Nov 24, 2014

InstaPutra juara pusingan ketiga SepakTakraw League (STL)

ALOR SETAR (23 NOVEMBER 2014): Saingan pusingan ketiga Sepaktakraw League (STL) Zon Utara melabuhkan tirai dengan pasukan InstaPutra muncul juara dengan menewaskan Infratel ‘A’ pada perlawanan akhir yang berlangsung di Stadium Tertutup Sultan Abdul Halim.

InstaPutra, diperkuatkan tekong kebangsaan Fazil Asri, Anuar Samsudin dan Afifuddin Razali mencatat kemenangan 21-13, 21-14 ke atas Infratel yang diwakili Fauzi Ibrahim, Daud Muhamad dan Jamadi Mazlan untuk muncul juara sekaligus membawa pulang hadiah wang tunai RM5,000.

Kemenangan ini juga menyaksikan InstaPutra layak beraksi di pusingan Grand Finals Januari depan, bersama-sama dengan Mazatech ‘A’ dan ATM ‘F’ yang muncul juara pusingan pertama dan kedua di Terengganu (Zon Timur) pada 13 – 16 November lalu.  

Manakala Infratel selaku naib juara berpuas hati dengan hadiah wang tunai RM3,000 dan layak beraksi di pusingan play-off bersama-sama Warisan AZ ‘A’ yang muncul pemenang tempat ketiga selepas menewaskan ATM ‘J’ dan meraih RM1,000.

Pada perlawanan penentuan tempat ketiga yang berlangsung tiga set, Warisan AZ dibarisi dua bekas pemain kebangsaan, Nazirul Ikram dan Zul Effendi Sumari serta Fadzlihaimi Jamaludin tewas 13-21 pada set pertama tetapi bangkit menang dua set berikutnya 21-19 dan 21-12.

Hadiah kepada pemenang disampaikan oleh Presiden Persatuan Sepaktakraw Malaysia (PSM), Dato’ Haji Ahmad Ismail yang hadir menyaksikan perlawanan bersama-sama Naib Presiden III PSM, Dato’ Mohd Yusof Ismail, Pengarah Majlis Sukan Negeri Kedah, Muhammad Mahazi Ibrahim dan Exco Belia dan Sukan Negeri Kedah, Aminudin Omar.  

Terdahulu pada perlawanan separuh akhir, percaturan berani jurulatih InstaPutra, Muhamad Saffar merehatkan tekong berpengalaman, Fazil Asri dan membariskan Faiz Roslan sebagai tekong utama hampir membawa padah apabila InstaPutra mencicirkan beberapa mata mudah sebelum kemasukan Fazil membantu mereka mencatat kemenangan 21-18, 21-12. 
  
Infratel ‘A’ pula menewaskan ATM ‘J’, juga menerusi ‘straight set’ 21-14, 21-15.

STL yang diperkenalkan buat julang kalinya sebagai usaha merevolusikan arena sepak takraw tempatan dilancarkan secara rasminya oleh Menteri Belia dan Sukan, Khairy Jamaluddin pada 7 November lalu. Selepas Kuala Terengganu, dua lagi pusingan berlangsung di Kedah pada 22, 23, 29 dan 30, disusuli Johor dan Melaka sebelum Grand Finals berlangsung di Kuala Lumpur.

Keputusan:
Suku Akhir: InstaPutra mng AMZ Sports ‘A’ 2-0 (21-11, 21-13); Infratel ‘A’ mng PSNP 2-1 (21-14, 17-21, 21-18); Warisan AZ ‘A’ mng ATM ‘G’ 2-1 (21-12, 11-21, 21-18); ATM ‘J’ mng IL-MPSJ 2-1 (15-21, 21-12, 22-20)

Separuh Akhir: InstaPutra mng Warisan AZ ‘A’ 2-0 (21-18, 21-12) & Infratel ‘A’ mng ATM ‘J’ 2-0 (21-14, 21-15) 

Tempat Ke-3 : Warisan AZ ‘A’ mng ATM ‘J’ 2-1 (13-21, 21-19, 21-12)

Akhir : InstaPutra mng Infratel ‘A’ 2-0 (21-13, 21-14)

JADUAL:
Kedah - (Stadium Sultan Abdul Halim, Alor Setar; 22-23 Nov & 29-30 Nov).
Johor - (Stadium Tertutup Pasir Gudang; 13-14 Dis & 20-21 Dis).
Melaka - (Stadium Majlis Perbandaran Melaka, Bukit Seringit; 27-28 Dis, 2014 & 3-4 Jan, 2015).


