Jan 12, 2007

From reality show to reality

(The Star) WHAT started as purely an entertaining and fun project has become a serious endeavour for Khairy Jamaluddin and his team.

MyTeam began as a reality show to unearth new football talents nationwide.

Today, the fledgling MyTeam has garnered support from many quarters. They have teamed up with UPB and have already made an early impact in the M-League.

Khairy, who is also MyTeam team manager, said it was never their intention to play in the M-League.

“When the show was introduced, our aim was to identify potential football players among our country’s youngsters. It was also to provide opportunities for untapped young talents. We were overwhelmed by the response and the interest shown by the public was motivating.

“The participants’ positive feedback was also encouraging and the journey we undertook was exciting at every stop,'' recalled Khairy.

The reality show became a big hit and culminated in MyTeam playing against the National Under-20 side at a packed National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.

MyTeam went down 1-2 to the national squad, but the inexperienced youngsters were praised for their gallant and gutsy game.

Soon, there were calls and suggestions for MyTeam to feature in the M-League.

After overcoming several obstacles, MyTeam teamed up with UPB FC and the partnership resulted in the formation of UPB-MyTeam FC.

Fifteen players discovered through the reality programme were given the opportunity to play for UPB-MyTeam.

Several seasoned players including national skipper Khaironissam Shahbuddin Hussain, Mohamed Harris Sawfan Kamal, Mohamed Faizal Abdul Rashid and Yosri Dermarajoo were roped in.

Croatian Bojan Hodak was signed as the coach while former internationals Khan Hung Meng and Abdul Rashid Hassan are the assistant coaches. UPB-MyTeam also signed up Croatians Mijo Dadic and Marin Mikac to beef up the team.

But despite the strong line-up, Khairy has a modest target in the M-League – to maintain their place in the Premier Division.

Despite their involvement in the M-League, Khairy said they would not forget their original mission – to unearth new talents and promote football.

“We also have plans to hold the second season of the reality show this year.

“There is also an invitation to initiate the same programme in Indonesia. It is going to a pretty exciting year for MyTeam,” added Khairy.

From just a reality programme, MyTeam's journey has become real.

No comments: