Saturday, July 31, 2010


Below is part of a speech delivered by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah today....

Tengku Abdul Rahman was a man at ease with himself, made it a policy goal that Malaysia be “a happy country”.

He loved sport and encouraged sporting achievement among Malaysians. He was owner of many a fine race horses. He called a press conference with his stewards when his horse won at the Melbourne Cup.

He had nothing to hide because his great integrity in service was clear to all. Now we have religious and moral hypocrites who cheat, lie and steal in office, who propagate an ideology that shackled the education system for all Malaysians, while they send their own kids to elite academies in the West.

Speaking of football - you’re too young to have experienced the Merdeka Cuphe 60s and 70s. Teams from across Asia would come to play in Kuala Lumpur: teams such as South Korea and Japan, whom we defeated routinely.

We were one of the better sides in Asia. We won the bronze medal at the Asian Games in 1974 and qualified for the Moscow Olympics in 1980. Today our FIFA ranking is 157 out of 203 countries.

That puts us in the lowest quartile, below Maldives (149), the smallest country in Asia, with just 400,000 people living about 1.5 metres above sea level who have to worry that their country may soon be swallowed up by climate change. Here in Asean we are behind Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, whom we used to dominate, and now only one spot above basketball-playing Philippines.

The captain of our illustrious 1970’s side was Soh Chin Aun, R Arumugam, Isa Bakar, Santokh Singh, James Wong and Mokhtar Dahari. They were heroes whose names rolled off the tongues of our schoolchildren as they copied them on the school field. It wasn’t about being the best in the world, but about being passionate and united and devoted to the game.

It was the same in badminton, except at one time we were the best in the world. I remember Wong Peng Soon, the first Asian to win the All-England Championship, and then just dominated it throughout the 1950. Back home every kid who played badminton in every little kampung wanted to call himself Wong Peng Soon.

There was no tinge of anybody identifying themselves exclusively as Chinese, Malays or Indian. Peng Soon was a Malayan hero. Just like each of our football heroes. Now we do not have an iota of that feeling. Where has it all gone?

I don’t think it’s mere nostalgia that makes us think there was a time when the sun shone more brightly upon Malaysia. I bring up sport because it has been a mirror of our more general performance as a nation.

Monday, July 26, 2010


On Saturday we will know where Malaysian football is heading, either it continues its downward trend or rise from the ashes.

Many are of the opinion that the future of Malaysian football is dependent on the outcome of the FAM elections on July 31, but I beg to differ.

The lack of quality in the candidates has somewhat put in spanner in the efforts towards taking Malaysian football to a firmer footing in the next decade.

And if the current administration is retained, expect more cleansing, in terms of staffing, as well as more politicking rather then contributing effectively towards improving the standard of football.

Let's not even talk of the 1 Malaysia concept when it comes to FAM for they do not practice it at all, the composition of candidates as well as staffing speaks volumes.

Throw out the notion that you can serve football on merit as people like Windsor John deserve to be the top dog in the FAM administration if one is to use merit and ability as a tool to evaluate the ability of an individual.

Instead we continue to put our faith in personalities that lie through their teeth, play politics and behave as if FAM belonged to their forefathers.

Let us take a look at the candidates vying for positions. My fellow bloggers had their say, and while I will not agree with some of the comments made, I always believe that it is good to have your own opinion, as so long as we remain apolitical.

Deputy President

The two tipped to assume the positions are Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and Tan Sri Anuar Musa. The other candidates in the fray are Dato Che Mat Jusoh, Dato Seri Redzuan Sheikh Ahmad and Datuk Mokhtar.

While Tengku Abdullah, the former Deputy who quit in July 2007 and current President of Malaysian Hockey Federation and Malaysian Hockey Confederation, is strongly favoured, there might be some who perceive voting him in might lead to another 20 years of rule by the Pahang royal family in Malaysian football. Voting in Tengku Abdullah will mean a continuance of the policy adopted by Sultan Ahmad Shah, and this could well prove to be correct as Tengku Abdullah has always followed precedent, rather then take measures that are not popular but effective, as the case in hockey. And does he not have his plate full with hockey and polo, not discounting his role as VP in AFC?