Grand Final - (Stadium Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, Kuala Lumpur; 10-11 Jan & 17-18 Jan, 2015).

#STL #SepakTakrawLeague #ASV

AXIATA CUP JUNIORS UNVEILS 24 STATE CHAMPIONS!

After a three-week search for the most talented badminton players amongst our youth, the Axiata Cup Juniors screened 24 winners who will now take on a bigger stage in next month’s National Finals.

The Axiata Cup Juniors Talent Search journeyed its way through 12 states from up north Perlis to the southern tip of the peninsula, Johor, and the east coast states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang.

An estimated 1,300 students from government, private institutions and badminton academies paraded their skills after going through a filtration process led by former international Cheah Soon Kit, who won the men’s doubles silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics together with Yap Kim Hock, and his panel of selectors.

The 12 boys and 12 girls who emerged champions in the respective states at the end of the preliminary stage will now compete in the National Finals on December 4-7 at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium in Cheras – in the hope to be crowned Axiata Cup Juniors National champion, paving the way as the future life-blood of badminton in Malaysia.
In Negeri Sembilan, SMJK Chan Wa 2 Fourth Former, Ngai Yong Kien defeated Lee Jia Jun 21-9, 21-18 to emerge boys champions while Kelly Siow Zhi Xin of SMK King George V overcame a determined Lee An Nie 21-12, 21-18 in the final which lasted 15 minutes.

Doubles specialist Helmie Zulhaidee Zulman, 16, from SMK Segambut surprised all by claiming the boys singles title in the Kuala Lumpur trials with a 21-18, 21-16 victory over 15-year-old Lim Jia Lek from Chong Hwa Independent High School, Jalan Ipoh. Both players are also members of the Synergy Badminton Academy and are familiar with each other’s style of play.

“I have never played in a singles match in any tournament before this as I am more of a doubles player. My coach told me of the Axiata Cup Junior and persuaded me to take up the challenge,” said Helmie. “I am excited with this victory and will train hard for the National Finals.”

The KL trials also showed the rise of one the famous Saha clans - Dyvylyn Saha.

The 13-year-old is the daughter of Davincy Saha, and granddaughter of Hj Sanusi Mohamad who was the coach and father of Malaysia’s most famous badminton-playing family, Saha brothers, all of whom had represented the nation in badminton. Davincy himself played in four All-England championships, going through the qualifications round. His best outing was a third round elimination against the mercurial Zhao Jianhua of China.

The SMK Seri Bintang Selatan player defeated Ng Joe Ee 21-5, 21-8 in the final which lasted 30 minutes. While Dyvylyn earned a bye in first round, Joe Ee went through the entire process and was clearly drained by fatigue during her encounter with the eventual champion.

In Johor, 13-year-old Low Yi Sheng of SMK Seri Perling won the first game 21-9 against Richie Ting Wei Jing, an opponent three years older than him. In the second game, Low led 5-0 before Richie, a Form Four student at SMK Skudai, conceded the match after suffering cramps in both legs.

Nur Azlinda Azlin bte Hassim of SMK Convent Muar emerged champion in the girls division after going through a three-set battle against Tang Ying Hui to win 14-21, 23-21, 21-18 in the final.

All the State champions and runner-ups received RM500 each for their efforts while the schools the players represented also received RM300 as a token of appreciation.

Those who make the grade during the tryouts will compete to be State champions and then move on to be crowned Axiata Cup Juniors National champion, paving the way as the future life-blood of badminton in Malaysia.
ROLL OF HONOUR (State Champions)

PERLIS - Boys: Yee Bin Xian (SMK Syed Hassan, Kangar); Girls: Nur Rizuwani (SMK Syed Hassan, Kangar).

