Wednesday, 18 July 2012

What next for local football?

It's been more than 6 months since my last post and it was about the Malaysia Cup. Well, the Malaysian Super League has ended and the Malaysia Cup (post season) will be starting soon. Looking at the results that the LionsXII obtained, they did achieved their target in the league, which is to finish in the top 5. In fact they did even better to finish as runners up. Congratulations!

When the season stared in February, I did actually followed their games on TV. In fact I had wanted to go to Jalan Besar Stadium to watch them in action. However due to my busy schedule, I could not and slowly the interest faded in me. I was not expecting spectacular  football to be on display, but the games played away were usually played to sparsely filled stadium which don't actually create the right atmosphere. While the home games were played to capacity crowds, the away games were comparable to our very own S League.

With the participation in the Malaysian League/ Cup, the FAS stated the impact on the S League will not be great and they did believe the crowds will spill over to the S League. However, that doesn't seem the case. In fact the average crowd attendance seemed to be even lower than last season. While the LionsXII unearthed some good players who already stepped up to the National Team, it is appalling to note that only a few players in the S League got called up. Isn't the S League supposed to be the main product? It seems that FAS is treating S League as a secondary plan while still enjoying the hype of the LionsXII. Maybe the blame will fall on the fact that it is a Euro and Olympics season and the spectators will feel fatigue, but changes still need to be done. There can be an increase in funding, players' quality, but the spectators don't know who the players are. If the product is so good yet nobody knows about it, that means it is a failure.

This year, FAS has probably created lots of household names and heroes out of the LionsXII. For their participation next year, FAS should really consider disbanding this year's team and hold a players' draft for the local S League clubs, so that FAS can bank on these names to bring in the crowds and probably create more players' rivalry atmosphere. Instead of the Lions XII, sent in our Young Lions for the Malaysian League instead. This is the only way for the Cubs to develop in playing in different places. Looking forward, new names will be known, provided the crowds still continue to support the Young Lions, and overage players in subsequent seasons will continue to be drafted by S League clubs.

Overall concept, Malaysia Cup is to develop young players and to provide well groomed players for our S League. With more recognisable names in different teams, spectators will actually know the players and the quality will definitely pick up.

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