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Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Teams learn from Liverpool
COURTS and English football giants Liverpool have been partners in the development of local football talent since 2008 — an initiative Courts
undertakes as part of its commitment to give back to the community and the underprivileged.
This year, the Malaysian electrical, IT and furniture retailer’s third Courts and Liverpool Football Academy (LFA) training programme was held at the Padang at 1Utama.
The training programme this year saw the participation of over 200 aspiring young players aged 13 to 16 from six schools — SMK Tinggi Kajang, SMK Meru, SMK Datuk Harun, SMK Seksyen 11, SMK Zaba and SMK USJ 23.
The players were given the opportunity to train with Academy-trained coaches Fraser Ablett, Anthony Owens and David Kirner.
Students from Yayasan Chow Kit (YCK), a programme created to protect the children of Chow Kit who are at-risk, were also given the chance to train with the coaches.
The six school teams’ training were then put to the test in a competition that gave them the chance to walk away with the Courts Cup — a first for the Courts and Liverpool Football Academy.
The response from the schools was encouraging and after three days of intense competition, SMK Datuk Harun emerged as the 2014 Courts and Liverpool Football Academy champions.
SMK Tinggi Kajang’ Azib Safuan Mohamad Sulaiman was named by the coaches as the most valuable player of the programme.
“Our partnership with LFC allows us to realise this potential — developing their skills as an aspiring football player, while shaping them for tomorrow’s community.
“We hope to extend this effort in future to other schools around Malaysia, giving more participants the opportunity to train with the LFA,” said Tim Luce, chief executive officer of Courts Malaysia.
“At the Liverpool FC International Football Academy, we are always pleased when we are able to nurture that potential. Truly, these Malaysian students have the talent and the right attitude to go further and we are happy to have been able to play a small but meaningful part in their lives,” said Ablett,the head coach of Liverpool FC International Football Academy.
Mustaqim Mohd Isa, SMK Datuk Harun team captain, said: “Participating in the Courts and Liverpool Football Academy has opened my eyes to the dedication and perseverance that a football player has for the sport.
“Through learning the techniques about football, the coaches at the academy have worked with me on my strength and weakness, helping me unlock my abilities to become a better player on the field.”
Courts and Liverpool Football Academy recently announced the extension of their regional partnership for another two years, which extends theircurrent partnership up to the end of the 2015/16 Premier League season.
(Standing centre left to right) LFC International Football Academy coaches David Kirner, Anthony Owens, Courts Malaysia CEO Tim Luce and LFC International Football Academy head coach Fraser Ablett, with the 2014 Courts Cup finalists SMK Datuk Harun and SMK Seksyen 11.
2014 Courts Cup’s most valuable player Azib Safuan Mohamad Sulaiman from SMK Tinggi Kajang (centre) with Tim Luce (left) and Fraser Ablett.
Courts Malaysia chief executive officer Tim Luce (left) and Liverpool FC (LFC) International Football Academy coach Anthony Owens (second from left) with 2014 Courts Cup champions SMK Datuk Harun.