JOHOR – Boys: Low Yi Sheng (SMK Seri Perling); Girls: Nur Azlinda Azlin bte Hassim (SMK Convent Muar).

KEDAH – Boys: Ng Yong Chai (SMK St Michael, Alor Star); Girls: Eng Sin Jou (SMK St Michael, Alor Star)

KUALA LUMPUR – Boys: Helmie Zulhaidee Zulman (SMK Segambut); Girls: Dyvylyn Sahar bte Davincy Sahar (SMK Seri Bintang Selatan).

MALACCA – Boys: Tai Chuan Zhe (SMK Katholik); Girls: Hamisya bte Hashudin (SMK Seri Kota).

PAHANG – Boys: Nabeel Azriq B Nazri (SMK Sultan Abu Bakar, Kuantan); Girls: Wong Jia Mei (SMK Air Putih, Kuantan).

KELANTAN – Boys: Mohammad Akram bin Mohd Razi (SMK Putera, Kota Baru); Girls: Tuan Nur Aina Nazirah bte Tuan Daud (SM Agama (1) Nurul Ittifak, Pasir Puteh).

TERENGGANU – Boys: Muhammad Shahfuan bin Mat Desa (SMK Bukit Nenas, Setiu); Girls: Hafizah Adila bte Hasran (SMK Dato Razali Ismail, Kuala Terengganu).

SELANGOR – Boys: Wong Kin Pan (Sri Sempurna International School, Cheras); Girls: Chen Ai Yin (SMK Katholik, Petaling Jaya)

PERAK – Boys: Tan Choong Yen (Tenby Ipoh International School); Girls: Ting Ee Chin (SMJK Yuk Choy).

PENANG – Boys: Ng Wei Shun (SMK Jalan Damai); Girls: Ooi Shi Jie (SMJK Jit Sin)


NEGERI SEMBILAN – Boys: Ngai Yong Kien (SMK Chan Wa 2, Seremban); Girls: Kelly Siow Zhi Xin (SMK King George V, Seremban)

#AxiataCup #AxiataCupJuniors 

Nov 15, 2014

STL ASPIRES TO INVIGORATE MALAYSIAN SEPAKTAKRAW

PUTRAJAYA (7 NOVEMBER 2014): The stage is set for Malaysian Sepaktakraw players to showcase their skills with the launch of the inaugural SepakTakraw League (STL).

Local amateur Sepaktakraw players are invited to participate in the three-month long league, which is expected to attract a total of 640 players involving 128 regus in four regional tournaments.

STL is scheduled to kick-off with the opening act at the Kuala Terengganu State Indoor Stadium from Nov 13-16, 2014 followed by tournaments in Kedah, Johor and Malacca. The Grand Finals will be held at the Titiwangsa Indoor Stadium in Kuala Lumpur over two weekends on Jan 10-11 and Jan 17-18, 2015.

STL is a partnership between Persatuan Sepaktakraw Malaysia (PSM) and Asia Sports Ventures, the arm Astro responsible for managing, developing and promoting Sepaktakraw globally.

STL aspires to be the platform to invigorate the quality of play in the country’s Sepaktakraw to reignite Malaysia’s love for the sport and to re-establish Sepaktakraw as a premier sports.

PSM and Asia Sports Ventures are confident STL will be a platform for new talent to emerge with the best players earmarked for higher level of competition and as the foundation for the domestic SepakTakraw League.

STL was officially launched today by Youth and Sports Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin.

Astro Chief Operating Officer, Henry Tan, Persatuan Sepaktakraw Malaysia President Dato’ Haji Ahmad Ismail and Asia Sports Ventures Chief Operating Officer, Venu Ramadass were also present at the launch.

The introduction of the STL, said Khairy, will serve as a catalyst to improve the standing of Malaysian Sepaktakraw in the arena.

“I sincerely hope with the introduction of STL, we are able to produce a wider pool of talented players at the base and be a force to be reckoned with once again.  It’s a long and winding road but with hard work and proper development programmes we can achieve our targets,” said Khairy.

“A concerted national effort to transform Malaysia into a sporting nation driven by a RM103 million budget announced by Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Razak recently takes centre stage in 2015,” he said, stressing that the quality of high performance areas for football, badminton, cycling, Sepaktakraw, aquatics and athletics will be improved.


