Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Former T-Team coach appointed as coach of football academy

After a hiatus of more than a year, Che Ku Marzuki Che Ku Mohd Nor is back in football.

The former T-Team coach, who was suspended for six months by the FA of Malaysia (FAM) just over a year ago, is now the head coach of the newly formed Terengganu Football Academy.

His suspension ended in April but the 54-year-old Kuala Terengganu-born was not reinstated as T-Team coach.

"My replacement Yunus Alif has done a fine job with the team and the management has decided to stick with him," said Che Ku Marzuki.

"Then Yunus steered the team in the right direction, made the cut for the Malaysia Cup semi-finals for the first time and as they say, the rest is history." Che Ku Marzuki, who admitted to having had a miserable time away from football, said he had a chance to return to the Malaysian league earlier.

"I was approached by Police and Perlis but by then talks about setting up a first ever state-run football academy had begun and my name was mentioned as the person who would run the show.

"True enough, I was offered the head coach position and I no longer needed to think about moving away from Kuala Terengganu to make a living in football," he added. Furthermore, running a football academy is what Che Ku Marzuki knows best after his stint as the director and head coach of Terengganu's FAM Football Academy from 1995 to 2007.

"Coaching a league team will always be more exciting than working with young football talent but given a choice, I will pick the academy any time," said Che Ku Marzuki.

"Nothing beats the satisfaction of watching my boys grow into fine footballers and it is safe to say that almost all locals playing in the state or national teams are products of our old academy."  Che Ku Marzuki said there was a noticeable lack of good players in the state when the FAM-funded academy closed its doors over four years ago.

"My last batch of players included Mohd Muslim Ahmad, Abdul Shukor Jusoh, Izzaq Faris Ramlan, Faizal Mohamad and Affize Faizal Mamat who are all doing well with the Young Tigers this year.

"This new academy is very important as we need to produce more players like Shamsuri Mustapa, Haris Safwan Kamal, Zairo Anuar Zalani, Mohd Sharbinee Allawee and Abdul Manaf Mamat," he said.

Meanwhile, Terengganu Youth and Sports committee chairman Rozi Mamat said between 25 and 30 Under-21 players will join the academy in January.

"The state government has also agreed on an annual allocation of RM1 million for the academy," Rozi confirmed.

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