Sumareh's Thai Switch
And now he has left Malaysia. Typically, I think it's good for a player to try his luck overseas. They can 'find' themself as a person of course but they get their eyes opened to a different culture, a different way of doing things and they become more mature.
But reading the news that the Gambian born winger has signed for Police Tero in Thailand, has left me feeling a tad underwhelmed. Not for the player of course. If the rumours about his not being paid for several months are true then of course he is perfectly entitled to go to a club where he can look forward to a regular pay cheque.
No. My feelings of misgiving lie in a different direction. Malaysian football is changing. The switch from state associations to privately owned football clubs is supposed to improve the management of the game and, I hope, provide us with a club, or clubs, which can challenge Johor Darul Ta'zim for the title.
Imagine a club like Selangor for example snapping up Sumareh. Think of the boost that would have given to the players and supporters at Shah Alam as well as sending out a strong message to the rest of the league that the Red Giants mean business once more.
For sure, Police Tero have got themselves an excellent talent and Sumerah ca sleep easy at night knowing he will be paid for his efforts but Malaysian football will be the loser if it keeps losing its most exciting players.