 The initiative, spearheaded by the Sports Ministry, will focus on the implementation of four key measures that would see rise in all areas from grassroots programmes aimed at the masses through high performance programmes.


PSM president, Dato’ Haji Ahmad Ismail, believes this investment by the Sports Ministry would allow their grassroots programmes to flourish.


“We have always been thankful for all the assistance the government has provided to Sepaktakraw and this development will complement our existing programmes. It is good to have more help to develop quality players for the future. We welcome ASV and Astro to work with us to develop Sepaktakraw and to take it to a new level” added Dato’ Ahmad Ismail.


He revealed that PSM’s programme will be focused on developing a team capable of winning gold at the 2017 SEA Games and 2018 Asian Games.


Astro Chief Operating Officer Henry Tan said: “Astro is committed to the development and promotion of local sports. We put Sepaktakraw in high regards as it is the oldest sports in this region and has all the attributes to become a truly international sport. We are confident STL will invigorate Sepaktakraw in Malaysia and that we can take this success internationally.”


Broadcast of STL on Astro:

SepakTakraw League will be broadcast live on Astro SuperSport 2 (HD), Astro Arena and RTM.

For more information on STL, please visit:


      Official Website: www.stl.my      Facebook: facebook.com/SepakTakrawLeague
      Twitter: twitter.com/SepakTakrawLeague
      Youtube: youtube.com/SepaktakrawLeague


SCHEDULE:

Terengganu Leg - (Stadium Negeri Kuala Terengganu, Nov 13-16).
Kedah Leg - (Stadium Sultan Abdul Halim, Alor Setar; Nov 22-23 & Nov 29-30).
Johor Leg - (Pasir Gudang Indoor Stadium; Dec 13-14 & Dec 20-21).
Malacca Leg - (Stadium Majlis Perbandaran Melaka, Bukit Seringit; Dec 27-28, 2014 & Jan 3-4, 2015).


Grand Final - (Stadium Taman Tasik Titiwangsa, Kuala Lumpur; Jan 10-11 & Jan 17-18, 2015).

#STL #ASV #Malaysia #SepakTakraw

MALAYSIA FALL AT THE LAST

NAY PYI TAW (2 NOVEMBER 2014): Landing their first ISTAF SuperSeries title is proving to be as slippery as catching an eel in water for Malaysia as they lost 20-22, 21-18,-21-23 to Thailand after coming within a point of winning ISTAF SuperSeries MYANMAR 2014/14.

The deciding set saw the national team leading 20-18 and poised on the verge of a historic win at the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium here before Thai striker Thawisak Thongsai struck twice to force deuce. With the first team going two points clear emerging winner, Thailand hit the first blow  before Malaysia came back with a typical lightning bolt from Khairol Zaman Hamir Akhbar.

Tekong Mohd Syahir Mohd Rosdi, who had been the driving force behind his teammates with his sizzling serves, sent the ball into the net at the worst time possible to give Thailand the advantage. Thawisak, who converted all 27 of his spikes, launched his last of the match and Malaysia once again found themselves playing bridesmaid to the top seeds for the fourth consecutive ISTAF SuperSeries finals.

“This was sepaktakraw played at its highest level, and I’m so proud of my boys for playing their part,” said coach Najib Iman, who was inconsolable after the match. “A lack of fitness and the pressure to win may have contributed to our loss, but in the end we just ran out of luck.”

The national team were the dominating force in the match, with Syahir racking up eight aces, captain Syazreenqamar Salehan steadying the boat with his saves and Khairol Zaman unstoppable in attack and defence. They were ahead for the most part and forced the Thais to come from behind in all three sets.

The Thais, who played all five of their players, were largely hampered by the ineffectiveness of both their tekong, Nattapon Kraiwan and the baby-faced Rattadech Noijaroen.  And although they paled in comparison with the Malaysians, the defending champions held their nerve under pressure and hammered home the fact that they are the world’s best sepaktakraw team.

In the third-fourth placing match, hosts Myanmar beat Singapore 21-18, 21-13.

