Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lucky for us the Beep Test stay

Former Lions skipper Indra Shadan Daud had openly declared he wished former Lions coach and Technical Director Jan Polusen had taken the Beep Test away with him when he left.

For me, it is on the contrary for I still remember the days before the Beep Test like yesterday.

Unfortunately, Indra decried of the Beep Test because it keep out 'skilled' players hold little water for me.

The fact is, throughout Singapore football history, too many disregard the need to maintain fitness as a part of their profession.

For let not forget even back in the 1980s and 1990s, Singapore players were regarded as soft by our ASEAN opponents, and even our own media, because they constantly outlast us on the pitch.

Of course, the excuse back then was we were city folks while our ASEAN opponents were from the 'countryside'.

We know it is not so for European and South American are also city folks and their fitness level are above ASEAN.

The main reason was our disregard for fitness for what we eat and how we keep our fitness are all wrong if viewed by today standards.

I can overlook that period as sport science had not reached our shores but the fact is until today many are still treating nasi lemak, chicken rice and roti prata etc as part of the diet.

And added in the fact some are smokers, is it any wonder so many players fitness level cannot match a 40-year-old man.

Duric did not get his fitness just because he train hard but also because he live the right lifestyle and the Stags forward have given many such lessons on the media for our local lads to follow.

But how many are really following that regiment lifestyle?

Even simple things like giving up chill sauce, as it is bad for sportsman for it killed their stamina, is ignored by many.

And talent can only get a player so far for in the 1990 Asian Games, the Singapore national team were outlasted by the Korean U23 side and were thrashed 7-0; with 6 goals coming in the second period as the North Asians show off their superior fitness.

Indeed some of the Lions collapsed at the end of the match not because of the scale of defeat but due to the exhaustion.

That is why fitness is so important especially as modern football now emphasized on the fact a player must be able to run for the full 90 minutes, if needed.

It is no longer good enough if you are talented but is only able to last a period of the game like Rafi Ali etc.

The former Singaporean international could have been the Player of his Generation but for too long his fitness level and commitment were questionable as frankly, he was not able to last in many of the games he played in.

The engine room, where his talents could have been best utilised, was too taxing for the Singaporean even at his prime.

And there were too many such players in the pre-Beep Test era with more and more players on the bench growing 'big' (That is not a compliment) with them only able to play a small part of the game. 

They were not helping Singapore football nor themselves.

And Indra may like to know the Beep Test may have even prolong Ahmad Latiff career as without it, I can see the former bad boy of Singapore fitness level going in one direction as let be honest, will he have worked that hard on his fitness if not to pass the Beep Test.  

At just 29 years of age, he was showing signs of his deteriorating fitness and he could have join the likes of Lee Mon Hon; who disregard for fitness is legendary as one could draw a circle around the former Singapore winger and he may never move out of it in the full 90 minutes as that is how much he hate to run or jog.

In time, more Singaporean will undoubtedly look after their fitness to prolong their career but it will take a while as it was only recently that the message is getting through (due to Beep Test) that a professional have to look after their health.

Until more players are ingrained about the need to look after their fitness (from the start and not when their fitness start to fall) do not blame the message (the Beep Test) as it is needed to remind us of the need to look out for our fitness level, no matter how talented you are, for without it you are nothing.


Vincent said...

In a truly professional league, maintaining fitness is a unspoken criteria. Look at all the major football leagues in the world, where else do you find one league that requires a player to pass a fitness test before eligible to play? In that sense, Indra is probably right. However these leagues all adopt 2 approaches:
1) That the club trainers ensures that the player must be fit before he steps into the field. The reason is the club's league fortune is at stake here should they field an unfit player.
2) That the players have the common sense to maintain their own fitness to ensure their continued employment with the club.

To achieve the approach, all stakeholders in football has to maintain true professionalism in their job. So much so that the league organiser (bureaucrat) do not need to intervene the process.

What happen in the S League is that we are a professional league handled by a group of amateur club officials and a group of players that behave like kids. Hence the league authority (bureaucrat) has to step in. Problem is that bureaucrat has little idea how football is run. That is why they came up with this Beep Test idea, which IMO may not be the most appropriate test to guage a player's fitness. However as this idea come from the top, everyone has to comply even it means that it cause problem/inconvenience to some players. If you ask me if Beep Test has help S League raise our standard of play, you only need to look at our football achievement in recent years to derive a conclusion.

happy said...

I wld say yes the Beep Test did it job

Firstly I agree the Beep test is nt the perfect system to test fitness but there is no perfect system

It is acknowledged as 1 of the best so it is good enough

After that, we hve to rmb Beep Test was nt started recently, it has a history of nearly 8 years nw

It success was to give Singaporean the fitness to match ASEAN sides in the Tiger Cup 04/05 & 07 & the second-tier Asian sides during WCQ

Singapore was acknowledged as among the best fitness side then which lead to a run of good results.

Wht happen after 07 was the Singapore team age & the ASEAN teams also got foreign coaches who quick focus on fitness.

Peter Ried (Thai), Alfred Riedl (Indonesia), Henrique Calisto (Vietnam), all when they took over the NTs, commented the Nt players lacked fitness & they quickly implement fitness regime.

For Malaysia, they demand NT players must take cooper Test

So one can see Beep Test is a success for Spore football & even the region as it 'forced' everybody to focus equal importance on it

However in Spore, with players leaving to ISL or IPL we see the effect of getting rid of Beep Test.

For Indonesian clubs (& virtually all ASEAN) do nt care abt fitness regime & when Alfred Riedl had try to 'force' a type of Beep Test on Indonesian teams so players can come to him fitter, he was whacked by the clubs for nt 'understanding' Indonesian culture.