The kids are alright, take a chance on them: Syed Saddiq

21 Oct 2019 / 17:52 H.

SERDANG: Come and get them. That was Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s call today to teams competing in the Malaysia League (M-League) to consider recruiting first-generation trainees from the Mokhtar Dahari Academy (AMD) set up under the National Football Development Programme.

Insisting that the first-generation trainees have what it takes in terms of potential, he said opportunities given to play in the M-league will bring about a positive impact in the development of their gameplay and performance, which in the long run would only benefit the national team.

And should the M-League teams decide to give them a chance, Syed Saddiq said they must take it upon themselves to provide them with the best exposure in the professional game as far as possible.

“We now want all clubs to take them in. Please consider giving them a place in your teams.

“They are good players, train them as best as possible so they can end up representing Malaysia,” he said after officiating the opening of a national football development empowerment seminar here today.

The NFDP, launched in 2014 and aimed at producing world-class players, currently has 25,000 trainees as young as 12 in its set up at NFDP centres nationwide, including the AMD in Gambang where 200 elite-level trainees are based.

Local media reported recently that 34 first-generation AMD trainees have been handpicked by several top teams in the country, including Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT), Selangor and Kedah, besides there also being offers from clubs in Japan.

National Under-18 (U-18) squad striker, Luqman Hakim Shamsudin recently created history by becoming the first Malaysian to be offered a contract with Belgian Pro League, KV Kortrijk for five years from next season.

Asked on compensation to AMD should any of its trainees were offered stints, Syed Saddiq said the matter would be discussed in the NFDP steering committee before any decision is made.

“This is a policy issue and it would need prior discussions with the NFDP steering committee, but as far as possible, we do not want to place too many restrictions on teams wanting to secure their (trainees) services. — Bernama

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