Just got back this morning from Singapore by night train. We travelled home with most of the contingent. For me that train ride was the highlight of the entire event. I saw such a powerful spirit in our National Juniors. The joy of victory after so long was intoxicating. The players were buzzing with revived bonhomie. It was an amazing sight to behold. To me they displayed to us last night what Malaysia truly can be.
I was watching our kids with a Malay parent and I asked him if it wasnt a heartwarming sight. He turned and said to me that this is the spirit we must preserve and he also warned that it can so easily be lost. I agree with him.
What a difference from Friday night, when we were trailing badly and the talk around camp was that we cannot defeat Singapore. They are too strong and we are too far behind. In the last Mal/Singapore, we were ahead and they pipped us by a half point on our home ground. What more when we are playing away?
Here I must tell you about the heroic battle of parents, players and officials to try to hold the line; to keep our boys and girls from turning negative. Parents counselled other parents, counselled their kids. Players encouraged other players, helping each other prepare, sharing knowledge. Many pulled together to try to salvage victory from the jaws of defeat. And in the end, the line held. Each doing their part. Our kids did us proud on the final day. They gave it their all, they fought their hearts out.
Well we did have a couple of negative incidences but on the whole the spirit of Malaysia boleh won the day. The spirit of Malaysia boleh won this one day; the day of the 1st of January 2011. The net result is we have our first victory over Singapore after 10 long years. I hope we have many more such days to come.