||This article includes a list of references, but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. (June 2013)|
|Full name||Football Association of Sarawak|
|President||Datu Sudarsono Osman|
|Head Coach||Robert Alberts|
|League||Malaysia Super League|
Its professional first team, Sarawak FA competes in the Malaysia Super League, the top-flight competition in Malaysian football, after being promoted as undefeated champions of 2013 Malaysia Premier League. Representing the state of Sarawak, the team is under direct supervision of the association. They are based in Kuching, Sarawak and play their home games at Sarawak State Stadium.
Sarawak FA has never won the prestigious Malaysia Cup, but won the Malaysian Premier League in 1997, the Malaysian FA Cup (1992) and the Malaysian Charity Shield (1998). In 1999, the team advanced to the second phase of the Asian Cup Winners Cup, crashing out to Kashima Antlers of Japan. In 2013, the team won the Malaysia Premier League undefeated; their first domestic trophy in 16 years.
- 1 History
- 2 Themes and nicknames
- 3 The Encang Sarawak Encang Era (1992–2003)
- 4 The Invincible season
- 5 Ground
- 6 Club officials
- 7 Players
- 8 Transfer 2014
- 9 Coach history
- 10 Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors
- 11 Club honours
- 12 Track record
- 13 Malaysia Cup records
- 14 Players
- 15 Coach
- 16 References
- 17 External links
Football fields existed in Sarawak before World War I, for example in Bau, Buso, Bidi, Sungei Tengah and Dalian. The teams were composed of European assistants and Asian staff. In 1924, the Kuching Wanderers were formed, a team mainly consisting of Europeans.
On 16 January 1926, the Wanderers were formed into the Kuching Football Club and from that date until 1933, the Europeans of Kuching were able to field two teams and played regularly twice a week, and additionally played for the James Buchanan Cup, named after James Buchanan, the fifteenth President of the United States. In 1933, however, regular matches stopped as several players left the country due to the world's economic slump. Nonetheless, in 1934, the Kuching Football Association, predecessor of the current association, was founded.
During the 1970s, Sarawak football was in decline and the management went bankrupt. The current Football Association of Sarawak was founded in 1974 by Datuk Haji Taha Ariffin, with assistance from the Sarawak Government. Taha and his compatriots established the association, rewrote the constitution, and made a major overhaul of the old management. With the establishment of the Piala Sarawak (or Sarawak Cup), the association progressed greatly, and later organised the Piala Borneo (Borneo Cup) to provide training and experience to the newly formed team.
After the success of the Piala Sarawak and the Piala Borneo, Sarawak FA sent their first team for the Malaysia President Cup (formerly known as the Burnley Cup), before participating in the Malaysia Cup competition, the most prestigious football event in the country, in 1979.
After another decade of slow progress, in 1988, new coach Awang Mahyan Awang Mohamad introduced the slogan Ngap Sayot and brought the team to its first Malaysia Cup semi-final, defeating several teams deemed to be stronger than Sarawak FA, for example the state teams of Selangor FA, Kedah FA, Kuala Lumpur FA and Pahang FA. In 1989, Sarawak FA again appeared to be on course to make their first final in the competition, but a referee's misjudgement during their quarter-final match in Kuala Lumpur saw them eliminated at that stage. The incident strained national integration and caused the FAS to withdraw its affiliation from the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) for a short while.
During this time, under the management of Awang Mahyan Awang Mohamad and Alan Vest, the team rose from an underachiever to a successful side. Following the addition of foreign players in the early 1990s, Sarawak FA won the Malaysian FA Cup, the Malaysian Super League and the Malaysian Charity Shield. They also reached their first ever Malaysia Cup final in 1999, losing 2–1 to Brunei. They were also relegated from the Super League by placing bottom during the 2007–2008 season, but they managed to get back into the league during the 2014 season.
Themes and nicknames
Over the years, Sarawak has used several themes and battle cries, most notably the popular Ngap Sayot, created in 1988 by Mahyan and still in use. Other themes emerged later, among them are Encang Sarawak Encang, Ngap Ajak and Tebang Balau. Recently, the Semangat 88 (Spirit of 88) theme is used alongside Ngap Sayot to emulate the success of the 1988 team.
Generally, Sarawak is known as The Kenyalang, named after the state bird. In the 1980s, the Black Cats was chosen as the team's pseudonym; however, following series of notorious crocodile attacks at heavily-infested rivers in the state during the 1990s, the nick Bujang Senang is chosen to represent Sarawak's chivalric and ferocious play. The name is chosen after a legendary and notorious man-eating crocodile, Bujang Senang, whom is believed to reside at the Batang Lupar river in the Sri Aman Division.
The Encang Sarawak Encang Era (1992–2003)
The success of Sarawak during this era was powered by Alan Vest and Abdul Jalil Rambli.
