May 27, 2024

New Malaysia Times

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Local players playing abroad not necessarily good – TMJ


KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) Club owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim who is also the Tunku Mahkota of Johor (TMJ) is of the opinion that players who ply their trade abroad are not necessarily better.

Tunku Ismail said a number of local players who decided to play abroad certainly could not make an impact, among them Titus James who plays in the French League, Luqman Hakim Shamsudin who plays for a club in Iceland (Njardvik) and Hadi Fayyadh Abdul Razak who played for former Japan’s Division Three club Azul Claro Numazu.

TMJ said local football fans must instead look at the quality of the league participated by these players in their respective countries before idolising them for playing outside Malaysia.


“For example, Titus James had been playing in France for such a long time but what is his contribution to the National team. The same goes to Luqman, and I sympathise because he is a good player, good attitude but the quality of matches, minutes or chances in Europe is not easy. Even getting quality playing time in South Korea or Japan is not easy, and look at Hadi Fayyadh, he is now playing for Perak FC.

“Its just the experience of staying in a country with a cool climate because when they return, there is nothing, so fans must be realistic and evaluate such things because we in the football industry are not receptive of the idea that players who play abroad are good. To me that is not logic,” said TMJ in an exclusive interview uploaded on the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook, today.

TMJ added that JDT gives priority to the quality of players, including when playing friendly matches because the club offers valuable remuneration to the players.

“Everyone can see for themselves the quality of our friendly games, we just don’t play any team but teams with quality. We played against Borussia Dortmund, Zenit St Petersburg, Lokomotiv Moscow and Spartak Moscow. Playing against such teams will give an opportunity for JDT players to learn,” he said.

Tunku Ismail also hoped JDT players would be able to maintain their consistency throughout the season, especially after leading the 2023 Super League competition with a 100 percent record since the start of the season in February, winning all seven matches.

TMJ said the decision to send the team for pre-season training in Dubai (UAE) before the start of the 2023 Super League season has been a key to the success of JDT, thus far.

“I did not expect 30 goals in seven games and seven wins in seven games. Normally after pre-season there will be hiccups due to the intensity of the pre season. I noticed that the team and the players are giving their full commitment and coping very well with the plan that we have,” he said.

NMT as reported by BERNAMA