JDT to assist Malaysian Tigers with 2019 Asian Cup preparations

Johor Darul Ta’azim (JDT) had the honour of hosting national team head coach Datuk Ong Kim Swee to discuss the improvement of Harimau Malaysia at the Thistle Hotel yesterday.

The meeting was led by Crown Prince of Johor (TMJ), Tunku Ismail ibni Sultan Ibrahim and included Ong Kim Swee, his assistant Brad Maloney and Southern Tigers boss Mario Gomez.

The former national Under 23 coach was pleased with the productive meeting and praised Tunku Ismail for putting the past behind them in order to help the national team grow.

Photo Credit: Johor Southern Tigers
Photo Credit: Johor Southern Tigers

“The meeting showed that Tunku Ismail is extremely concerned with the development of Harimau Malaysia. I can safely say that there is no misunderstanding between the national team and JDT,” Datuk Ong Kim Swee said as quoted by Harian Metro.

“We discussed a number of things and shared our opinions. I took it well when TMJ offered to help the national team in our preparations for the 2019 Asian Cup playoff match.”

The controversy between Ong Kim Swee and Mario Gomez began when the Argentinian coach criticized the national team coaching system after seven of his players returned from national team duty and performed miserably in the 5-2 win over PDRM in the FA Cup.

Photo Credit: Johor Southern Tigers
Photo Credit: Johor Southern Tigers

TMJ also met with National Football Development Programme (NPDP) project director Lim Teong Kim earlier that day to discuss a potential partnership between NFDP and JDT.


TMJ produced a moment of genius when he decided to bury the hatchet between Ong Kim Swee and Mario Gomez in a meeting between both parties and in front of the media world. He also would have a lot to gain from a partnership deal with Lim Teong Kim’s NFDP. However, what baffles me and plenty of others who do not have the chance to say something about it is the fact that the national team and the NFDP are only working with The Southern Tigers. There could be two possible explanations; they were approached by Tunku Ismail or they agreed to meet with Tunku Ismail because of the world-class stature of JDT, or both.

This would be a good direction for the JDT, the national team and NFDP, but how would it affect the other clubs in the Malaysia Super League (MSL), Malaysia Premier League (MPL) and the rest of the lower league clubs in the country? Take a look at the German Football Association for instance. They implement the same blueprint to all clubs in Germany, starting with the youth and ending it at the highest level in the Bundesliga. In fact, the clubs in the top leagues have adapted the approach since a young age as it was started with the youth. Lim Teong Kim would be better off collaborating with all of the clubs in the country so that they would be able to use it for their academies and younger age group, who will be the future of our nation someday.

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