Friday, August 7

S’wak to host first A-League match outside Australia

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Posa (third left) exchanges the MoU documents with Hughes while (from left) Razali, Gillan, Mahyan and Sim (right) look on. — Photo by Harry Ilias

KUCHING: Another historic chapter beckons for Sarawak football after Australia League (A-League) team Perth Glory Football Club agreed to include a stadium in Kuching as one of the venues for the Australian professional football league.

Perth Glory FC on Sunday signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MoU) with Football Association Of Sarawak (FAS) for a long-term cooperation.

The Aussies will have their pre-season tour in Sarawak including playing two friendly matches with the Sarawak Premier League team.

The MoU was signed by FAS president Datuk Posa Majais and club advisor Tony Hughes on behalf of Perth Glory FC.

Hughes told reporters that his side was honoured to partner with Sarawak and delighted to accept Posa’s invitation to have its pre-season tour here.

“We are looking forward to playing the two friendly matches in Kuching. We haven’t decided on the dates yet but it is expected to be between Aug 3 and 9.

“We are moving towards making history by having the first ever A-League game in Sarawak and the first A- League game outside Australia using a stadium in Sarawak,” he said.

The club will be involved in many of the state’s football programmes organised during the pre-season tour including the symposium of football, marketing strategies with FAS, supporting social media and development of youth by running football clinics.

“We hope to build our fan base up and we hope to develop lots of programmes so that Perth Glory supporters feel being part of Sarawak and Sarawak feel part of Perth Glory and we support each other,” added Hughes.

To Posa, the MoU with Perth Glory FC has proven that FAS are serious about the development of football in the state.

“We will also be using the pre-season tour to search for potential players to be roped into the Sarawak team,” he said and added that FAS will probably use Stadium Negeri in Petra Jaya as the venue pending on the green light from Football Association Of Malaysia (FAM).

Meanwhile, Sarawak head coach Ian Andrew Gillan said the MoU has opened up great opportunity for FAS to gain expertise and football knowledge as well as the business strategies of a bigger professional club.

He said coaches and state youth players will be sent to Perth to learn from their counterparts.

Also present at the press conference were FAS vice president Razali Dolhan, newly appointed Sarawak team manager Awang Mahyan Awang Mohamed and Lea Sports Centre managing director Raymond Sim Hee Pang.