Sarawak beats Australia in Under-12 junior futsal tournament
By Danielle Sendou Ringgit
The grand final of the annual Under 12 Junior Futsal Cup saw local team Planet Futsal Academy scoring 2:1 against team Australian Futsal Association (AFA) at MBKS Indoor Stadium on December 6th.
Organised by Viking Futsal Sarawak (VFS) and Borneo Regional, this year marks the fifth year the friendly tournament has been organised in Sarawak where local teams get the opportunity to play against the Australian team.
According to Director of Development (Business) of VFS, Siti Azima Bujang, VFS which is affiliated to AFA, has started receiving sport tours from AFA since 2010.
The Under-12 friendly match was the second tour received by VFS this year when AFA team visited Sarawak on tour as well as to play against local teams.
“Every year they will send an Under-12 team, maybe twice a year, to tour and play with our local team. The first tour this year was in May and this one is the second one,” said CEO of VFS and Borneo Regional, Awg Zaifulizan Abdul Rahman Awg Mohd.
The tour which began November 26th to December 9th, started off in Miri and then to Mukah, Sibu and finally Kuching from December 5th and 6th where the AFA team competed against four local teams (Planet Futsal Academy, Samarstar academy, FC Tamaja and L3), team Elang Sekayam from Indonesia.
According to Awg Zaifulizan, as each country has their own style of playing, the friendly matches between local players and foreign players provides good exposure to the young players to prepare them at a higher level.
“You never know, our local players could be playing in the national team someday. If they are exposed to this kind of playing techniques at an early age, it would not be a problem for them to compete at the international level,” he said.
He observed that when they started five years ago, the local teams would always lose during the friendly matches and the confidence level was not really that high.
“But every year they have improved. For two consecutive years since last year, we have local teams winning the tournaments,” he said.
“As the confidence level of the players increases, they are not intimidated by the foreign players, can play well and can deliver what they coaches taught them. It is a good thing for them: they are not what we call ‘Jaguh Kampong’, as they are able to play against international teams the same way as they play each other,” he added.
VFS has been operating as Viking Futsal Sdn Bhd, an organisation which handles sports event management and consultation especially in futsal.
According to Awg Zaifulizan, VFS is an alternative platform for futsal with the aim to expose young local players to play against foreign teams while experiencing different cultures, styles and techniques.
Currently, VFS has 22 affiliated teams from Malaysia as well as Brunei.
As of next year, Awg Zaifulizan said that in additional to the two friendly matches usually held in June and November or December, VFS will hold two coach development program mes in May and June, an under-19 and under-12 international futsal match for both girls and boys on August and December respectively, bringing the total programme organised by VFS for futsal to four.
“For May and June, we would focus on coach and referee development courses, futsal clinics for kids and training for local clubs in preparation for the tournaments,” said Awg Zaifulizan.
Hoping to start a futsal culture in Sarawak, starting early next year, VFS hopes to have a constructed tournament and developed league, so that the players can play all year long.
“We have a lot of talented and good young players but unfortunately we do not have enough activities, programmes, tournaments and competitive leagues for them,” said Awg Zaifulizan
“So, that is where we came in as an alternative platform and we welcome everyone,” he added.
To learn more about Viking Futsal Sarawak (VFS) and Borneo Region, feel free to check out their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VFSarawak/