Tan Sri Anuar Musa has charisma, out spoken like KJ, but will have to depend on his UMNO comrades in states to ensure his election into the hot seat. But it is what he can do after July 31 that matters, not what he has done for Kelantan, though mind you it was no easy feat. Anuar could well end up to be another KJ, frustrated and dejected in his honest attempt to do something. But without clout, as he is no Minister nor some head honcho in any GLC, Anuar may have lost the battle before he can get moving.

Next we have Datuk Seri Redzuan Sheikh Ahmad, the maverick of FAM. He has lost support of the states, largely due to the fact that he is too aligned to the current administrative set-up. Redzuan means well, but over the years his inability to stand up and make changes have diminished his chances of being re-elected considerably. The Azraai Khor incident was the final straw, for if Azraai is deemed incompetent as a coach, then so is the entire Technical Committee who hired Azraai in the first place as well as the administration of FAM as it took them seven months to realise that a two time treble winning coach was incompetent.

Then we have Dato Che Mat Jusoh, a nice personality, but it takes more then being nice to get elected. Che Mat is what you can describe as an elder statesman of FAM and deserves a chance to be the number two. But not being decisive will work against him especially how his Competitions Committee bent backwards in accommodating Pahang in the Super League., though some claim it was never the intention of the President to do so. He was not firm in handling the competitions and often swayed by the administration. He should have stayed on as vice president but opted to go for broke.
Datuk Mokhtar is a rank outsider and the fact that there are just too many Selangor candidates, that have a much better chance winning those positions, could well work against him. But he may well be the dark horse that will be able to sneak in as he has excellent campaign managers and is approachable, not to mention that he comes from a state with rich footballing tradition. I will not discount the possibility of him making the cut.

Vice Presidents

There are eight candidates, vying for four posts. Of the four incumbents, two quit midway - Dato Gulzar Noor Mohamad and Hj Ahmad Mohamad, not because they were not able to contribute, but because they were just fed-up with the system. And the third incumbent Dato Che Mat Jusoh is vying for one of the Deputy President's position.

Datuk Apandi Hamzah is the sole incumbent defending his position in the vice presidential race. He was a last minute inclusion in the race at the last elections, pulling off a giant killing act as he ousted Dato Seri Raja Ahmad Zainuddin. But he is largely seen to be inaffective, throwing his support towards the current administration and in the process leaving in lurch those very people who put their faith in him. Has technical knowledge but lacks a firm stance hence may lose out. But lack of quality opponents could well see him creep in in fourth spot.

Dato Seri Raja Ahmad is someone who could play the lead role in the FAM production of survivor series. Outspoken yet has the charisma and though he means well, his inability to let his head rule his heart is his downfall. Has the support of the President and administration but another defeat here should well spell his demise in the footballing world, but expect the President to appoint him as an independant again.

Datuk Hamidin Mohd Amin is said to be a shoo in for the VP post, but with secret balloting and the candlestine manner in which a personality within FAM operates could well see Hamidin not finishing on top of the VP race. And this will somewhat affect his credibility. Hamidin means well and will make a good General Secretary, if not for some unseen hands that conspired against him three years ago.

Datuk Subahan Kamal is the state assemblyman for Templer and current Deputy President of Selangor Hockey Association, where he is doing a fantastic job. Quiet and unassuming, Subahan is an ideal candidate yet the fact that two candidates from Selangor could well work against him. Going by ability and knowledge, Subahan should be voted in but if he loses, try for VP in MHF this November as hockey could gain from football's loss.

Dato S.Subramaniam is a straight forward personality and when heading the players status committee showed a stern hand, operating without fear or favour. Shares a cordial relationship with the President and sole candidate in the top heirachy from the other races. A likely winner if 1 Malaysia concept adopted. Has an analytical mind and always game for new ideas that will benefit sports. Has good management skills and is someone whom staff at FAM are comfortable with.

Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohd Hashim has come under the spotlight for the wrong reasons, clearly an attempt by certain quarters to derail his chances for the VP position. Despite all his statements, the reality is that Penang FA has to do more for football in the state and honestly if Dato Junid had been nominated for the Exco seat, Penang would have a better chance of having a representative as Junid, despite being out spoken virtually eats and sleeps football.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Hishan, has in the past done lots for football thus I was surprised to read a daily that said he was an unknown candidate. Hishan is one of those who worked his way up from the club structure into the FAM set-up in the past and knows the system well, and in terms of financial contribution, he has done his bit in the 90's. But it will be an uphill battle this time around as he is not well known by the delegates but could well be the outsider who might just make the cut when votes are counted.

Datuk Lawrence Gimbang is the sole representative from East Malaysia in the race but has the distinction of being banned for a year for his role in the fracas during the FA Cup semi final match against Negri Sembilan at the Likas Stadium in 2003. But if that is hekd against him then he joins the likes of Raja Ahmad as he too faced the wrath of FAM Disciplinary Board in the past. Not much is known but if Sabah's promotion into the Super League is to be taken into account, the fresh face could do well in the race.


This evening I was invited to attend the ATP launch for the Malaysian Open, a multi million dollar tennis tournament that really does no benefit to the country except make some people happy as they would have pleased the first family.

Here we have millions of our ringgit being spent on a week of tennis, with catering from five star hotel for the VVIP's and some quarters while as rightly put by one journalist sitting beside me, his child had to bring refreshments from home for her sports day at school as there was no budget for it.

Seriously, how will this tournament benefit tennis in the country other then the fact that LTAM will pocket RM300,000 as sanction fee plus maybe another RM30,000 for incidentals. Will the organisors or LTAM come forward and tell us just how many technical officials will be exposed, just how many young talented tennis players will get a chance to play/train in the academies in Europe or East Europe with all the money we are putting into the event.
The Minister was asked what was the tourist figures for the event last year, and the she answered that it was not available in figures but in terms of rooms it was 1,300 rooms. Let's give the Minister the benefit of doubt and take it as 1,300 rooms instead of 1,300 room nights. And for this year she expects 2,600 rooms, once omitting if its room nights or rooms.

So we do a little bit of maths here, 2,600 rooms x 10 nights at RM200 per room per night equals to RM5,200,000. And that goes to the hotels, and it does not make sense just how our country benefits as a whole.

Just how much are the likes of Ministry of Youth & Sports, National Sports Council, National Sports Institute, Ministry of Tourism and Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur spending for this event? Care to make the figures public?

Well here is the Bernama story on the launch, minus the bits and pieces I wrote above.....

Nine of the current ATP World Tour Tennis stars have confirmed their participation in this year's edition of the prestigious ATP World Tour 250 - Malaysian Open, which will be held at Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil from Sept 25 to Oct 3.

Among the star line-up is the tournament's defending champion, Nikolay Davydenko.

"I really enjoyed the tournament in Kuala Lumpur last year and it was the stepping stone for some of my best tennis played over the next months.

"The organisation and atmosphere were wonderful and it was an easy decision for me to return this year, to defend my title in Kuala Lumpur," said the world number six Davydenko in a recorded video interview.

Besides the Russian, also confirming their return to Malaysia are world number five Robin Soderling, Tomas Berdych (ranked eighth), David Ferrer (12th), Mikhail Youzhny (14th), Marcos Baghdatis (25th), Lleyton Hewitt (30th) and Asia's top ranked player Lu Yen-Hsun of Taiwan (41st).

Meanwhile, world No. 18 Nicolas Almagro will be making his debut at this year's competition.

The official launching ceremony of this year's competition was held Monday at the tournament's official hotel, the Mandarin Oriental, by Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, who represented the prime minister's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, the tournament's patron.

Rosmah, in her speech read by Dr Ng, noted that the competition, regarded as one of the best ATP World Tour events in Asia, would inspire the budding tennis players in Malaysia.

"This tournament is quite unique as it is not only about world-class tennis, but also includes clinics for our aspiring junior players. It is my hope that these young players will one day become champions in the Malaysian Open tournament," said Rosmah.

In the field of tourism, she said, the tournament would also enable Malaysia to be showcased in an excellent manner.

Kuala Lumpur was the fifth city in Asia after Tokyo, Bangkok, Beijing and Shanghai, to host the world-renowned tennis tournament.

The ATP World Tour 250 - Malaysian Open, organised by IMG and supported by the Malaysian government, offers a total prize money of US$947,750 (about RM3,345,557).

Tournament director Nick Freyer, who is also IMG senior vice-president and head of Tennis for Asia said he would like to make the tournament the best it it could be.

He noted that the organisation of the inaugural Malaysian Open last year was rewarded with the "Award for Operational Excellence" from the ATP World Tour.

Under the event's format, it will feature 28 players in the singles main draw and 16 teams in the doubles event.

"The singles qualifying draw will be open to 32 players. Two qualifying singles will be allocated to local players.

"Besides that, there will be once again an opportunity for local players to join forces with one of the top seeded singles stars to play in the doubles main draw," said Freyer.

Saturday, July 24, 2010


KUALA LUMPUR: A 13-year-old Malaysian gifted footballer, Ash Hameed from Selangor, has signed a two-year contract with the Queens Park Rangers Football Club (QPR) in April this year.

Ash's father told the Sin Chew Daily in an exclusive interview that Ash started to receive free training for two years after signing the contract with the QPR on 10 April this year and the contract would only be expired in June 2012.

Ash, a left-foot striker, first raised the attention of various football clubs after helping the Crest Academy win the Middlesex Watkin League Cup for Brent Schools under-12s with a five-goal burst.

Ash's father used to be a player of the Malaysia youth football team under-18s and the Selangor football team (1988 to 1990). He decided to send Ash to England after discovering his son's high talent in playing football.

He said: "I have been giving him basic football skill training since he was young. I sent him to the local Brazil Football Centre when he was six years old.

Many coaches of the centre told me that Ash was gifted. They also suggested that I should send him to England for training.

"I brought Ash to England in 2008 and we faced some difficulties at the beginning. We had looked for many schools before Ash was accepted by the Kodak Football Club. The youth training centre of the Arsenal Football Club had also given him a training offer."

"Ash is a Liverpool fan and his dream is to represent the club one day. However, I am a fan of Manchester, a Liverpool's sworn army. Although we are supporting different teams, it does not affect our relationship," he said.

He also said that Ash had been selected as one of the eight best players of the QPR and was informed to play in an invitation tournament under-15s of an Europe football club. The participating teams included famed teams like Barcelona. However, the QPR did not send the team to play in the end and he believed that it was due to sponsorship problems.
-Sin Chew Daily/Asia News Network

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


There is a cold war between Badminton Association of Malaysia and Badminton World Federation which has its headquarters right here in Kuala Lumpur, one corner of the KLBA stadium to be precise.

And the war has somewhat to do with the decision of the world body not to list the Malaysian Open as one of the Premier Series events from next year.

In a way the cold war has affected the re-location of the BWF office, from the present site, where their rental has been increased three-fold, to a much better location.

Though neither party was willing to talk about it, several meetings on this issue were postponed at the very last minute.

For those in the dark, the list of the events selected for the Super Premier Series was revealed a week after the Thomas/Uber Cup finals in Kuala Lumpur in May.

The tournaments elevated in status were Korean Open, All England, Indonesian Open, Denmark Open and China Open.

And the Korean BA submitted an impressive bid, with prize money totalling USD1.2 million whereas BAM, rocked by an internal crisis merely completed the questionaire sent out by BWF and had not lobbied for the event to be held in Malaysia despite having a member in the BWF Council.

