KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 — Aspiring young Malaysian footballers will have a chance to train with one of Germany’s most renowned football clubs, as the Allianz Junior Football Camp (AJFC) Malaysia League returns this year.
Allianz Malaysia Berhad chief executive officer Zakri Khir said the programme is opened to those between the ages of 14 to 16-year-old, who can end up being a part of the AJFC in Munich and train at FC Bayern Munich’s Säbener Strasse, should they qualify.
“AJFC is about providing opportunities for young footballers to kick-start their dreams. With a gap at the grassroots level for a competitive football programme for those aged 14 to 16, we knew AJFC was prime to fill that spot,” he said during the programme’s official launch.
Zakri said the programme’s league format is the best way to impart the fundamentals of being a professional footballer to these young players.
“A season of AJFC means five weeks of total football and the players know that they will be exposed to the whole nine yards — the training, the weekly match days, the traveling,” he said.
AJFC Malaysia League commences on March 2, and features six regions — Central, South, North, East Coast, Sabah, and Sarawak.
The first competition will be for the Central and Southern regions, at Stadium Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in Bangi, Selangor and Padang 10, Kompleks Sukan Hang Jebat in Melaka, respectively.
On March 9, the Northern and East Coast regions will commence at the Stadium Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang and the Padang Majlis Perbandaran Kuantan 1 and Kolej Universiti Islam Pahang Sultan Ahmad Shah in Kuantan, Pahang, respectively.
Sabah and Sarawak regions will commence on March 16, at Padang Sukma in Kota Kinabalu and Kompleks Sukan Petrajaya in Kuching, respectively.
Each region features 16 teams divided into two groups of eight teams (Group A and B). Teams will play each other in a round-robin format, and each match will be 70 minutes long. Group winners in Group A and B will then play in the regional finals.
Following this AJFC Malaysia League’s selection panel headed by noted Malaysian football coach E. Elavarasan will pick out the 18 best players from each region to form six regional teams, who will compete in the Grand Finals from July 4 to 6, at the Arena Majlis Perbandaran Subang Jaya.
From this, 10 of the best performing players will be selected to participate in Allianz Explorer Camp — Football Edition in Singapore from July 23 to 26. There they will take part in training drills where the best two will then be selected to be part of Allianz Explorer Camp — Football Edition in Munich, Germany in August.