Saturday, June 13, 2015

Kim Swee: Make it compulsory for U-23 to start games in M-League

Kim Swee have his contract with FAM until December. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star
Kim Swee have his contract with FAM until December. - IZZRAFIQ ALIAS / The Star

SINGAPORE: In the wake of the national Under-23 team failure at the Singapore SEA Games, coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee’s future seems uncertain.

The national Under-23 team failed to get past the group stage in the SEA Games for the first time in eight years after finishing third in Group B behind champions Thailand and runners-up Vietnam.

Taking full responsibility for the failure, former international Kim Swee said he will decide on his future after the World University Games in Gwangju, South Korea (July 3-14).

"My next task is to train the team for Gwangju. My contract with the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) ends in December. After that, I will figure out the next path in my coaching career," said Kim Swee.

"I'm not happy with my record here ... the team’s performance has dropped drastically since the 2011 SEA Games. More work is needed if we want to do well in the next edition of the Games in Kuala Lumpur.

"Ten players from this squad are eligible to play in the next SEA Games but what will be the plans for them? We need to ensure that we have a proper plan to win the gold medal."

Kim Swee added that FAM need to retain the Harimau Muda programme to expose players to regular competitive matches.

"We can count with our fingers how many Under-23 players are regulars for their clubs in the M-League. If Harimau Muda is scrapped, the Under-23 players will not get the chance to play," said Kim Swee.

"My suggestion is to make it compulsory for all Super League teams to start their matches with two Under-23 players next season. This will expand the pool of players and we will then have 24 Under-23 players ready for the national team.

"This is not a restriction to the M-League teams. If we can allow them to play with four foreigners, why not have the Under-23 players rule?"

The Star Online

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