The national women’s team avoided finishing in last place when they beat Japan 21-17, 21-16. The largely inexperienced side closed fifth in the tournament for their worst ever ISTAF SuperSeries showing.

Thailand, who has won every single ISTAF SuperSeries title since the first tournament commenced in 2011, showed no sign of giving up their dominance of the game by defeating Vietnam 21-18, 21-13 in the finals.

Myanmar beat Indonesia 21-19, 22-24, 21-16 in a see-saw match to finish third.

ISTAF SuperSeries MYANMAR 2014/15 kicked-off the 2014/15 season. Three other legs are scheduled to be played in South Korea, Indonesia and the Philippines. 

The tournament is jointly organised by the International Sepaktakraw Federation (ISTAF) and Asia Sports Ventures (ASV), ISTAF’s exclusive global commercial and developmental partner. It is being held with the support of host partners the Myanmar Ministry of Sports and the Myanmar Sepaktakraw Federation (MSTAF).

ISTAF SuperSeries MYANMAR 2014/15 was televised on ASTRO Arena, ASTRO SuperSports, ASTRO SuperSports HD and RTM. A total of 12 hours of live coverage was aired during the last three days of the tournament.

The tournament was also televised to over 70 countries. For the very first time, fans could also catch all four days of tournament action live on www.sepaktakraw.org.

The ISTAF SuperSeries is the first and only elite platform for regular sepaktakraw competition at the highest level. Alongside the ISTAF World Cup, the internationally-recognised ISTAF SuperSeries is the only sepaktakraw tournament acknowledged by ISTAF and plays a key role in deciding the official ISTAF World Rankings.

FINAL RESULTS (MEN)
Finals: Thailand bt Malaysia 2-1 (20-22, 21-18, 21-23)
3rd -4th Placing: Myanmar bt Singapore 2-0 (21-18, 21-13)

FINAL RESULTS (WOMEN)
Finals: Thailand bt Vietnam 2-0 (21-18, 21-13)
3rd -4th Placing: Myanmar bt Indonesia 2-1 (21-19, 22-24, 21-16)


#ISTAF #ASV #Malaysia #ISSMyanmar 

Oct 21, 2014

AXIATA CUP SET FOR HIGH DRAMA IN JAKARTA AND KUALA LUMPUR

The 2014 Axiata Cup returns with the promise of another exhilarating episode when the top Asian and European players assemble in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur for the top purse this November. Organised by Axiata Group, one of Asia’s largest telecommunications companies, and in collaboration with Badminton Asia Confederation (BAC) and Total Sports Asia (TSA), the Axiata Cup remains badminton’s richest team event in the world with a total prize money of USD1 million (RM3.3 million) on offer in this third edition.

Eight teams will play each other over seven consecutive days during the preliminary round stage at the Britama Arena Sports Mall, Kelapa Gading in Jakarta from November 27-December 3 followed by the semi-finals and finals on December 6-7 at the Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium (KLBA) in Cheras. The format of play for the Axiata Cup remains the same as last year where each tie in the Axiata Cup consists of four matches - men and women singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles.

The top four teams with the most points after the League round qualify for the Play-off’s which will be held in Kuala Lumpur. The top seeded team will play the fourth-placed team and the second-placed team will play the third ranked team after the preliminaries.

All-Star Europe, who finished fifth last year earning USD60,000, will once again join the fray alongside All–Star Asia in the championships. Joining them will be marquee players from Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines.
Last year Malaysia, led by World No. 1 Datuk Lee Chong Wei, clawed back from a game down in this mixed team event to beat Thailand 3-1 in the 2013 Axiata Cup Final at the KLBA Stadium.

Besides the champions earning USD400,000, prize money for the remaining  teams will be distributed with the runners-up picking USD200,000, third-placed USD150,000; fourth USD100,000; fifth USD60,000; sixth USD40,000; seventh USD30,000 and USD20,000 for finishing in eighth spot.

Axiata Group Chief Executive Officer, Dato’ Sri Jamaludin Ibrahim, said since its inception in 2012, the Axiata Cup has been badminton’s most lucrative team competitive event with the objective of broadening the sports' fan base and exposing new talent.
“For the third year in a row, the Axiata Cup is still the world’s richest team prize purse for badminton team championship, USD1 million. It has also hosted some of badminton’s biggest names since its inception in 2012. This year the thrills and spills will continue as a stellar eight-team line-up is in store for all the badminton fans out there,” said Dato’ Sri Jamaludin in his opening remark at the launch in Kuala Lumpur.

