BAGAN DATOH ( 6 MARCH 2013): The Gladiators captured the hearts of many in Bagan Datoh, Perak, today as more than 250 players from several schools around the district attended a one- day football clinic.
Eager to catch a glimpse of their Super League idols who included strikers Marlon Alex James, Bruno Marteletto, skipper Hairuddin Omar, and defender K. Reuben, to name a few, these youngsters were awed by the sheer presence of the Armed Forces players as they stepped off the bus for the morning session of the ‘Kem Bolasepak ATM-Gladiators’ at SK Sungai Nipah Baroh.
Gladiators coach B.Sathianathan kept a watchful eye from the sidelines, preferring to let his players guide these youngsters as they formed several ‘stations’ for the session which lasted almost 90 minutes.
The second session was held in the afternoon at SMK Sri Perkasa, Hutan Melintang which was attended by 80 players from primary and secondary schools in the vicinity. The Gladiators also played a friendly match against Bagan Datoh Selection at the SMK Hutan Melintang ground,
which they aptly won 6-0.
SMK Seri Perkasa principal Ahmad Teridi, an ardent football fan himself, said the presence of Gladiators today has been an inspiration to these youngsters who have been waiting for this opportunity to learn more from the country’s leading football team.
“SMK Seri Perkasa is also the School of Excellence for Football in Bagan Datoh and with so many players from the other schools gathered here you can see the glow on their faces as they mingled with Armed Forces prolific players,” said Ahmad, who hopes to hold similar football clinics every
“They learned how to dribble and score goals while the goalkeepers, numbering almost 15, also picked up some finer points. This clinic session will certainly benefit them and I hope they will go on to be better players.”
For Mohamed Farhan, 17, and Nazirul Adli, 16, the ‘Kem Bolasepak ATM-Gladiator’ will be a moment to cherish for the duo who were all too excited meeting their idol – ATM Skipper Hairuddin or Hai-O as he is fondly known among teammates.
“He was very helpful and thought us how to control the ball and ways to score goals. Hairuddin also advised us to study hard and also inculcate a high level of discipline in ourselves if we want to improve our football,” said Farhan, who hopes to don Armed Forces colours one day.
The Gladiators concluded the sessions by signing autographs on the back of the team photograph which was distributed to all the players and fans at both football clinics.
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