9 Januari, 2011

The United Factor


I hope everyone ushered in the New Year with great enthusiasm and a positive outlook on the next twelve months. The last few days of 2010 in particular certainly carried us into 2011 in a buoyant mood, thanks largely to the success of our Malaysian football team.

As the response from Malaysians everywhere shows, sports, especially football, has the ability to bring people together. I experienced this personally last month while cheering our team on against Vietnam in the AFF Suzuki Cup. The energy that night, while sitting among fellow Malaysians at Jalan Bukit Bintang was palpable and one couldn’t help but be swept up in it. Who knows, perhaps one day we’ll see our Malaysian football team rise again to great standards. With focus, discipline and a good team culture, it could happen. Our team has already been complimented by a Manchester United player; they should take this as motivation to improve.

On the subject of sports, I do try my best to follow the progress of my favourite sports teams. I enjoyed some personal time after Christmas to chill with my wife and children (and the cats), go for my routine jogs and catch up on the English Premier League football. Like any other fan of Manchester United, it thrills me to see the team at the top of the league with a comfortable lead in points and two games in hand. My daughter doesn’t share my enthusiasm; she is a Liverpool fan, you see. She consoles herself by saying Liverpool is ‘the team of the future’, but she has also been saying this for over ten years.

It may be too soon to celebrate another title, but I hope that Manchester United are able to maintain this lead in the Premiership while staying sharp for other club competitions including the English FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League.

I’m also looking forward to meeting our Malaysian football team this Wednesday to congratulate them on their Cup win. These young players are the future of national football and have the potential to revive the sport domestically. Malaysia Cup, the longest-running football competition in Asia has a brand new champion in Kelantan. It could be an exciting year for this much loved sport in Malaysia.

What major sporting event, local or international, do you look forward to? Feel free to discuss your favourite sports teams here as well as your predictions on their performance for 2011.

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