Kedah Won 2007 Malaysia Cup to Record Historic Treble!
The seeds of Kedah’s unprecedented treble were shown almost three years ago. And on Saturday night, it all came to fruition.
Having already bagged the Super League and FA Cup, the youthful Kedah side added the Malaysia Cup to their trophy cabinet when they defeated Perak 3-0 in the final on Saturday.
First half goals from Mohd Khyril Muhymeen and Marlon James deflated a Perak side, who didn’t help themselves when skipper Ahmad Shahrul Azhar was sent off just before half time.
Injuries to first choice strikers Khalid Jamlus, who limped out in the 30th minute and Guinean Keita Mandjou, meant that the Perak frontline was not effective as it was.
With a comfortable 2-0 lead, Kedah just played on the counter attacked and finished off the game 10 minutes before the final whistle, with Marlon James nailing the coffin shut on Perak’s cup hopes.
Kedah head coach, Mohd Azrai Khor Abdullah was notably delighted with his teams performance, “It is not easy to score three goals against Perak – what more in the final of the Malaysia Cup.The players showed speed and power in the game against Perak and they also demonstrated a lot of discipline. ”
But this wasn’t achieved overnight.
In fact, the Canaries’ youth development programme took root when coach Azraai Khor Abdullah took over from Brazil’s Mirandinha midway through the 2004 season.
“When I first took over, we were just three days away from the start of the Malaysia Cup tournament (in 2004),” Azraai said on Saturday.
Despite the short period of time, Azraai managed to guide Kedah to the Malaysia Cup final that year which they lost 0-2 to Perlis.
“It was clear that we did not have the material, especially the youth. So we decided to kick-start our development programme in the state,” said Azraai.
“We got our officials and coaches together to work out a proper development programme and to ensure that it was efficiently implemented, right from the youth set-up to the President’s Cup and state sides.
“We used the same type of programme for all three levels. That way, the players were able to make a smooth transition from one level to another….
Credit where credit is due, and Kedah Coach, Azraai Khor Abdullah and his back room staff deserves all the plaudits. Because of him, Kedah have shown a matured and committed effort to bringing up the kids, and are now reaping the rewards, having just won a historic treble. Its just proved what everyone has been saying in this country for years, that we need to start with kids, that Malaysia must have a long term plan. Not just any long term plan, but a comprehensive and cohesive plan that will be enforced.
Kedah should be the template for Malaysia’s success. Kedah has shown what a team can achieve with good long term planning.