After the end of the Ngap Sayot era, FAS decided to revamp the team with the inclusion of foreign coach and players from Australia. Alan Vest (former interim manager at Australia's Perth Glory FC), was chosen to become Sarawak's new boss, replacing the flamboyant Awang Mahyan.
With the investment that reached RM2 million at that time, Sarawak had shaped a formidable team. The most memorable glory was in 1992 when Sarawak won the FA Cup by defeating their main rival at that time, Kuala Lumpur. Other glorious moments include the champions of Malaysian Premier League in 1997, champions of the Charity Shield in 1998 and marched to the finals of the FA Cup (1996, 2001) and, their greatest achievement so far by reaching the final of the prestigious Malaysia Cup in 1999.
Around this time, Sarawak changed their mascot from a black cat to a crocodile, nicknamed Bujang Senang. The team itself is generally known as The Crocs.
The most popular foreign players in the team was John Hunter, known as John "Kerbau (Buffalo)" Hunter. David Evans, an Australian, holds the record as the tallest player ever in the league's history, as well as the longest serving foreign player. Other players such as Billy Bone, Alistair Edwards, Doug Ithier as well as Neathan Gibson were also popular with fans.
This era also witnessed a significant change of venue in 1997. After the end of the 1997 FIFA World Youth Cup, Sarawak moved to its current home, the Sarawak Stadium, which is adjacent to the old stadium (although the team re-used the old Stadium Negeri for several home matches afterwards). The new stadium was regarded quite unfortunate as the old one, but throughout the time the new stadium becomes an identity for the team itself. The new stadium has hosted several international matches, such the AFC Champions League second round match between Sarawak and Kashima Antlers of Japan, and other friendlies with clubs from Singapore, Australia and Germany.
After the departure of Alan Vest in 1999, Sarawak were left without any foreign touch due to FAM policy. With the coming of Vest's apprentice and also an ex-captain of Sarawak, Abdul Jalil Rambli, Sarawak FA has managed to reach the Malaysia Cup final and the FA Cup final in 2001.
The spirit of Encang Sarawak Encang also upheld Sarawak as one the elite teams in the Malaysian League, as well as the least conceded team. It is also noted that Sarawak were second to Selangor FA in terms of wealth and excellence in management as well as players' welfare. Sarawak became a favourite in most competitions and one of the most consistent teams.
The Invincible season
In Malaysia football, "The Invincibles" has been used to refer to the Sarawak team of the 2013 managed by Robert Alberts. Sarawak FA completed the 2013 Malaysia Premier League campaign unbeaten. Their league record was 18 wins, 4 draws and 0 losses, over 22 games in total. Sarawak coach Robert Alberts has done a remarkable job in getting the locals to combine with the foreign signings Bosnian striker Muamer Salibašić and Cameroon centreback Guy Bwele.
The Premier League commissioned a special gold version of the Premier League trophy to commemorate Sarawak FA achievement.
Sarawak's venture in the domestic cups ended in the quarter-finals; losing both legs against Kelantan in the Malaysia FA Cup, 4–1 on aggregate, and lost 2–4 on aggregate against Pahang FA in the Malaysia Cup Semi final match.
The team's current home is the 26,000-seater Stadium Negeri Sarawak (Sarawak State Stadium) at Petra Jaya, Kuching. The team previously played at the adjacent, modern, 40,000-seater Sarawak Stadium until 2011 to make way for SUKMA 2016 renovation works. The team also previously played at the Jubilee Ground (Padang Jubli) at Padungan Road, Kuching from 1974 until the mid-80s, before moving to the old (now current) ground. Following facilities upgrade in 1989 for SUKMA 1990, the stadium remained as their base until 1997 when they moved to the new stadium after the 1997 FIFA World Youth Championship concluded.
Currently, the Sarawak Stadium is only used as training ground and is expected to host Sarawak's home games after the conclusion of SUKMA 2016.
- Table correct as of 3 January 2013
|Manager||Datu Haji Mohamad Abu|
|Assistant Manager||Abdullah Julaihi|
|Head team coach||Robert Alberts|
|Assistant coach||David anak Usop|
|Goalkeeping coach||Mohana Sundram a/l Packirisamy|
|Fitness coach||Azley Abdullah|
|U20 Head Coach||Johnny Dominicus|
|U20 Assistant coach||Khairol bin Jamel|
|U20 Coach||Mohd Farhan Abdullah|
|U20 Coach||Awang Jobli Awang Bidin|
|U20 Goalkeeping coach||Jahar Noh|
|U20 Fitness coach||Jerry Tanny Raymond|
|Physiotherapist||Mohd Khairul Nizam Suhaimi|
|U20 Physiotherapist||Azhar Rajali|
|U20 Physiotherapist||Audrey Anak Jemang|
|Kit man||Yusri Bin Ahmad|
|Masseur||Wan Bujang Wan Othman|
|Media Officer||Narayanan Sreedharan|
- As of 06 August 2014
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
For recent transfers, see List of Malaysian football transfers 2014..