BAM it is learnt has sent a strongly worded letter to the world body, taking them to task for not selecting Malaysia as one of the Premier Series events.

Rather then appeal the decision, BAM opted the confrotational approach, well aware that it was due to their unability to do their homework that cost them the chance to be in the elite circle of world badminton.

What is more ironic is that only a year ago the BAM big wigs had openly campaigned against fellow Malaysian Dato Andrew Kam and instead thrown their weight behind the current president, who happens to be from South Korea.

All BWF needs is an excuse to take the HQ out from Malaysia and the fact that BAM has now latched on to NSC to prevent a move to a better location, will only expediate the departure of the HQ from Malaysia.

And ironically the same BAM officials who threw their weight behind the Korean seem to be saying that they were robbed by the Koreans as Malaysia missed out on a lucrative event.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


'Say what you meant to say and mean what you say.

In order to achieve this, make sure your tongue does not split, more so when you let loose the words from your mouth.'

Well those words are directed at those who opt to spit and lick back their spit.

Suffice to say that there was not one but three people who heard what the coach said on that fateful Sunday.

Yes the President has now accused me of all kind of things and to be fair did try to call me but I refused to answer and instead opted to reply via SMS

Monday, July 12, 2010


An SMS sent by the President virtually ensured Malaysia's demotion from Group 2 to Group 3 of the Davis Cup as the national team went down 3-2 to Pacific Oceania in the relegation play-off for the Asia-Oceania Zone.

And that has led coach S. Selvarajoo to go ahead with his decision to walk out of the top coaching job.

It seems that the president, who is away on a golfing trip down under had made it clear of his preference for Ariez Elyaas Deen Hashim in the reverse singles tie instead of the more experienced Adam Jaya.

And Ariez,who is trained in Spain lacked the class of Adam Malik and V.Selvam, who during their teen years were more skillful.

But interfering with the selection of the team is something that Malaysian sports associations often do and the coaches are left to bear the brunt of criticism instead of the administration taking the blame.

In thus case it was clear that LTAM did not allow Selvarajoo to do the job entrusted to him and hence his decision to relinquish his position that he held since 2009.

The diplomatic Selvarajoo tried to downplay the incident but confirmed that he was told by an LTAM official to field a particular player in the reverse singles.

In all fairness to Selvarajoo, the systematic removal of players in the national set-up with the exit of Razlan Raul, Ashaari Zainal and Jawariah Noordin left him with only Si Yew Meng to coach and that is hardly an situation any coach would want to be in.

LTAM boasts of trying to elevate the youngsters with training camps in Spain but from the performances on the court yesterday it was obvious that we lack quality and somewhat the players lack key ingredients like power, court craft, footwork and above all fitness.

Selavarajoo will now concentrate on developing kids, and he has adopted a young malay boy and two Indian girls from an orphanage to train in Kampung Pandan.

The project will start right away and in seven years time Selvarajoo hopes to have 16 players who will one day carry the challenge of the nation.

' Our current players lack the hunger to succeed and this is the vast difference from the past as we had to struggle through life,' conceded Selvarajoo.

' With whatever little means I have, I hope to produce players who have the desire to succeed but are not given the opportunity due to their social standing.

' tennis should not be a game for the elite and I believe that kids from the orphanage have the desire to do well and have held trials from where I picked the initial three who I will look after like my own , giving them care and education as they strive to succeed as tennis players.'

Selvarajoo is in his own small way trying to do justice for tennis and if LTAM officials had any sense of accountability, then perhaps an enbloc resignation could pave the way for sincerity to take over.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Just got tired of looking for headings in English hence used sandiwara, meaning drama.

That title aptly describes how FAM handled the situation regarding the position of coaches of Harimau Muda the second, Azraai Khor, Azman Eusoff and Mohanasundram.

Remember what the decision was after the Technical Committee meeting last month?

At that time it was decided or rather revealed at the Press Conference that the fate of the trio will be determined by the National Team Management Committee. And a few days later it was said that it will be determined by the Council.

Well my friends of the main stream media and fellow bloggers, we were all been taken for a ride.

A discussion was held between the coaches and the power that be in FAM on July 7 and a mutual termination was agreed upon, meaning what we all was told was a load of bull.

The FAM big wig had nothing on them to warrant a termination, similar as the case of B. Sathianathan, so instead of another case being filed in the industrial court, the employers and employees decided on a mutual termination.

Well let's not get into the nitty gritty of whose is right or wrong, as the answer is obvious, but suffice to say those who coach FAM of late are given a raw deal from their employers in discharging their duties but walk away with loads of money, in the likes of Norizan Bakar, Sathia and now Azraai.

I do not at all blame the coaches as they had valid contracts and still could contribute towards the game, so terminating them for not playing ball with that someone has cost FAM loads of money that could have been put to better use.

To Azraai and Azman, all the best as you await your termination letters and compensation, to the players, good luck and to the Sports Minister and the all powerful NSC, let's see you doing justice for once.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010


Coach Bertalan Bicskei has finally been unveiled as head coach of the senior national football team of Liberia.

After weeks of delay, the Hungarian was presented to the public Monday at a news conference held at the SKD Sports Complex in Paynesville City outside Monrovia.

The signing and unveiling ceremony of Bertalan Bicskei was graced by officials of the Liberia Football Association, the Ministry of Youth and Sports ordinary Liberians and members of the media.

The coach said he was very happy to have been unveiled as head coach of the nation’s pride and joy.

“I am very happy. Before I sign the contract, we had some meeting and both parties have agreed,”.

Coach Bicskei, 66, has been contracted with the Lone Star for four years and replaces German coach Antoine Hey who resigned from the hot seat in March on 2009.

The value of the deal has not been disclosed to the public.

The coach’s contract is subject to review after its first two years.

He will be charged with the responsibility of qualifying the team for the 2012 Nation’s Cup finals in Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

The Hungarian will also have an oversight on all of the country’s junior national teams.

On the issue of booking a place for the Lone Star at the 2012 finals, the former Malaysian national team boss described the task as huge but assured it was achievable.

Coach Bicskei disclosed he would hold meeting with coaches of premier and first division clubs in the country on Tuesday as a means of understanding the standard of football in Liberia.

The coach said he will also be asking for the names of some of the country players and the traditional system of the team.

“I know some players of course. I know the player from South Africa, I know Grandpa Doe but first I have to know every player in Liberia before deciding who the best is,”.

Coach Bertalan Bicskei also made no secret his desire to have a Liberian among his bathroom staff as a deputy coach.

“I have two very good friends in Hungary from Liberia (John Moses and Philip Tarlue),”.

“Philip Tarlue is playing at the moment in Indonesia, but John Moses is working as a coach in Budapest, Hungary and I would like to work with him but we have to talk over with the president of the FA,”.

Also speaking at the news conference, LFA president Musa Bility described the coming in of the coach as an accomplishment.

He called on the public to be patient and not to expect too much from him.

“Liberians, today we are hiring a new coach, this does not mean that from now on, Liberia will start winning football games.

“What it means is that we have started to plan a program for football.

“We are asking the Liberian people to be patient and not to expect the whole world to come tomorrow,” noted Mr. Bility.

Monday, July 05, 2010



Ms Hilton, who is also a reality TV star, was flown with DiCaprio from London to Johannesburg by a Malaysian millionaire so they could take in the World Cup before a safari.


It was described by lawyers as the case of the glamorous heiress, the Playboy centre­fold and the cannabis joint.

Paris Hilton and her friend Jennifer Rovero were both arrested at a World Cup match in South Africa on Friday after police found local marijuana – known as ‘dagga’ – in a designer handbag.

But the question before a court in Port Elizabeth early yesterday was: Did the offending cigarette belong to socialite Paris or former Playboy playmate Jennifer?

