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Steve McMahon Willing To Lift Harimau M’sia Out Of Doldrums

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KUALA LUMPUR – There is a new hope to uplift the current sad state of Malaysian football as former England and Liverpool star Steve McMahon has hinted that he is willing to lend a hand.

McMahon, whose full name is Stephen Joseph McMahon, who is also a coach and television, said he was willing to help to raise the level of football in Malaysia, if given the opportunity.

“Yes, I would like to help, with the plenty of experience I have, of course I can help…But they have national coach (Datuk Ong Kim Swee), we have to respect the national coach,” he told Bernama when asked about his interest to coach the national team.

The 55-year-old former midfielder, who was a star in the 80s, explained that though there were a few good coaches in the country, their knowledge on coaching had to be further improved.

“When coaches are average, they are not going to give the youths (players) the best coaching methods…So you need to have a plan on coaching and educating coaches, which we do not have in Malaysia.

“Not to say they are not good enough…They need education and help to raise the standard of football,” he said after appearing on Bernama News Channel’s (BNC) breakfast show “Bernama Today” at Wisma Bernama here today.

The former Everton, Aston Villa and Manchester City legend shared his experience, views on the country’s football development as well as his new campaign, the “Million Dollar Feet”, a nationwide search for two footballers, aged 11-14 years old to feature in the United Kingdom, in the one hour show.

McMahon further noted that culture was another problem affecting the development of football in the country, which fell to it’s worst ever world ranking, to 174th early this year.

“I find that the fundamental in anything is like when you build a house, you do not put the roof on first but you build the foundation that will help support the rest of it.

“There is need to have infrastructure throughout the country and the kids need to start at a young age. They must start at the age of eight, but here they start around at 14 or 15 years, so they do not get full benefits from the development programmes,” he said.

McMahon said eating habits, where the players do not get the right amount of nutrition, especially on daily intake of protein and carbohydrates as well as lack of support and awareness from parents were other contributing factors for the poor development of football in Malaysia.

For the record, Malaysia, who are now ranked 158th, just managed to win three matches out of 11 so far this year, including the double 3-0 win against minnows Timor Leste in the 2019 Asian Cup qualifying playoff and a 1-2 win against New Caledonia in a friendly, which was later not sanctioned by FIFA due to technical mistakes on the part of the hosts. – BERNAMA

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