TV3 is to air its latest reality program with the launching of the Soccer Kids – Road to Euro program, a sport reality program which commences on Sunday, 16 March 2008. It is a program designed to discover and unearth the young talents in the Malaysia football arena. Aidid Marcello will be the host for the weekly program.
Children under 12 years old were selected through a nationwide audition which began in October 2007. From the audition, 24 young talents, out of staggering 15,000 participants have been short listed to undergo a centralized training camp for a period of 1 month. The coaching panel comprises of former professional footballers Ong Kim Swee, Mohamed Asri Ninggal, Yong Wai Hwang and Sazali Mohamed Waras.
Hopefully the program would be able to achieve its aim to discover new talents, especially with the ailing of the national football, which has severed the fans’ interest. Lack of young talents have been pointed as one of the reasons for the embarrassing scenario of the Malaysian football. The last genuine Malaysian-born talent known is Titus James Palani which made national headline when he was induced into Le Havre football academy in France in 1999. Titus was 12 years old then.
Presently at 20, Titus plays for Villenoy FC in the second league as the captain and is considered the most successful Malaysian professional footballer in oversea. 2 seasons ago, Titus finished the season as the top scorer for the league. Pundits and analysts have been saying that Titus is destined to play for one of French biggest clubs in the next few years, with Titus himself aiming to play for Paris St German, a club where Ronaldinho played for before he moved to his current club Barcelona and made name as the world’s best footballer.
The Soccer Kids team has so far played a few friendly matches and have recorded some impressive results. They beat Royal Selangor Club (7-0), Brazilian Football Academy (4-2), Bangsar Youth Soccer Club (3-1), Vissel Kobe (1-0) and drew with Youth Football Academy (1-1). Few names have been showing their talents so far, including midfielder Shahrul Hakim, striker Aidil Iskandar and defender Irfan Zakaria.
Soccer Kids TV3 is aired every Sunday at 7.30pm.