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Return of Malaysia Cup

  My last memory of Malaysia Cup was probably the same as yours - Singapore beat Pahang 4-0 at the Shah Alam Stadium in 1994. Subsequently, Singapore NT received the pull-out of the competition news when

 

My last memory of Malaysia Cup was probably the same as yours – Singapore beat Pahang 4-0 at the Shah Alam Stadium in 1994. Subsequently, Singapore NT received the pull-out of the competition news when they were training in New Zealand.

17 years passed, that group of players who received the devastated news in New Zealand were all way past their prime, but they may not be any happier now – Singapore is back to the Malaysia Cup again. Many veterans welcomed this return to the famous causeway league but will this return generate the much anticipated crowd again? We shall see next year when the home and away league kicks off next January 2012.

Malaysia Cup has a long history which nobody is aware. In fact, Malaysia Cup is the longest-running futbol competition in Asia where the first competition started off in 1921. Be proud of it, Singapore FA beat traditional rival, Selangor FA 2-1 in the very first edition! Base on the record, Selangor FA leads the table with 32 Cup wins while Singapore FA followed next with 24 Cup times.

It seems like all Singaporean futbol fans back then followed Malaysia Cup futbol passionately! I was one of them definitely. Malaysia Cup was introduced to me by my dad back in the early 90s. Those days, Singapore, leaded by Fandi Ahmad, was considered a strong team, together with Selangor, Kedah, Sarawak and Pahang. These names such as Zainal Abidin, Dollah Salleh, John Hunter and Allan Davidson are still going strong in my memory. Maybe some of you still remember these scenes, Sundramoorthy scoring an overhead kick against Brunei in the 8-0 thrashing at the old National Stadium, Fandi Ahmad scoring a sepak-takraw goal against Johor Bahru, Steven Tan dribbled past a few defenders before scoring against Pahang in the dying seconds, Lee Manhon putting a ball past Selangor’s GK from the third-quarter of the pitch and many more!

So will we see more of that next year? Will Singapore produce more names where we can call them heros just like yesterday?

Instead of seeing more spectacular goals and more names scoring late winners in the league, what we would rather see is having more good players coming through and move up into our Singapore NT. With the much travelling expected for the home and away games, this format surely is a realistic and professional futbol experience for the Lions. Initially, I am not convinced that the Malaysian’s futbol standard is beneficial to us but after their triumph at the last Suzuki Cup and the recent concluded SEA (South East Asia Games) at Indonesia, maybe its worth a try. Regardless what, the experience of playing in the Tiger’s den is always Singapore’s futbol gain. Soak up all experiences and crawl out of the cage with Singapore NT. Or at least that is what I hope. Malaysia Cup, here we come again.

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