Friday, January 19, 2007


Selangor look best bets to retain the title

SELANGOR have had a very fruitful year in soccer, and today at the Police
Depot ground their Under-18 boys will be gunning to add another silverware
in their trophy cabinet.
With the FA Cup, Malaysia Cup and Under-16 titles under their belt, they
are the strong favourites to beat Kuala Lumpur for the Under-18 title.
"We have been playing as a team for two years now and there is no reason
why we should fail in the final tomorrow (today)," said Selangor team
manager Ibrahim Mohamed.
Last year, Selangor beat Kedah 3-1 for the title with the help of hat-
trick hero Fareed Shah. It was the first time he scored in the tournament,
and thrice at that, to hand Selangor the title they last won in 1974.
Farid was named Man-of-the-Match and virtually the same team will be
playing against Kuala Lumpur today.
Selangor also have experience in Kamarulzaman Yub, Nazrul Ezwan, Zaidi
Zain, Jaafar Salleh, P. Balasundram and Mohamed Fahmi, who played in the
Asian Schools Championships in New Delhi recently.
But if the preliminaries are anything to go by, Kuala Lumpur will be a
hard nut to crack.
"We were the champions for five years and missed the boat for the last
two, we want to bring back the glory days," said Kuala Lumpur team manager
Johari Jamaluddin.
Kuala Lumpur cut Selangor down to size when they held the overconfident
giants to a 0-0 draw.
The Under-18 tournament this year will provide the core of the youth
team for next year's Youth World Cup qualifying rounds which Malaysia will
host. The selectors have been observing players at the matches, more
reason to make the final a fiery affair.
"This is the last time that the Under-18 will be held on a carnival
basis, next year we will use the Zonal System," said FA of Malaysia
(FAM) head of youth department Datuk Syed Ahmad Kuning.
The champions will receive RM20,000, second RM10,000 and third RM5,000.