A training stint with an English club may become a reality for the national under-23 squad, said Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek."I have made several proposals to FAM (Football Association of Malaysia) president Sultan Ahmad Shah on the training stint in England after visiting a football academy there recently.
"I will be getting the feedbacks soon," Ahmad Shabery told reporters in an interview over the "Sports on Traxx 101" radio programme at Angkasapuri here on Thursday.Ahmad Shabery said once a decision was made, the ministry would unfold a football development programme, for which a RM10 million allocation was announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak recently.
Meanwhile, FAM secretary-general Datuk Azzuddin Ahmad said he accompanied Ahmad Shabery in his visit to Everton Youth Academy and they discussed with Everton FC on the possibility of getting their assistance in the national football development programme."We have also made a request for our under-23 squad to train with the club," said Azzuddin when met at Wisma FAM, Kelana Jaya.
He said FAM would study the Youth and Sports Ministry's proposals but it would be pointless merely to attend training in England but not taking part in any competition."It is still not definite whether there will be an overseas training stint for the under-23 squad.
The footballers are also bound by contracts with state teams and clubs and this must be honoured as the Malaysian leagues had started."However, a monthly centralised training will continue as planned," he said, adding that, a committee comprising representatives from the National Sports Council, the Education Ministry and FAM would study various football development proposals which could be implemented.
On the Everton Youth Academy, he said it had a successful football development programme, starting at the tender age of eight."It has produced many top-notched players like Manchester United's Wayne Rooney," added Azzuddin.