A Difference

Together we can make a difference . That sentence explains everything about our team. Radical Allianz Football Club is a football club formed in 2007. A bunch of boys were so keen to begin something new or to depart from tradition. If you think of youths nowadays, what comes to our minds are smoking, drugs, illegal racing etc. But we wanted to show people that there was another perspective of youth. That is when, Megat Muzzammil came up with the idea of Radical Allianz.

The Writer, back row 2nd from left

It may look normal to see a group of teenagers playing football but the reason why we named our beloved team Radical Allianz is because we wanted to bring something new. Teenagers normally just meet up once in a while to play football for fun. But we proposed something else. We began to take football seriously. We started to understand each and every member of the team. We had a simple mission, to show the world that we understood the importance of teamwork and how soccer can help change a person’s life.

We strongly believe in the quote, ‘we were not born footballers, but we were certainly born with the ability to become footballers’. There are many people out there without the opportunity to play soccer even though they like the sport. It may be caused by several factors. But we wanted to provide people like that with the opportunity to showcase their  talent. Proudly we can say, Yes We Did! We have about 30 members in our team. Most of them are 16 years now and we also have members who are 15, 14 and 13 years. We even have a group of girls that always cheer for us and we would like to express our deepest gratitude to Mai Sarah, Ameira, Fiona, Asilah and Adlina.

Approaching the end of last year, we realized that there must be someone who would be leaving for boarding school since we had finished our PMR. Therefore, our newest member at that time, Farhan Aziz proposed that we should make a team jersey. We collected money and that is when I saw the true quality of the Radicalians. Some of them paid for other members who were poor. This is a great example considering that the jersey was priced at RM65 including printing. This is  proof that Radicalians would never hesitate to sacrifice for each other. We did not have any sponsors but we managed to have our own jersey and the credit goes to Farhan.

Our motto is ‘Play with heart, win with style’. Credit goes to Ariff for the motto. We certainly play with our hearts but we may not always win with style. We do not win all our matches. But we certainly do value all our victories. Over the two years, we have improved tremendously in terms of skill, determination, teamwork, passion and not forgetting discipline. It is very obvious how soccer and Radical Allianz have changed our lives.

We may not have the skills. We may not have the talent. We may not have the money. But we have the quality which matters the most. We have the passion for football. I have always been proud to be a Radicalian and I will always be.

So, to teenagers out there, please do not waste your time engaging in useless activities. You don’t need to start a football team, you can start anything. Just don’t waste your time. Always stick to the fact that we are the future of the nation. I hope I have inspired you guys. That is why I say: “Together we can make a difference! Play with heart, win with style!”

To contact the team, email us at radicalallianz@footballer.com or visit our web page at www.facebook.com.

 Keeshaanan Sundaresan was featured in our story on the Gavel Club in IE87.