YOUNG Tigers A coach Ong Kim Swee is pleased with his charges involvement in the S-League so far.
Kim Swee said the team are doing well to be placed among the top teams in the league and was happy to see his charges continue to develop as they move towards the latter stages of the season.
"Before the season started we had set a target of finishing in the top five. We are now roughly at the halfway point so I think we are on the right track," said Kim Swee, at the Nike The Chance trials in Petaling Jaya yesterday.
Kim Swee refuted claims that the S-League was an inferior competition and said the bigger goal of competing against quality opposition on a weekly basis was met.
"There are six or seven very strong, financially solid teams in the league and for me, the quality of teams is about the same (as in Malaysia)."
Meanwhile, Kim Swee praised the Nike The Chance programme which offers competitors the opportunity to be sent for a three-month training stint at top European clubs.
More than 1,000 youth turned up for the final leg of the trials at the Astaka field yesterday where they were assessed by Kim Swee and his panel of coaches to be shortlisted for the next level of competition.
"This is definitely a good programme. All the coaches from the Young Tigers Under-16, Under-19 and Under-23 setups are here and are eager to spot new talent.
"This programme is not just for Nike as we (Young Tigers) also benefit as we are always looking for a bigger pool of players.
"We believe we can identify a few talented players here and will absorb them into our (Young Tigers) programmes if they are good enough, once the Nike programme is over."
Those selected from the trials, which ends today, will be placed in the Nike The Chance bootcamp at Universiti Malaya next weekend for further selection and also to prepare them for the national finals which will be held at the National Sports Complex in Bukit Jalil in a fortnight.
The first two legs of the programme was held in Sungai Petani and Pasir Gudang. Over 6,000 players took part in the programme. By Fadhli Ishak