Citer ni ada sangkut paut dgn Cardiff City dan Kelate FC....
Young and Lucky
Near the top of my “Things I Have To Do Before I Die” list is watch a Manchester United Premier League match.
I’ve watched a friendly at Old Trafford against Inter Milan when I was a student – studying in Liverpool, of all places – and I even went the whole nine yards by having a pie and a pint; but that’s still not quite the same experience.
Nineteen-year-old Nicholas Chan however, didn’t just get to see his boyhood idols Liverpool play in the Premier League, he could very well play against them someday.
Last year, Nicholas had two roughly month-long training stints each at Premier League regulars West Ham United and Championship side Cardiff City, impressing both clubs enough to be called back – twice.
“When I was at West Ham, we had to attend all home matches. Luckily enough, Liverpool had a match at Upton Park around that time.
“I was sitting behind the dug out, and I almost jumped up and celebrated when Liverpool won!” said Nicholas, who is currently back in Kuala Lumpur to complete his A-Levels.
A friend of his father who played for the Newcastle United youth team had helped him get a spot at West Ham’s academy, and since then he has trained with the likes of Scott Parker and Carlton Cole at West Ham, and Michael Chopra at Cardiff. He has even been involved in reserve team games against Bristol Rovers, Hereford United and Fulham while with Cardiff.
He has done well enough for both clubs to offer him Ivy League scholarships in the United States, in view of him making the MLS (American Major League Soccer) after he graduates.
But the young centreback, defensive midfielder and occasional winger has decided to try his luck at professional football in Britain by accepting the offer of a longer stint at Cardiff, a club which has also produced Arsenal midfield prodigy Aaron Ramsey, once he completes his A-Levels.
“The coaches there are so committed. I was training mostly with the first team at Cardiff. Even when it was snowed in, the reserve team coach would give me one-on-one training indoors. He still calls me from time to time to see how I’m doing, and I’m not even their player yet!
“That’s why I feel like going back to Cardiff. The coaches give us their best, so I feel like giving them my best too,” he said.
Of course, having dreamed of doing all that myself, I had to ask what life as a young footballer in England is like.
“We all train from 9am to 4pm. Apart from that, we’re all pretty normal. All the guys at West Ham play FIFA on the PlayStation, and some of them get pretty excited cos they’re actually in the game!” he revealed.
Then of course, there’s the auto show every morning at the training ground car park.
“Those from the reserves drive ‘alright cars’ like BMW 3-Series. Then there’s the next level – the first team players and their Ferraris and Lamborghinis. Valon Behrami has two Ferraris I think – one black and one red. It gives you quite a bit of motivation when you see those cars as you come for training,” he joked.
But having experienced first hand what their jobs are like, Nicholas believes that the players deserve whatever they’re getting paid.
“It looks easy on television, but the pressure when you’re on the field is very intense! You wont understand until you’re actually on the pitch playing with them. Anybody else would crack under that kind of pressure.
“And you have to sacrifice your normal life. You can’t party too hard, and you can’t go out with your friends if there’s training or a match,” he explained.
Nicholas, who first played football when his driver, a former state footballer, started kicking the ball around with him, also believes that if Malaysians really wanted to excel in football, they’ll need to start earlier.
By the time he started training, Nicholas was 13. His teammates at Cardiff and West Ham mostly started when they were around eight or nine, and with much better facilities.
“I had quite good reviews. The coaches said that if I had started earlier I would already be playing professional by now. But now it always feels like I’m playing catch-up there.
“Right now, even if there was a chance to play professionally in League Two (the fourth tier of English football), I’d take it. But I really want to play for Cardiff. I feel like I belong there,” he said.
Nicholas has a rather good headache on his hands now. He could still take the Ivy League scholarship from either West Ham or Cardiff, which would take him away from English football but give him a more stable long-term future, or go back and try to make it at Cardiff.
But Nicholas knows exactly what he wants.
“Even if there’s a 50% chance that I could make it as a professional footballer in England, I would take it ahead of the Ivy League scholarship. I would go all out for it. You’re only young once, so you should just take the risk,” he said.
During his trials at West Ham United, Nicholas Chan (right) was playing against young footballers who had several years of training over him, but he was still able to impress the coaches enough to be recalled twice.
Ni lak sambungan ceritanya...
Senarai Pemain Kelantan Untuk Musim 2011 & Kemasukan Nicholas Chan,19 (Pemain Cardiff City, England) Ke Pasukan Kelantan Musim Depan.
Desas-desus siapa barisan pemain Kelantan akhirnya terjawab petang tadi apabila Tan Sri Annuar Musa mengumumkan 25 pemain yang beraksi dengan The Red Warriors untuk musim 2011. Rumus yang mengatakan ada beberapa pemain baru yang mewakili Malaysia bakal menyertai Kelantan juga ternyata meleset.
Tan Sri Annuar Musa ketika memberi ulasan isu berkaitan pemain, beliau menjelaskan KAFA menghormati peraturan yang telah ditetapkan FAM dan tidak sesekali menggunakan mana-mana cara untuk tidak mematuhi peraturan ini. Malah KAFA antara pasukan yang mengenakan peraturan ketat dalam kontrak pemain dan pemain yang melanggar peraturan ini harus bersedia dengan tindakan yang akan diambil dan kes ini telah pun diserahkan pada FAM untuk diselesaikan kerana beliau dan KAFA tidak mahu lagi memfokuskan isu ini. "Saya dan barisana kepimpinan KAFA akan memberi lebih fokus untuk membina kecemerlangan The Red Warriors" tegas Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
The Red Warriors komited dan yakin dengan barisan pemain yang disenaraikan ini mampu memberi sinar yang gemilang kepada pasukan Kelantan pada musim depan. KAFA berharap para penyokong terus memberikan sokongan yang terbaik kepada barisan The Red Warriors. Terus teguh Bersama The Red Warriors......Gomo Sapo Sajo Lawe Kito.....Gomo Kelate Gomo...
SENARAI PENUH SKUAD TRW 2011
1. Khairul Fahmi Che Mat (GK)
2. Sharizan Ismail (GK)
3. Judtanna Eh Put (GK)
4. S. Subramaniam
5. Farisham Ismail
6. Rizal Fahmi Rosid
7. Daudsu Jamludin
8. Zairul Fitree Ishak
9. Zamri Ramli
10. Mohammad Abdul Aziz Ismail (NEW)
11. Wan Rohaimi Wan Ismail (NEW)
12. Mohd Badri Radzi (C)
13. Shakir Shaari
14. Khairan Eroza Razali
15. Wan Zaman Mustapha
16. Zulyusri Che Haron
17. S. Chanturu
18. Solehin Kanasian Abdullah @K.Soley (NEW)
19. Nurul Azwan Roya (NEW)
20. Danial Fadly Abdullah @Wirat Nom (NEW)
21. Norshahrul Idlan Talaha (VC)
22. Ramzul Zahini Adnan
23. Nizab Ayub
24. Khalid Jamlus (NEW)
25. Nicholas Chan (NEW from Cardiff City)