Notable former players
*Registered with President's Cup team
President's Cup Team
For the president's cup squads, see Sarawak FA President's Cup Team.
Sarawak Youth President's Cup Squad
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
|Mohamad Poasa Sahar||1979||1981|
|Wan Edrus Wan Alwi||1982||1982|
|Chow Kwai Lam||1984||1984|
|Mohamad Che Su||1985||1987|
|Awang Mahyan Awang Mohammad||1988||1989|
|Abdul Wahet Uji||1990||1991|
|Abdul Jalil Rambli||1999||2003|
|Abdul Wahet Uji||2005||2005|
|Abdul Jalil Rambli||2005||2006|
|Ahmad Fairuz Yunus||2008||2008|
|Haji Mohd Zaki Sheikh Ahmad||2009||2011|
Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors
The flag of Sarawak has always been an inspiration for kit colour schemes. Historically, the home shirt is red and black, augmented by black shorts and red socks. However, colours for both shorts and socks may occasionally change to either red or white, according to season's preference. Certain seasons have seen yellow, orange and even white kits worn as first choice kits. Owing to team's success mostly dressed in red and black, the team is sometimes colloquially known as Merah Hitam (the Red and Blacks).
Similarly, the away kit is always blue and black; akin to its home kit, colours for both shorts and socks may occasionally change to either blue or white, according to season's preference. Certain seasons have seen white, yellow and navy blue kits worn as change kits. For current season, these colours are set as their "third" kit as the team prefers yellow shirt, black shorts and red socks as their away kit.
Sarawak's first known kit manufacturer is Puma, followed by Diadora. Since 1991, the team has worn Lotto kits, which have witnessed tremendous success and fame before switching to local brand Rossi in September 2001. After nine years, Adidas became the kit of choice for one season prior to the appointment of another local brand, Starsport to supply kits for the team until at least 2016.
Since the 1980s until 2010, all teams competing in Malaysian football leagues are sponsored by single sponsors, namely Dunhill (1980s–2005) and TM (2006–2010), apart from league sponsorship. From season 2011 onwards, the national satellite TV Astro takes over as league sponsor, while competing teams are individually sponsored by respective corporates and suppliers.
In addition, the Lea Group of Companies, a local company through their sporting wing, Lea Sports Centre has been Sarawak's shirt sponsor since the 1990s. Previous sponsors include Bank Utama, Power (a brand by Bata), Inai Kiara, Holiday Inn, AirAsia, Larsen Oil & Gas and Naim Holdings, and currently, the team is sponsored by Sarawak Energy, Shin Yang, Ibraco Berhad, Marina Parkcity, Titanium Management, DD Plantations, HSL, Rimbunan Hijau and Lea Sports Centre.
|Period||Kit manufacturer||Shirt sponsor||Other Shirt sponsor|
|1992–2000||Lotto Sport Italia||Dunhill||None|
|2005–2006||Celcom||Inai Kiara Sdn.Bhd|
|2007–2008||Larsen Oil & Gas|
|2011–2013||Starsport||Naim Holdings||Shin Yang|
|2014–present||Sarawak Energy||Shin Yang,
Ibraco, Marina Parkcity, Titanium Management
- Malaysian FA Cup
- Malaysia Charity Shield
- Borneo Cup
Updated on 15 April 2014
- P = Played
- W = Games won
- D = Games drawn
- L = Games lost
- F = Goals for
- A = Goals against
- Pts = Points
- Pos = Final position
|1st or W||Champions|
|2nd or RU||Runners-up|
|♦||Top scorer in division|
|Season||P||W||D||L||F||A||Pts||Pos||FA Cup||Malaysia Cup||Top goalscorer|
|MPL 2013||22||18||4||0||49||12||+37||1st||QF||SF||Bobby Gonzalez||28|
|MSL 2012||26||8||6||12||28||32||−4||11th Playoff Round||R1||Group 3rd||Joël Epalle||6|
|MPL 2011||22||15||3||4||51||16||+35||2nd||R1||Group 4th|
|MPL 2009||24||3||6||15||29||57||−28||12th||R2||Group 4th|
|MSL 07-08||24||4||2||18||25||67||−42||13th||R2||Group 5th|
|MSL 06-07||24||2||4||18||28||65||−37||12th||R1||Group 5th|
|MSL 05-06 Group A||21||8||6||7||40||39||+1||4th Playoff 1st Round||QF||QF|
|MPL 2005 Group B||21||3||5||13||23||38||−15||7th||R1||NQL|
|MSL 2004||21||3||7||11||28||38||−10||7th||R1||Group 3rd|
Malaysia Cup records
The following coaches won at least one trophy when in charge of Sarawak: