Malaysian academy sends U-17 star to England

Malaysian U-17 striker Nazrin Baharuddin may play for an English Premier League football club by November this year. "He is gifted with great talent and skills, his physique is also big enough to compete with any other player especially from Europe," Ken Barnes Football Club advisor in Kuala Lumpur, Ken Barnes, a former Manchester City and England player, told Bernama newsagency after announcing a sponsorship deal for KBFC from Nestle Products Sports Marketing Manager, Ng Ping Loong.

Through KBFC, the Perak-born form five student at Bukit Jalil Sports School has already had stints with Macclesfield Town (2004), Manchester City (2005) and Wigan Athletics last year and Barnes told Bernama that KBFC will chose another two or three players from their Perlis, Selangor and Johor-based centres for exposure to similar training in England.

Speaking of development in Malaysian football, Barnes added that from his observation, he feels national players must be exposed to as many competitive matches as possible because players here lack confidence and commitment. "In KBFC, boys aged 16 to 18 play at least four matches in a week against players who are older or bigger than them. That is what national junior teams between the ages of 15 to 23 should do," he said.