“Having already placed ourselves in the record books with just two years to show under our sleeves, we, together with our partners, subsidiaries and associates throughout the region are keen on breaking more records,” added Dato’ Sri Jamaludin.
This year, Axiata has cast a wider net by announcing the inaugural edition of the Axiata Cup Juniors which is channelled to develop a new breed of junior players.

“We at Axiata hope that this initiative will provide Malaysia a bigger pool of players to develop from.  Exposing young players at an early stage is vital and competing in the Axiata Cup Juniors is about playing and feeling the excitement of a true professional badminton player,” he stressed.

The preliminary round of the Axiata Cup Juniors begins on October 31 and will witness an estimated 1,200 players between 13-16 years of age competing in the tournament.

Badminton Asia Confederation (BAC) president, Tan Sri Dr. Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh, acknowledged that Axiata Group with the support from BAC and Total Sports Asia has taken the sport of badminton onto a whole new dimension, creating a new event for the players and spreading the news and action of the competition in a more global and innovative branding, using the most sophisticated ways, ideas and digital media platforms.

“The Axiata Cup has truly become an important stop on the badminton tour calendar in the ASEAN region and will provide the biggest challenge for some of the leading players in the world while fans can enjoy a whole new experience as well,” said Tan Sri Mohd Nadzmi.

“Being an award winning event, the Axiata Cup will once again be an exciting display of action by the players, for the fans and the media. We hope that everyone can support this event by joining the excitements and real-life actions at the stadiums in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, watching it live on the television or on other digital platforms,” Tan Sri Mohd Nadzmi added.

The BAC, he stressed, is committed to creating new opportunities for member associations and with the support from forward-thinking companies such as Axiata Group Berhad, there will be a long and continuous growth and success in the Asian badminton community.


The Axiata Cup 2012 was named the No.1 event in the Event Marketing Category of the 7th International Sports Event Management in 2012 and in 2013 Axiata Cup won the bronze medal in the Best Use of Technology category in ISEM 2013 Awards.

#AxiataCup 

Sep 4, 2014

ISTAF SuperSeries looks to Myanmar

The Myanmar Sepaktakraw Federation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the International Sepaktakraw Federation (ISTAF) to host the ISTAF SuperSeries MYANMAR 2014/15.

The contingent from Myanmar visited the offices of Asia Sports Ventures, in Singapore, home to the ISTAF Secretariat. The ISTAF SuperSeries MYANMAR 2014/15 will be held in Naypyitaw at the end of October 2014.

Following a short meeting regarding the hosting responsibilities, U Soe Naing, President of Myanmar Sepaktakraw Federation, and Dato’ Abdul Halim Kader, Secretary-General of ISTAF, signed the MOU cementing Naypyitaw, Myanmar, as the host for the first-leg of the ISTAF SuperSeries 2014/15.

Venu Ramadass, Chief Operating Officer of Asia Sports Ventures (ASV), sees it as a welcome step in ASV and ISTAF’s continued efforts to further enhance and develop the sport of sepaktakraw internationally.

“We are pleased to announce that the ISTAF SuperSeries 2014/15 Season will open with the ISS MYANMAR, to be held in the capital of Naypyitaw. The Myanmar Sepaktakraw Federation has the support of the Ministry of Sports, and we have absolute confidence in their ability to bring sepaktakraw to the next level,” said Dato Abdul Halim Kader.

“Myanmar has shown an excellent track record with Sepaktakraw, and we are less than a year after the 2013 SEA Games, which saw the stadium packed to capacity for the Sepaktakraw event,” added Dato’ Abdul Halim, when asked about his thoughts on the ISTAF SuperSeries in Myanmar.

U Soe Naing, speaking on behalf of the future host country, said; “We will hold the tournament in the Wunna Theikdi Indoor Stadium, which also played host to Sepaktakraw at the 2013 SEA Games. The stadium was built specifically for sepaktakraw, and we are pleased to once again welcome the best sepaktakraw teams in the world to compete in Naypyitaw. Having seen such huge support for sepaktakraw at the SEA Games, we fully expect to see the stadium filled once again in October.”


