The scene at the Sony Complex in Seberang Prai, Penang spoke of the football passion in the country when another huge crowd of hopefuls turned up for Nike Malaysia's "The Chance" which could open the door for a lucrative football career.
Just like in Bukit Jalil and in Kuantan in the first two trials, it was no easy task for the panel of coaches, headed by national chief coach K. Rajagobal, who had their hands full in picking the best for the second round of trials in Kuala Lumpur next month.
The top 30 participants from all trials venues in the country will attend the final selections camp on Oct 5 & 6 to vie for the one slot for the global trials with 99 other footballers from 40 countries in London. Only eight international places are available at the global trials which will be conducted by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
Those who are successful will be awarded a 10-month contract at the Nike Academy from July 2011 and placed at Bath University to study professional football with all expenses paid. And among those who managed to secure a place in for the second phase of trials was ardent Arsenal supporter and a great admirer of Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, rightback
V. Vikneswaran who said:"I am sure that those who fought for a place today had the same intention like me...to show off my football skills and talent and impress the panel of coaches. To be frank, I don't know if I really gave my best. I had butterflies in my stomach and I was also nervous.
"Thanks to Nike, we are given the lifetime chance of taking our football career further than just playing in and around kampungs and housing estates apart from hoping to break into the state team.My dream is be a fulltime football professional.
"I am a great fan of Arsene Wenger and I am an Arsenal supporter. It will be a dream come true for me if I can make the trip to London to vie for one of the slots to get into the Academy.
The Chance is a global search for talented young footballers to join the Nike Academy, a high performance training programme which is supported by the Premier League in England.
There is only only more trial remaining and this will take place at Padang Mawar in Pasir Gudang, Johor Bahru on Sept 29.
Nike Country Marketing Manager Menaha Nadaraja said: "We are certainly pleased with the overwhelming support we have received so far. Nike Malaysia is proud to play its part in tapping young football talent in the country.
"It's our fervent wish to see a Malaysian plying his football at the highest level. The Chance is opening doors for such youngsters to make good of the opportunities given to them."
Striker Meor Rashdan Ahmad Razal, one of the lucky 13 who got selected for the "final' selection in Malaysia, said: "I will work extra hard to fight for the single berth available for the selection in London."
Those selected in Penang are:
Mohd Shahrizal Romli (defender) Shahrizal Ahmad (striker) Vikneswaran Vegindran (rightback) Kumaraguru Rajanthiran (midfielder) Muhammad Munawwar Shavukath Ali (defender) Mohd Nizam Mohd Yusri (midfielder) Muhammad Fitri Kamal (rightwing) Muhammad Syamil Sulaiman (midfielder) Mohd Shazuan Mohd Ashraf Mathews (midfielder) Muhamad Faees Abdul Rahim (defender) Meor Rashdan Ahmad Razali (striker) Muhamad Faiz Che Hassan (rightwing)Muhamad Farizie Ramli (leftwing)
For more information about The Chance, log on to www.nikefootball.com.my