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Sulaiman Hussin: Coaches Need to Stop Asking University Players to Postpone Studies

UKM FC head coach, Sulaiman Hussin hopes that his fellow coaches from Malaysian Football League teams to stop asking their players who aspire to play professionally to postpone their studies.

Speaking to Semuanya BOLA, Sulaiman Hussin, who managed to bring UKM FC to the Challenge Cup 2018 final, told that it is also his requirement for any Malaysian Football League’s team head coaches if they were interested in signing any of his players for the upcoming season.

“I’m not against any Malaysian Super League or Premier League teams who want to sign my players, except for one rule – don’t ask them to stall their courses. Their education is number one priority”, said ‘The Varsity Boys’ head coach.

The former Kuala Lumpur’s player revealed that he already received a few offers from two Malaysian Super League teams regarding 2 of his main players, Asnan Ahmad and Faiz Hanif.

UKM FC head coach, Sulaiman Hussin urges fellow coaches in Malaysian League not to ignore the commitment of education the players need to take. (Photo: Adam Ghazali / Sportflex Malaysia)

Asnan Ahmad captained UKM FC side who defeated JDT II during the Challenge Cup 2018 semi-final, before losing on the final to Terengganu FC II. Meanwhile, Faiz Hanif was once shortlisted as the PFAM-asiana.my Best Premier League Player of May 2018.

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According to Sulaiman, one of his team’s secret recipe of success, that enables them to reach the final of Challenge Cup 2018, and finish the 100PLUS Premier League 2018 at 7th, despite the team’s low budget, is the ‘brain’ of his players.

“Players who have education plays using their brain. They were very open listening to the inputs given by the coach. The discipline instilled the academic world means there’s no problem for them to act professionally inside and outside the football pitch,” he said.

Sulaiman Hussin however acknowledges the time constraint and struggle to balance football and education facing every players who studies at the same time. But he claims with coaches understanding and support, it is not impossible. “Coaches needs to tolerate with the players who were on course. We need to be close with the players to make sure their performance on the pitch and in the class was not interrupted,” he emphasized enthusiastically.

“I have 3 players who’re taking bachelor degree and 5 players taking Masters degree in my squad during the Challenge Cup 2018 final against Terengganu FC II. If I can do it, others can too,” he added.

UKM FC player celebrates their goal against Terengganu FC II in the 2018 Challenge Cup final at the Shah Alam Stadium. (Foto: UKM FC)

Nowadays, the general consensus in Malaysian football is that ‘tertiary education ruins professional football career’. The Ministry of Education and FAM is doing their best to change that by organising IPT League since 2010. The presence of UiTM FC and UKM FC in the 100PLUS Premier League have opened the eyes of Malaysian football fans that football and education can go hand in hand.

Sulaiman Hussin was interviewed during Division 2 IPT League 2018 semi-final match between HELP University and Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK). UMK won the match through a penalty shootout before being crowned Division 2 champion against Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) during the final on the very next day.

With both teams entering Divison 2 IPT League 2018 final, UMK and UUM will be promoted to Division 1 next year.

Meanwhile, the Division 1 IPT League competition will continue on Saturday and already reached Matchweek 7. Among the exciting events that will be presented are at UiTM Perlis Stadium between the host, UiTM Perlis, and UniSZA.

Currently, UiTM Shah Alam still remains top of the league with 3 points advantage, and one game ahead of UPSI.

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