He added; “Our Men’s and Women’s teams are currently working hard in the lead up to the 2014 Incheon Asian Games in September. With the ISTAF SuperSeries MYANMAR staging at the end of October, we hope to claim gold medal in front of our home fans.”

#ISTAF #ISS2014/15 

HAMIDIN: ASIA CHAMPIONS TROPHY SPRINGBOARD FOR ASIAN NATIONS

Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) General-Secretary Dato’ Hamidin Mohd Amin paid glowing tribute to Frenz United Football Club for organising this second edition of the FAM-Frenz Asia Champions Trophy (ACT) U-16 2014 which has been a perfect springboard for Harimau Muda 'D' who emerged champions on Sunday.

“You have to give full credit to Frenz United Football Club for their vision and mission. They certainly deserve all the accolades. Participation in the FAM-Frenz Asia Champions Trophy has been a fantastic platform for all the teams from 12 nations, especially Harimau Muda ‘D’ and Frenz United Malaysia,” said Dato’ Hamidin.

He added that this is just the beginning of better things to come and hopes ACT 2015 will be further expanded to include more teams from the Asian region.

“Honestly, without the ACT 2014, I don’t think Harimau Muda ‘D’ would have played enough good quality matches in preparation for this week’s Asian Football Confederation Under-16 Championships. The team has gained so much exposure and confidence and must continue to build on this momentum heading to Bangkok for the AFC Under-16 tournament,” he added.
                                                           
Harimau Muda ‘D’ squad which was assembled in January 2013 after a nationwide selection a year earlier and most of the other competing nations and clubs had benefitted tremendously from the ACT 2014 which augurs well in the development of youth football in the region.

Dato’ Hamidin also heralded the determination of Harimau Muda ‘D’ in staging a late fight back against PVF Vietnam to lift the FAM-Frenz Asia Champions Trophy U-16 2014 at Frenz Stadium in Janda Baik, Pahang on Sunday night.

“I am extremely excited and happy for the team. They showed great character, fighting spirit, mental strength and true grit to overcome a very determined Vietnamese side that was bent on playing their best game in the final,” said Dato’ Hamidin who was among top FAM and Frenz United FC officials to witness the final in front of an estimated 3,000 fans.

Harimau Muda ‘D’ defeated PVF Vietnam 2-1 in the first-leg final in Ho Chi Minh City last week but the Malaysians won 5-4 on aggregate over the Vietnamese following a 3-3 draw in the second leg of the final in Janda Baik. Harimau Muda ‘D’ received US$50,000 (RM165,000) for their effort and PVF Vietnam took home US$25,000 (RM82,500).

Frenz United Malaysia finished third following a 3-1 win over defending champions Chonburi FC in the third-fourth playoff match. The Black Dragons pocketed US$15,000 (RM49,500) and Chonburi FC US$7,500 (RM24,750).

Dato’ Hamidin added that winning the ACT 2014 will provide the ideal morale booster platform for coach S. Balachandran’s Harimau Muda ‘D’ squad who will travel to Bangkok on Thursday for the AFC Under-16 Championship Final round.

The Malaysians are drawn in Group A of the tournament held from September 6-20 with the company of Thailand, Korea and Oman. They open their campaign against the hosts on Saturday. The top four teams will qualify for the 2015 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Chile.

The ACT 2014 has also unveiled a number of players who are of senior national team material in the future. Chonburi FC’s Sittichok Paso scored a total of 16 goals to win the Top Scorer award for the second consecutive year and will certainly lead the Thai firepower up front in the AFC Under-16 championships while more will be heard of PVF Vietnam’s Nguyen Vu Tin in the coming years.

On the home front, the ACT 2014 has developed the skills and confidence level of Harimau Muda ‘D’ strikers Kogisleswaran Raj (15 goals) and Najmuddin Samat, midfielder and skipper Shahrul Akmal Adnan who won the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award, defender Dinesh Rajasingam and Amirul Ashraf to name a few while Frenz United Malaysia players have also benefited tremendously from this experience.