In the end, the charges against 29-year-old Ms Hilton were dropped when her friend admitted possession and was given an £80 fine and a deportation order.

After the hearing, in which Ms Hilton appeared in thigh-high leather boots and tight jeans, her lawyer Terry Price insisted she should never have been arrested.

‘They got the wrong blonde,’ he said. ‘Paris wasn’t in possession of anything.’

It all started when the two girls were followed by undercover police after the Brazil v Holland game, which they attended with Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio.

Officers boarded their luxury coach and unleashed sniffer dogs, which went straight to them.
They were arrested and fingerprinted at a police station close to the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium and, after spending four hours in a ‘filthy’ cell, appeared before a special World Cup court.


Thomas Muller has taken the world by storm but not many people know that an Asian, and to be precise, a Malaysian, is instrumental in his rapid rise to stardom.
Master and pupil- Lim Teong Kim (L) and Thomas Muller

Bayern Munich Academy product Muller, 20, wreaked havoc in his first major tournament for Germany scoring four goals and helping the three-time champions reach the FIFA World Cup semi-finals in South Africa.

Former Malaysian international Lim Teong Kim, who is working with German Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich since 2000, was the witness of this young hotshot’s development process.

“Muller was not a gifted footballer but he is very dedicated and determined,” said Lim, who is now an assistant coach of Bayern’s U-19 squad.

Lim, who was the first Malaysian footballer to ply his trade in Europe when he turned out for Hertha Berlin, a then third division team in 1987, has worked together with Muller and another rising star of the formidable German side in South Africa, centre-back Holger Badstuber, when he was coaching the Bayern U-13 and U-14 teams.
Lim Teong Kim (2nd row, extreme right) with his Bayern Munich U-19 team

Eight of his trainees then, have graduated to the Bayern U-19 team with Muller and Badstuber the most outstanding among all.

Lim, who was part of Malaysia’s SEA Games winning side in 1989, said in an interview: "Muller was not as gifted as some of his teammates in the youth teams but he made it big because of his dedication to training and matches. This is the same case with Badstuber."

Muller, who is suspended for the semi-final against European champions Spain on Wednesday, is joint top scorer with his club and national team senior Miroslav Klose and is also in line for the Best Young Player award and Golden Boot in this year’s World Cup.

Malacca-born Lim, 47, also had a brief stint with Austrian second division outfit, Gak Graz in 1990.
Fluent in German, Lim is a holder of both Malaysia Football Association (FAM) Advanced Coaching Certificate and German Football Association (DFB) Master Coaching Licence.

Lim, who was capped 75 times for Malaysia and played for Malacca, Selangor, Negri Sembilan, Kuala Lumpur and Kedah, is born in a sporting family.
Lim (2nd from right) in his Malaysia national team's days.
His elder brothers, Kim Chon, Chuan Chin and Hong Guan, are all coaches at different levels. Kim Chon was former AFC Technical Director while Chuan Chin and Hong Guan both specialise in coaching goalkeepers for the national teams. 

These three and another elder brother, Seng Koon, have played at the state level at one time or another. Seng Koon represented Johor and Armed Forces, Kim Chon played for Malacca and KL, Chuan Chin for Malacca, Perak, Pahang, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur and Hong Guan as goalkeeper for Malacca and Selangor. 

Lim, who married a German, has three children - who are all involved in sports.

"My son, who is now 16, was in the Under-12 Bayern Munich team but he now represents his school. As for my two daughters, the older one is into rock climbing while the other is involved in athletics," said Lim.

Lim’s experience could be of some help for Asian players who are looking for their adventure in Europe.

"When I went there (Germany) in the late 1980s, I faced many challenges including language barrier, weather, food and competition from teammates. These factors may affect the player’s mentally and confidence.

"The European leagues are very challenging and a person on trial with a club normally gets a cold shoulder from other players. You have no friends in the club as your teammates are thinking about their own importance in the team. They feel you are a threat to them.

“It was like that when I attended trials with Hertha Berlin," he said.