By ERIC SAMUEL
BRISBANE: National Under-23 coach Ong Kim Swee said the club’s representatives had made the offer when he was in Japan recently.
“The boys attended trials last June and there had been no news since then. But I had a pleasant surprise when I attended a football conference in Japan on Jan 10. That was when they offered our boys to play for the club in March,” said Kim Swee yesterday.
The two boys were spotted by FC Ryukyu officials during the Asian final round qualifying tournament for the 2012 London Olympics. Then, Malaysia lost 2-0 in Fukuoka and 4-0 in Kuala Lumpur..
Wan Zaharulnizam, who is with the Harimau Muda A squad on a four-match playing tour of Brisbane, said he can’t wait to play in Japan.
“I’m ready for the new challenge. They may be a Third Division club but, from what I gathered during my 19-day trials, the league is quite competitive and of high standard,” said Wan Zaharulnizam.
Wan Zack did not travel with the team to Brisbane as he is recuperating from a knee injury.
Kim Swee said that if everything is fine, the boys will be off to Japan in March.
“We’ll make sure the deal is right as we do not want a repeat of the Nazmi (Faiz Mansor) fiasco. We don’t want to be left in the dark and make sure the papers are in order and that they fulfil their contracts. The idea is for them to raise the bar and move up to the J-2 or J-1 Leagues by 2015,” he said.
“There is no short cut to success. There’s no point going abroad and returning home midway to play for a local club. It defeats the purpose of sending them there.
“We want our boys to raise the profile of Malaysian football. And if they are not going to go out there and work for it … our football will remain stagnant.
“I hope everyone has learnt a good lesson from Nazmi’s case. It was supposed to be a three-year deal for Nazmi but he chose to leave without consulting us (the FA of Malaysia).”
On Thursday, teenage football sensation Nazmi dropped a bombshell when he abruptly left Primeira Liga side Beira Mar to sign for Malaysian Super League side PKNS FC.
The FAM were left in the dark over the deal.
Meanwhile, the Harimau Muda A boys lost 2-1 to Australian Premier League side Brisbane Olympic yesterday.
Jake McLean (19th minute) and Mark Fisk (35th) put Brisbane ahead before Ferris Daniel reduced the deficit in the 81st minute.
The Brisbane side were reduced to 10 men when Nick Efstathis was shown the red card in the 62nd minute.
The Malaysians will wrap up their campaign against A-League champions Brisbane Roar on Tuesday.
- Wan Zack grabs two titles at Singapore League Awards Night
- Zaharulnizam has no qualms about playing in Japan’s Third Division
- Japan’s Okubo to ‘play by the rules’
- Cause for concern Key players Gary and Wan Zack out of SEA Games squad
- Ticker-tape parade for A-League winners