In good times and bad, our bonds with family and community unite and strengthen us. This Our Malaysia column celebrates how Malaysians care about each other and make this country a better place for everyone. Please share your inspiring stories from Malaysia with us. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nine years ago Francis J. Mascrinhos, president of the Sunday Cowboys Football Club (SCFC) football team, launched a holistic program to introduce football to the youth of Kampung Medan in Petaling Jaya.
Under the theme ‘Building Community Through Football’, the program aims to enable them to hone their football skills and participate in healthy activity that can help them stay off the streets.
“With funding from the Selangor state government, we have continued to successfully develop many talents who have continued to play for bigger clubs,” Mascriinhos said in an email interview.
The SCFC is divided into two groups: the Social League Squad (SLS) (made up of 30 active adults aged 30-45) and the Football Association of Selangor (FAS) League Squad (30 players aged around 20).
As well as making a name for themselves in the FAS League, the club have won several tournaments and have consistently finished well in the FAS League (Division 1) mid-table, securing a promotion to the FAS Premier League two years ago. .
“We are proud to have trained SCFC players Muhammad Akmal Mohd Thahir and Muhammad Syafiq Shaban Badrul Hisyam respectively as the coach and manager of the FAS League team,” said Mascrinhos.
For Mascriinhos, 56, the program is part of his efforts to reach and help youth in income group B40.
“Unlike children from high-income families, children from disadvantaged backgrounds cannot afford football academies fees. Therefore, it is imperative to provide the same technical and football training to young people regardless of their financial situation, ”said Mascrinhos, who is a certified coach by the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM).
The SCFC coaching team includes Mascrinhos as senior coach, head coach Ashley Shimon Pereira, who holds the prestigious UEFA coaching certificate, and FAS League Squad coach Muhammad Akmal , who holds a FAM trainer certificate.
“The members of our League team are predominantly school leavers who are immediately introduced to a higher level of competitive football, giving them the perfect platform to show off their skills while learning from the top players. more experienced SLS, ”said Mascrinhos, who co-runs a PJ-based funeral home.
For the past nine years, Mascriinhos has dedicated his Wednesday evenings to team training. He also occasionally invites players to participate in friendly matches on Sundays and joins them for weekly physical training. It’s a lot of commitment, but Mascriinhos knows it’s for the greater good.
“My goal is to instill in young people the essential traits of teamwork, discipline, dedication and the importance of being literally goal-oriented.
“These are fundamental virtues in building character that will come in handy not only in football, but also in tackling the big game in life.
“The philosophy I have always insisted on with my players is that in football, as in life, you will win and you will lose. What really matters and what determines whether or not you succeed is how you play, ”he said.
Community spirit is also evident within the team.
“We speak Bahasa Melayu among ourselves and, above all, we communicate easily through the universal language of football. Many community members in the region have been instrumental in developing and harnessing the skills of the players.
“The fact that the SCFC FAS League squad is still, almost 10 years later, powered by almost 90% of Taman Medan’s players says a lot about the tremendous support from the good people there.
“But I am well aware that my players are not yet ready to play at this more competitive level. (After all, they) are very young inexperienced Mavericks who have to face more developed and more experienced players,” said Mascrinhos.
There is a monthly subscription for all club players, but it is waived for FAS League Squad players. The club mainly survives on funds sponsored by Mascrinhos and its vice president Ram Pratap, monthly subscriptions and sales of football accessories.
Mascriinhos is happy to be able to contribute to a part of the community.
“I am living my childhood dream. We have gone from a simple weekend football social team to a credible football club. I would like to think that we made a difference in shaping their confidence and their outlook on life. Nothing, no trophy, championship or league title, would be more meaningful to me personally than that. “