As I am just a blogger, most of my information and articles are purely based on the local newspaper reports and my personal thoughts.
In this week alone, there have been a lot of reports on the local sports scene. The headliner of the week, definitely has to be Raddy Avramovic's 4 match suspension from the National football team's World Cup Qualifiers. This effectively kills off Raddy's chances of being at the touchline throughout the qualifiers. I thought that this is too harsh a punishment. I've watch the match, so I can understand his frustrations towards the refereeing of the game, with the added intensity of playing the Chinese and actually leading them at one stage, no wonder he lost his mind. I believe in this scenario, given even the most mild mannered coach or manager, they would also flare up with the poor standards of the handling of the game.
Still on football, a Woodlands Wellington's player is being jailed for some crime. Apparently he has had previously run afoul of the law during his teens and had changed for the better throughout the years. I hope this doesn't affect his playing career when he is released. I mean football is probably his livelihood and career, but being convicted by the civil law does not mean that he automatically become a bad footballer. Even in England, where the players think that they are like untouchables, also run into all sorts of troubles with the law or even the civil societies. I do hope Woodlands will be able to stand by him and give him the necessary support.
Also in the papers this week, a feature was being done on the National Wushu team, who are SEA Games bound. Reading through the article, the team will be a mixture of experienced and younger exponents competing in individual and team events. Being able to expose young athletes in regional games is definitely good for the re-generation of the sport, but looking at the events that they will be participating, it don't really look very promising. The main focus of the team will be on the individual Taiji events, where some of them have had competition experiences at the highest level, but they are also putting the focus on the choreographed sparring events. This may mean a higher possibility of winning medals, but I don't think it will look good for the future. We are not even sending any exponents to participate in the blue-ribboned events like Chang Quan and Nan Quan. We used to have a World champion in Vincent Ng's Broad Sword before, since then what has the federation done to increase the sports' exposure? And now we are also treating the World Wushu Championship, held just before the SEA Games, as a warm up preparation. Seems like the lure of monetary rewards is definitely bigger than prestige.
Some good news on the local scene, as in my previous post, our local hockey community has produced 3 players to play professional hockey in Europe. Though its only a short term contract, I do hope if they are being offered longer terms, the government and Mindef will be able to help them in some ways in developing their talents. This is almost the same situation faced by Fandi Ahmad when his sons were offered places in Europe, but looking ahead, the NS obligation proves to be an obstacles for them. Even Haris Harun was not being released for the crucial World Cup qualifiers. These boys could be earning their living through playing with their talents, but if they have to put everything on hold for two years for National Service, their careers could be wasted by then, and their focus could well possibly be different. Even though every male have to go through the mandatory NS period, I believe there's definitely some ways to explore in helping them also. If they improve and in return lead Singapore to further glories, they are also serving the Nation also.
Lastly, back on football. The National team went up to Shah Alam Stadium to play against Selangor in the 10th Sultan of Selangor' Cup 2011. Well, we've won it 1-0 and reading the newspaper reports, I thought the atmosphere there was great, almost resembling the Malaysia Cup days. We were the fiercest of rivals back then, where I had thought the match does not mean anything except for bragging rights, the intensity of the match do prove otherwise. Its a pity I could make the journey up north, but with the Malaysia Cup next year, I hope I will be able to make a few journeys to support the Lions.