Meanwhile, an ecstatic Harimau Muda ‘D’ coach Balachandran said his players are on Cloud Nine after Sunday’s come-from-behind-victory and is confident they are ready for the tough battle ahead in the AFC Under-16 Championships.

“It was clearly a fantastic performance from my players. The team could have scored early in the first half but we improved as the match progressed,” said Balachandran. “They will take a two-day rest before heading for Bangkok for the AFC Under-16 Championships on Thursday.”

“Our recipe for success is in the players’ determination to win. They are a much disciplined side and we must continue this form in the AFC Under-16 championships. All the teams are very strong and we are also of equal strength. We have to play to our strength to stay in the front,” added the head coach.

Balachandran has set a semi-finals target for Harimau Muda ‘D’ in the AFC U-16 championships which would qualify the team for the 2015 FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Chile. Should the team meet his expectations, it will be the first time that a Malaysian youth team would have qualified for the FIFA Under-17 World Cup based on merit.

Malaysia gained automatic qualification as host of the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship held in six venues around the country.

#ACT2014 #HarimauMuda #FrenzUnited 

Aug 31, 2014

BLACK DRAGONS DOWN CHONBURI FC TO FINISH THIRD

Frenz United Malaysia defeated defending champions Chonburi FC of Thailand 3-1 in the second-leg of the third-fourth placing match in the FAM-Frenz Asia Champions Trophy Under-16 2014 at Frenz Stadium in Janda Baik, Pahang.

A brace from Muhammad Akhmar Haiqal (37th and 65th) and Muhammad Fareez(41st) sealed Black Dragons impressive victory by 3-1 aggregate after both teams played to a goalless draw in the first-leg encounter at Chonburi Stadium last week.

The hosts picked up a US$15,000 (RM49,500) cheque while Chonburi FC received US$7,500 ( RM24,750) in the tournament which boasts one of the most lucrative prize money ever offered in the region for an under-age competition. The total prize money on offer in ACT 2014 is US$100,000 (RM330,000).

In tomorrow’s second-leg final of the ACT 2014, S. Balachandran’s Harimau Muda D will take on PVF Vietnam at the same venue. The Young Tigers won 2-1 in the first-leg encounter in Ho Chi Minh City last week.

If the estimated 2,000 Frenz United Malaysia fans were expecting a stern test from the defending champions they were certainly in for a surprise as Suphakorn Noima’s boys were far from the side that showed so much of promise leading up to the semi-finals of the ACT 2014.

With 15-goal hero Sittichok Paso rested on the bench in the first half, they were evidently lacking in firepower upfront as skipper Saharat Sontisawat, strikers Chaiwat Weerakijphanich and Kritthanapong Paidaen did all they could except find the net.

On the opposite end, Black Dragons dominated much of the first half and had a first good opportunity in the 32nd minute when Mohamed Akhmar Haiqal’s cross from the left flank was met with a header by Aidel Nur Iman. The ball sailed past the outstretched goalkeeper Chakhon Philakhlang only to hit the bar.

Black Dragons, however, opened account five minutes later when they were awarded a penalty by match referee Rozyman Aidit Ibrahim from Brunei after Akhmar Haiqal was brought down by defender Autthagowit Jantod inside the box. Akhmar made no mistake from the spot to take his personal goal tally to eight in the tournament.

But there was more to come from the Black Dragons and the fans loved it. Four minutes before interval, striker Muhammad Fareez Jeffrey made it 2-0 with a header after picking a well-timed cross from Muhammad Hafizzudin from the left flank. The Thais had no answers to the quick-attack and aggressive play of the home team.

Chonburi FC returned in the second half with one major change – bringing on Sittichok for the injured Arthit Kangsangwet. The Thais took control of the match briefly but the hosts continued their bright start by going 3-0 up by the 65th minute through a grounder shot from Akhmar off a corner.

The Thais pulled a goal back in the 75th minute from a Sitichok penalty - his 16th goal in the tournament and making him a top candidate once again for the 2014 Top striker and Most Valuable Player awards.  He won both awards last year.

#ACT2014 #FrenzUnited #ChonburiFC