See, there was a time, when football, I mean, local football, was as exciting as what will happen to JR Ewing on Dallas, that too, on local TV.
That time, is still fondly remembered by many fans, who have now sadly shied away from supporting the teams they once rooted for. Now, why is that so important that I blog about it? What significance does it make to the life of a plain Joe?
Past two days plain Joe has been spending some time at the KL Football stadium, home ground to the once mighty team from the City, KL FC. No, not to be confused with the global chicken(?) mashers. KLFC, short for Kuala Lumpur Football Club, was arguably the first football team in the country that not only carries the title of a city team, but was also a dominant force in the Malaysian league just when it was booming into something short of spectacular.
Remember the glory days of Malaysian footy, when the likes of Karel Stromšík (a goalie featured in the Czechoslovakian team that played in the 1982 World Cup) and many others (see link at end of post) graced our national league, gunning for hounours with household names such as Matlan Marjan (scored 2 goals against Gary Lineker led England) and many others? Before the EPL, this was football for most Malaysians.
Before the Internet.
Before the EPL.
Before the oligarichs and the money Sheikhs.
Before the corruption of bookies.
If you look back into a little bit of Malaysian football history, you will come across what many people refer to as the Dark Times. No, not when Sauron makes a comeback, but the time when the whole league was sent to shambles as investigations confirmed the league was poisoned by match fixing.
Cutting back, circa present times, KLFA is not what it used to be in the late 80s. That time, I used to gloat to my school friends who were mostly Selangor fans, on how the City Boys, or City Slickers, used to whip their @$$ during derby games. Much like how I still gentlemanly gloat whenever my favourite Red Devils do the same on their city wannabes. It used to be so much fun doing it, without the help of pundits, expert analysis, Championship Manager and other technical footy speak. Just the simple things like "My team just beat the crap out of yours".
Today, I stand at KLFA's homeground, the once proud KL Football Stadium in Cheras. According to sources, KL still are one of the best sides to produce junior players in the country, but, just like many poorer clubs here, their best will most probably be playing against them in the next season. Severely lacking sponsors and the funds, they are even at the point of being bullied by other teams when it comes to revenue and sponsorship. But the worst of all, are their fans.
Sad state of affairs they are in, and the fans are not helping them either. Yes, we may have been scarred once to many times by the previous bunch of clowns calling themselves footballers (dedicated with love to the ones tainted by the promise of mega $$$ to throw games - you suck), but come on, give the new generation of footballers a chance. We may be riding some new found luck with the performances of the Harimau Muda, some even scoffing it as a one hit wonder. But persevere we must, for the one hit wonder can only be changed to something more consistent only by being a participant in the symbiotic relationship between football, and it's fans.
I'm making some headway to officiate myself as a registered fan in the KLFC fan club. Go Go Go City Boys!
ps - KL football club has, in the past, produced players such as Azman Adnan. In recent times, Safee Saali.
I also used to live in the same housing project as where Subadron Aziz was staying. A former striker for KLFC, he always used to drop by the local padang once in a while, and the first thing he does, is do impromptu coaching sessions with us.
KLFC wikipedia page :
Full list of foreign players (some really good ones, some, mercenary craps) :