Monday, March 23, 2009

State's want coach to select more

NATIONAL Under-16 coach K. Dharmaraj (pic) was in Seremban to watch the age-group tournament which ended on Saturday, and only selected two new faces to beef-up his training squad.
The other 20 players had already been shortlisted earlier leading state coaches to cry foul as they believe 10 more should be included in the training squad.
"During the tournament, I spoke to several state coaches and they felt my training squad should have 32 and not 22 because many more players have shown promise," said Dharmaraj.
"But my hands are tied because the NSC (National Sports Council) is only funding 22 players. I will speak to the NSC officials tomorrow (today) and can only increase the number if they agree to fund a larger group." This batch of players are being groomed for the 2013 Junior World Cup.

"The two players I have selected are both goalkeepers as I need a bigger pool to keep them challenging each other. I have no qualms about training a bigger group, but it all depends on funding, and only the NSC can make this decision," added Dharmaraj.
On the tournament, Dharmaraj felt that playing seven matches in a row made the gold and bronze matches jaded affairs.
"Seven matches in a row is a bit too much even for older players, as such, both the finalists were struggling in the title decider.
"My suggestion for next year is that there should at least be a break of one day after the semi-finals to allow the boys to recover." Eleven states and Singapore competed in the National Under-16 tournament with Kuala Lumpur retaining their crown with a 3-1 win over Perak.