Saturday, August 7, 2010

Selangor looking good for 33rd title

Malaysia Cup The HMS Malaya Cup— as this soccer competition was originally called— was inaugurated on 1 October 1921, when the captain of a British battleship, HMS Malaya, presented two trophies to commemorate rugby and soccer matches played during the battleship’s stay in Malayan waters in 1920.

By Jugjet Singh

SUPER League holders Selangor have been drawn in a relatively easy group, and finishing top-two in the first round of the Malaysia Cup should be a breeze.
Selangor, with 32 Malaysia Cup titles under their belt, were drawn in Group D together with Terengganu T-Team, Perlis and KL Felda United at a function held at Wisma FAM in Kelana Jaya yesterday.
T-Team ended seventh, while Perlis were a lowly 12th in the Super League, while Felda United were champions in the Premier League.
The main draw was conducted by newly elected deputy president Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, after which he delivered a stern warning Malaysia Cup coaches and managers.
“The Malaysia Cup is highly respected not only in Malaysia, but also this region for being run in a professional manner. And that is why coaches and managers from the 16 teams must show their best side by not being overly critical of the administration, umpires and technical officials,” said Tengku Abdullah.
On his vision for FAM: “I am not a new official, but a recycled one. And so my vision right now is to get all the facts together and then come up with a new vision in a short time.
“I will not tear down the house and build a new one, but build on and improve the existing infrastructure so that the Malaysian football team will once again be feared in this region,” said Tengku Abdullah.
The First Round of the Malaysia Cup will start on Sept 14, on a home-and-away basis where the top-two teams from each group will advance to the quarter-finals.
The final will be held on Oct 30 at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
Selangor, who won the Charity Shield and then defended their League title, will be going for a double treble in the Malaysia Cup.
However, their last taste of glory at this stage was in 2005 when they beat Perlis 3-0 in the final.
“I would not say that we have easy opponents because the Malaysia Cup always brings out the best in all teams. However, finishing among the top-two in our group and advancing to the quarter-finals is within our reach,” said a cautious assistant coach P. Maniam.
Except for national trainee Bunyamin Umar, the other key Selangor players are injury-free to make a dash for their 33rd Malaysia Cup title.
GROUP A: Kelantan, Negri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur Plus FC, Selangor PKNS.
GROUP B: Terengganu, Pahang, Kuala Lumpur, Sabah.
GROUP C: Johor FC, Kedah, Perak, Armed Forces.
GROUP D: Selangor, Terengganu T-Team, Perlis, KL Felda United.