M-League teams thrilled at being allowed to return to training
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — Teams competing in the Malaysia League (M-League) are excited about resuming training from Monday, ahead of the start of the 2021 season on March 5.
Most coaches said they are ready to comply with the standard operating procedure (SOP) to be issued by the Malaysian Football League (MFL), with Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) chief coach Frank Bernhardt heaving a huge sigh of relief at not having to wait much longer to prepare his team.
Despite being unable to carry out training sessions due to the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) since Jan 13 to curb the spread of COVID-19, he was optimistic that his players would be in top shape, having followed the online training programmes.
“We have no problem complying with the SOP, which is having a centralised training programme, in accordance with the sports bubble model because we have ample facility to accommodate all the players,” he said in a statement issued by the MFL today.
Sabah FC chief coach Kurniawan Dwi Yulianto, meanwhile, described the approval given by the government as being very important to the continuity of the competition this season.
He hoped that the latest development would provide some comfort to the coaches in formulating suitable training plans.
“We are prepared to follow whatever SOP outlined by the National Security Council (MKN). We don’t want any problems, especially involving the health of our players, to occur so that the league can proceed smoothly.
“We really want the M-League to start as planned and without any postponements,” he said.
Meanwhile, Petaling Jaya (PJ) City FC chief coach P. Maniam stressed that his players and coaches were mentally prepared to undergo the quarantine-based training sessions.
“Indeed, the (sport bubble) SOP is among the new methods which will be used but, whatever is decided on, we are ready to comply with the SOP as directed by the government so as to ensure the M-League continues,” he said.
Yesterday, the government decided to allow centralised training programmes to be carried out by all teams competing in the M-League, Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) and Sepak Takraw League (STL) beginning Feb 15.