After news that the current management of the Football Association of Sarawak (FAS) is pointing fingers at the older management of FAS, which is managed by Datu Sudarsono Osman, over debt issues, we contacted Sudarsono.
The former FAS President who is currently overseas for work, gave his insights over the issue raised, and agreed for us to publish the following statement, which he called was ‘his thoughts about Sarawak football’.
We spent 7 years to put FAS and Sarawak football on a good footing. It was always our objective to hand over FAS to the next management in a better state than when we received it.
I’m glad that by the end of our term in 9 September 2016, FAS had established better credibility among the stakeholders. We had substantial state government funding which FAS never enjoyed in the past. We were able to bring in sponsorships from State GLCs as well private companies. That boosted our financial capacity though the cost of managing teams in the M-League kept on increasing with each year.
We did proper handing over of duties from the former Exco to the new one in a meeting on 23/9/2016. Several meetings also followed up to ensure the smooth transition of the management and proper team preparation for the following season.
Of course taking over an organisation means taking over the assets, if any and its liabilities.
I remember the time when we took over FAS at the end of 2009. The whole football ecosystem was not there. Young players didn’t want to represent the State because football had lost its glamour then. The State team struggled in the lower league. FAS was in big debt and was contemplating to withdraw from the national league. Players like Joseph Kalang Tie and Reshafiq who were confident of their talents left to ply their trade with the peninsular teams.
Today, I feel proud when I see our young players coming through the ranks to play in the senior team. That has always been our philosophy which is to develop our very own young local talents.
I’m confident that if Sarawak can retain all these talents, we will have a strong team comprising mainly of our young local boys strengthen with good imports. This can be a reality for next season with the experience the young players gained from his season.
Development of young talents takes time. Results cannot be produced overnight. It takes 4-5 years to see the fruits of your development program. The development program must be continuous and pursued diligently. You need to be patient and willing to go through the process before talents emerged and are ready for the big league.
However, if FAS is not stable and cannot provide security for their careers then we will lose our talented young players to other teams in the league.
Managing football is never easy as it requires large funding. The management will continuously face multiple challenges and issues ranging from team performances, team harmony, players, supporters and financial. But all these challenges are the norms in professional football management and they all need to be tackled head on. You can’t avoid them. The last thing you can do is to blame others for your situations.
If anyone ever think that managing a professional football team is a walk in the park then that someone doesn’t know football.
In my opinion, most important for now, the management and the team need to stay focused on winning the next home game in order to retain our status playing in the super league next season. The players are the team’s most important assets. Build the players confidence in the FAS management and focus on creating an environment of stability for the players future.
Voicing your internal management problems will not help to build the players trust in the management . If players lose faith in the management we will risk losing all our local talents in which we have invested time, money and efforts.
Datu Sudarsono Osman
Former FAS President
We will not elaborate further on Sudarsono’s statement and leave it to you to judge what he said. – SarawakCrocs.com