Zainuddin Mohd Zain, the coach of SMK Bukit Nenas, vowed this week that his team will be stronger for 2016 after suffering the heartbreak of being denied places in the quarter-finals of the Minister of Education League Cup 2015.

The overall defending champions of both the Under-14 and also the Under-17 teams of the MELC in 2014 were dumped out of places in the next round after failing to make the cut from the group stage which ended last week.

It is the first time the Terengganu outfit has failed to make the cut for the quarter-finals since the MELC was initiated back in 2008.

“It has been a very difficult year for us,” said Zainuddin. “For both teams, the preparation for 2015 did not exactly get off to the right start. We lost some players while others were on duty for the national team.

“But I believe that this is the purpose of the MELC which is to be a source of players for the national age-groups, so we are not complaining.

“There were some lessons which we have picked up from this year and that is we need capable reserves. The reserves that we had this year were just not up to the mark.

“Maybe the pre-season preparation needs to be tweaked a lot more. Whatever it is, I believe that we will be a lot stronger in 2016. Not making the quarter-finals has allowed us to go back and prepare early for the new season.”

SMK Bukit Nenas is just one of the few teams in the MELC receiving support from the state FA in terms of monetary as well as coaching assistance.

And this has led them to be able to consistently challenge for the top honours in the premier youth football league in the country.

The Setiu-based team first won the U14 title in 2011 before repeating it again in 2014 while for the U17 category; SMK Bukit Nenas were the back to back champions following wins in 2013 and also 2014.

“I also believe that it is not only Bukit Nenas who suffered this year as SMK Tunku Anum (from Kedah, the multi-time winners of the MELC) also did not have a great season,” added Zainuddin.

“Their U14 team also failed to make cut for the quarter-finals.

“This testifies that the league has gotten stronger and it is not easy to win matches as it used to be. For Bukit Nenas, it has certainly been an eye-opening season.”

The MELC and 100PLUS Super Cup are among several youth programmes and competitions supported by 100PLUS, Malaysia’s leading isotonic beverage.

The others include the 100PLUS Malaysian Junior Golf Open and the 100PLUS National Junior Badminton Circuit. 100PLUS is recommended by the National Sports Council.

Edit Logo KPM & 100P(2)




Bukit Jalil Sports School (U16)

SMK Syed Hassan (PERLIS)

SMK Seksyen 11 (SELANGOR)

SMK Tabuan Jaya (SARAWAK)

SMK Seberang Temerloh (PAHANG)


SMK Seri Titiwangsa (KUALA LUMPUR)



Gambang Sports School (U14)

SMK Tunku Anum (KEDAH)


SMK Syed Hassan (PERLIS)

SMK Mutiara Impian (PULAU PINANG)

Tunku Mahkota Ismail Sports School (U14)

SMK Seri Titiwangsa (KUALA LUMPUR)

SMK Seri Kota (MELAKA)



SMK Bukit Nenas (in white / black) against SMK Mutiara Impian (in blue / black)

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