Allianz’s Junior Football Championship is back, as two Malaysian players stand chance to train in Germany

Mark Ryan Raj
(From left) Allianz Junior Football Championship head selector K. Gunalan, Amy Loke, Zakri Khir and Rudie Ramli and Mohd Nizaruddin Yusof at the launch of AJFC Malaysia League 2020. — Picture courtesy of Allianz Malaysia Berhad

PETALING JAYA, Jan 17 — The Allianz Junoir Football Championship (AJFC) Malaysia League is back this year for a new season, as Malaysian youth footballers play for a chance to train in the Philippines and Germany.

The championship, which started as an effort to kick-start Asian youth progression in the sport, will pit the best teams from six different regions in the country against each other as they vie to be crowned regional champions and earn a shot at winning the AJFC Malaysia League title.

To commemorate the upcoming launch of the league what better way was there than to celebrate it with a game of football?

Allianz Malaysia FC took on the Team Media FC in a friendly match at Stadium UM Arena on January 15, as the Allianz team carved out a 4-1 victory, with a team that featured AJFC head selector K. Gunalan.

Team Allianz Malaysia FC and Team Media FC pose for a commemorative picture before their friendly. — Picture courtesy of Allianz Malaysia Berhad

Speaking after the game, Allianz Malaysia Berhad’s chief executive officer Zakri Khir said that it was important to provide young players in the country with the opportunities to develop their full potential.

“Football is not just about having physical attributes or talent. We have seen first-hand with players like Lionel Messi that high football intelligence, the ability to read the game and competitive spirit on the pitch is important,” said Zakri in a press release.

“That is what we hope to cultivate through this competition and provide our young players with exposure to different experiences that will help shape them into better footballers.”

The AJFC Malaysia League is set to kick off on February 29 in the Central and Southern regions of Malaysia, while the Northern and East Coast regions will play their first match on March 7 and teams in Sabah and Sarawak will begin on March 14.

Players vie for the ball during the friendly match at Stadium UM Arena. — Picture courtesy of Allianz Malaysia Berhad

Each region will feature 16 teams which will be divided into two groups of eight teams (Group A & B) and will be played in a round-robin format, with each match lasting 70 minutes.

The winners from each respective group will then play against each other in a regional final to crown the regional champions, who will then face off against the other champions around the country.

Besides playing for the title, players aged 14 to 16 will also pit their skills against each other to be noticed by scouts as there are many individual honours up for grabs, with spots available to be part of the Allianz Explorer Camp (AEC).

There will be two editions of the AEC as well, with the AEC — Football Edition Asia in Manila, the Philippines from July 27-31 and AEC — Football Edition Global in August in Munich, Germany.

This year, Allianz will be taking 14 Malaysian players to the, as opposed to 10 in previous years, to the AEC Asia camp and will then select two players to be part of the AEC Global camp.

Teams can now register to be a part of the Allianz Junior Football Championship Malaysia League, from now until January 24 at www.allianzfootball.com.my

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