So it seems that Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) have different plans for the Young Tigers next year. They recently announced that Datuk Ong Kim Swee will no longer be in charge of the Harimau Muda A team, with Razip Ismail taking charge of the Malaysia U22 side that will contest in the S.League as well as the AFC U-23 Championship qualifiers in March 2015. Datuk Ong Kim Swee though, will spearhead them during the SEA Games, but at the same time, he’ll also be acting as a scout for the youth teams.
With a significant change in his job designation, Datuk Ong Kim Swee spoke to FourthOfficial.com’s Aysha Ridzuan on his new role and plans, as well as his thoughts on Harimau Muda A players who have left the team to seek new challenges in the Malaysia Super League.
On FAM’s new plans for Malaysia’s youth teams in 2015….
“Basically there will no longer be Harimau Muda A or Harimau Muda B in 2015. There’s only Harimau Muda which is Razip Ismail’s team and they will play in the S.League as well as the the AFC U-23 Championship qualifying round. My only task in 2015 will be the SEA Games in Singapore which will be in June. That’s when I will call up players from clubs and state teams to the Malaysia U23 team. Most players for the U23 team will most likely be from the S.League side but I will also monitor those who play in the Malaysian league, to see if any of them can make the cut.”
On his role with FAM and the level of involvement he’ll have with the S.League team…
“Apart from being in charge of the SEA Games 2015 team, I will also be scouting players for our youth teams. To be clear, Razip Ismail is fully in charge of the team that will play in the S.League and AFC U23 Championship qualifying round. From the players selection to the appointment of his coaching staff. However, I will always be there to help if they need any suggestions or advice on certain things in relation to the team. It’s what I do for the national team as well.”
“To me it doesn’t matter which teams the players decide to go to. Because the most important thing is for them to play for their new teams regularly. They cannot be lazy and take things for granted. They have to work really hard because playing for Harimau Muda was different. In the league with their new teams, they have to fight for their places, not only with the local players but also the foreign players. Sometimes you can’t blame the coach when he does not select a certain player for matches. The players have to prove themselves and work hard every week to earn their places in the team.”
On striker, Ferris Danial who is wants to depart Kelantan and join Felda United, where he can play regularly…
“Ferris Danial is a concern. As a striker, he will have to fight for his place with the foreign forwards. As we all know, the teams in M-League would prefer to play their foreign strikers. Ferris will face a difficult time but I hope he will continue working hard and not give up.”
“In this case, I don’t blame Gary. I hope this issue would sorted in a good way. Teams involved should sit down and figure things out. It would be a loss for the league and national team if Gary is punished or suspended because of this. He is still eligible for SEA Games next year and it would be a shame if we can’t play him because of this contract issue. At the same time, I hope Gary will learn from this; so should every other players.”
Other posts by Aysha Ridzuan