Friday, December 31, 2010

K. Rajagobal's Midas touch

K. Rajagobal has proved he got the Midas touch after backing up last year's Sea Games triumph by bringing home the AFF Suzuki Cup 12 months later.

But the national coach cautioned against expecting miracles from this young national squad and pleaded for patience to develop them into a stronger unit.

Wednesday's title-winning showing in Jakarta meant success has come early for Rajagobal and his players but none of it would matter if the team do not build on their progress.

"Please don't place high hopes on this team. We should all be proud of what these young boys have achieved but they must be given room to grow.

"Don't expect many great things to come, not yet," said Rajagobal in a bid to head off escalating expectations of the national side.

Rajagobal has often said that the team would mature in four years from the time he assumed the job of national coach in 2009.

"Yes, this is a great achievement after 14 years (when Malaysia last made the final). But we can't stop here. We need to be playing international matches every month to give our players the experience they need.

"Now that the Young Tigers 'A' are playing in the Super League, we must build on that and continue to expose them to higher levels.

"Not many people were happy when the Young Tigers first played in the Premier League but the critics were proven wrong when the team won the title the next year.

"We have many young players coming up but we need to get things right," said Rajagobal.

Team manager Datuk Subahan Kamal echoed his coach's sentiments and said the national team will be set higher goals.

"We have a plan in place where we give young players aged 17 to 22 a chance to play internationally," said Subahan.

"We have a pool of 50-60 players capable of playing for the national team. These players have been together for some time now and this win is the result of that effort.

"If kept together for the next four years, we hope to maintain our domination in Southeast Asia and possibly become a powerhouse in Asia again."

*Taken from NST Online.
*For K. Rajagobal biodata, click here.

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