KUALA LUMPUR: The Allianz Junior Football Camp (AJFC) is back for the fourth consecutive year. Allianz Malaysia Bhd has opted to organise the programme in a new format, giving more teenagers aged 14 to 16 a chance to show their talents and skills.
This year’s edition will see the formation of the AJFC Malaysia League, a competitive league culminating in national finals where 11 talented players will be selected to train with FC Bayern Munich.
“AJFC is open to all teenagers aged between 14 and 16 years old. For Malaysia to inspire and develop football talents, there must be ample opportunity for young footballers to play competitively at all age groups. We realised there was a gab in the 14 to 16 age category and decided to introduce a league competition this year,” said Zakri Khir, chief executive officer of Allianz Malaysia.
He said the selected teenagers will be trained by Bayern Munich’s official youth coaches.
Zakri believes it will be a new experience for them as they will not only receive professional football training, but also meet the stars of Bayern Munich, visit the city of Munich and watch the club play live at the Allianz Arena.
“Over the past three years, Allianz Malaysia has had great success with both the programme as well as the quality of the teenagers who have gone to the International AJFC camps.
“But football is not an individual sport, and it is important that our players get more ball time and game time in a team environment. Our new format which is a league system will provide these young players an opportunity to experience these important football principles,” said Zakri.
The league will be held for seven consecutive weeks between April 11 and May 30 in Selangor, Johor and Penang. University Putra Malaysia (Selangor), EduCity (Johor) and University Sains Malaysia (Penang) have been selected to host the league. 84 teams from the Klang Valley, Johor and Penang will take part in the preliminary rounds.
The top four teams from Johor and Penang and the top eight teams from Selangor will advance to the national finals, which will be played at University Putra Malaysia on June 13, where the inaugural league champions will be crowned.
Interested teenagers from 14 to 16 years old need to form a team of 12 players to register. Registration and information on the AJFC Malaysia League are available on Allianz Malaysia’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Allianz Malaysia.
Registration started yesterday and will close on March 30. An email acknowledgement will be sent to the first 28 teams to register, and they must attend the briefing meeting to confirm their participation.
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on February 27, 2015.