THE Project 2019 squad’s failure to make the quarterfinals of the Champion of Champions is nothing to be ashamed of, said FA of Malaysia technical director Lim Kim Chon.
Project 2019 team finished third in Group C with two draws and one loss. They narrowly missed the cut to be one of the two third best-placed teams to qualify for the quarterfinals.
“There is no shame as they were playing against boys two years older than them. While they have the skills, the physical strength at this age makes a difference,” said Kim Chon, who is also the head of the national youth football development programme under the National Sports Council.
“This year, the quality of the competition is much higher and teams are more prepared. Obviously, the coaches at the state level are doing their job. And we at the national level could not be more than pleased with what has been shown so far,” he said.
Kim Chon added that there were plans to expand the Under-10 programme next year so that more players could get involved.
Project 2019 – with players who are aged 10 – is aimed at preparing a formidable squad for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in 2019.
In the meantime, defending champions Perlis will take on Patriot Medan of Indonesia in the first match of the quarterfinals tomorrow morning. The other match will be between MyKids Kedah and MyKids Terengganu.
“The rest day is good for the boys,” said Rosle Md Derus, the head coach of MyKids Perlis. “We played against Patriot Medan in our last game in the group, so it will be interesting to play them again.
“But we are fully prepared and will work on some things to be more effective.”
BIG TALENT: Liu Ker Yi (left) has impressed many with his talent
LIU KER YI is an exceptional lad. Being a product of the Kedah systematic football development programme, the 12-year-old midfielder has made a strong impression each time he turns out for the hijau-kuning.
So much so, Ker Yi has just received an offer to study at Gambang Sports School, in Pahang, the latest sport school to be established after Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur and Bandar Penawar in Johor.
“My father is very strict where the emphasis is on both school and also playing football. And I love football where I hope that I can be like my idol Safiq Rahim (the Malaysian captain) and play for Malaysia one day,” said Ker Yi, whose father Liu Chee Beng has been the main driving force in his bid to excel in the sport.
“Now that we are in the quarterfinals (where they will play MyKids Terengganu on Friday), I believe we can make the final.”
Kedah finished the preliminary campaign with a perfect record. This morning, they wrapped up their final Group C match with a 3-1 victory over Negri Sembilan.
Despite falling behind to a Alif Shakirin Azmi goal after 29 minute, Faez Faizal grabbed the equaliser eight minutes later before Aliff Rafiq and Ammar Hafifi added further goals in the 43rd and 47th minutes
Their opponent in the quarterfinals on Friday morning is MyKids Terengganu, the runners-up team from Group B.
Defending champions MyKids Perlis topped Group A when they beat Patriot Medan of Indonesia 3-1. Wan Mohd Fitri (3rd, 19th) and Adika Shauqi (56th) scored for Perlis while Aryo Pratomo (15th) netted for Patriot Medan.
Despite the loss, the club from Medan still made the cut for the quarterfinals as the second best third-placed team in the among the three groups. They will have a rematch with Perlis for a place in the semifinals.
The remaining fixtures on Friday will see CIMB-YFA taking on MyKids Terengganu while Sabah will entertain Negri Sembilan.
Tomorrow is a rest day.
Results Group A: Patriot Medah 1 MyKids Perlis 3, Sabah 5 Kiddo Kickers 0. Group B: First Touch Pahang 0 MyKids Kuala Lumpur 8, Mykids Terengganu 0 CIMB-YFA 1 Group C: Negri Sembilan 1 MyKids Kedah 3, MSS Terengganu 2 Project 2019 2
Friday’s quarterfinals fixtures 8am: Mykids Perlis vs Patriot Medan (Field A) 8am: Mykids Kedah vs MyKids Terengganu (Field C) 9.15am: CIMB-YFA vs MyKids Kuala Lumpur (Field B) 9.15am: Sabah vs Negri Sembilan (Field C)
UPLIFTING EXPERIENCE: A Project 2019 player (in yellow/black strip) tussles with a Negri Sembilan player in their match.
DEFENDING champions MyKids Perlis stuttered to a 1-1 draw against Sabah while Patriot Medan of Indonesia had a bright start when they downed Kiddo Kickers of Malacca 4-2 in the opening day of the Champion of Champions 2012 at the Gong Badak Field in Kuala Terengganu today.
Perlis had gone into the game confidently but found Sabah a tough nut to crack even though they did score the opening goal early in the 10th minute through Adika Shauqi. But Sabah did not take too long to score the equaliser when Mohd Nasip found the back of the net in the 23rd minute.
Patriot Medan, meanwhile, showed that they have the quality to win the tournament this year when they overturned a two-goal deficit to beat Kiddo Kickers.
Luqman Hakeem found the back of the net twice for Kiddo Kickers on 28th and 32nd minute before the side from Indonesia replied with the four goals.
Bobby Andriza grabbed a brace off goals in the 33rd and 48th minute while Aryo Pratomo (38th minute) and Ragil Kurniawan (42nd minute) were the other scorers.
Other notable results were CIMB YFA’s 5-0 demolition of First Touch Pahang 5-0 while MyKids Kedah were also on a romp, thrashing MSS Terengganu with the same scoreline.
The Project 2019 boys had a positive start to their maiden appearance when they held Negri Sembilan to a 1-1 draw in their Group C tie.
Group A: MyKids Perlis, Sabah, Kiddo Kickers, Patriot Medan
Group B: MyKids Kuala Lumpur, MyKids Terengganu, CIMB-YFA, First Touch Pahang
Group C: MyKids Kedah, MSST, Project 2019, Negeri Sembilan
LIM KIM CHON, the Technical Director of the FA of Malaysia (FAM), said the Champion of Champions which kicks-off tomorrow morning in Kuala Terengganu is important to assess the level of play of the players from the four MyKids centres taking part.
The MyKids centres from Perlis, Kuala Lumpur, Terengganu and Kedah are under the direct supervision of the National Sports Council (NSC).
“We need to expose these players as part of the bigger picture. The boys have been under the MyKids programme since last year when they were nine years old, so we need to assess their level of play,” added Kim Chon, who is also the head of the national youth football development programme under NSC.
“We are preparing these players for project 2019 which is for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup. So playing in this tournament will be good to look at how far they have progressed while playing games against the team from Indonesia will be an added incentive.”
While last year there were eight teams taking part with MyKids Perlis emerging as the champions, this time there will be 12 teams. All matches are at Gong Badak Field.
Other than the four teams from NSC, the rest of the participants are the individual champions from other states, an invited team from MSSM as well as a side from Indonesia called Patriot Medan.
The first match will be played tomorrow morning at 8am.
GROUPINGS Group A: Mykids Perlis, Sabah, Kiddo Kickers, Patriot Medan Group B: MyKids Kuala Lumpur, MyKids Terengganu, CIMB-YFA, First Touch Pahang Group C: MyKids Kedah, MSST, Project 2019, Negri Sembilan