The Midnight Football participants are glad that they have joined the youth benefiting programme by AFC and feel that it is helping them become better persons.
Mohd Faris Mohd Rashid, 16, said he had been afraid of not being chosen to join the programme.
“I and four class mates from Taman Kosas Secondary School went to apply to join during recruitment. I was hoping of getting selected because I heard a lot of people were also applying.
“Plus, I hoped I would have had all my four school mates put in the same team as me. But this turned out not to be the case later
“But I’m proud to have been selected to join because this programme, being organised by AFC, is a prestigious event. I aim to become more self confident and contributing to society through this project,” he said on Midnight Football’s match day two on October 9, in Cheras, here in Malaysia’s capital
Mohd Azhar Yahya said despite his reservation at the start of the project, he is now happy to be making new friends.
“AFC is doing a good job in helping us make new friends through football. Before this, I felt awkward, but now, not anymore.
“I even scored a goal today, thanks to a pass from a team mate who was a complete stranger back when we formed the team.
“I’m glad I joined this project,” the 15-year-old student of Bandar Tasik Selatan Secondary School told the-afc.com.
Sivanathan Shendendren said he is learning well to be a leader by being skipper of his Team Honesty.
“Being a good leader does not mean your mates have to listen to you only. It also entails you the leader listening to your people.
“This way, I don’t have to control every action of my team mates. They govern themselves based on criteria and strategies we have agreed on as taught to us by our coach.
“It’s so great! I learn not to be a controlling, but an empowering leader. I’m leveraging on the creativity and hearts and minds of my players – something a controlling leader can’t do.
“Our coach Shan from FAM (Football Association Malaysia) is really something!” exclaimed the 18 year-old just after a match.
Midnight Football is a pathfinding project of AFC which aims at helping marginalised youth off the street, the first such a project in Asia and Malaysia.
The eight-month project aspires to use football as the stepping stone to educational, character building, entrepreneurial skills and community awareness related programmes.
AFC has chosen Malaysia as the first Member Association (MA) for the project and aspires that it will be emulated by other MAs.