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Tamborine Mountain Eagles, U16s
Our Boys, Our Team, Representing Our Town
At 3:30am on Sunday September 30, after months of anticipation, a Bunnings sausage sizzle and with lots of Aeroguard packed in their suitcases, the Under 16s Tamborine Mountain Eagles soccer team began their journey to Kota Kinabalu (KK), for the 2018 Borneo Football Cup. What followed was a week of Nasi Goreng, a trip to a beautiful festival of light, some ziplining between islands, lots of swims to cope with the heat and plenty of high-quality soccer.

Organised by Scott Ollerenshaw, the cup is an excellent boutique tournament that has been running for 10 years, with a maximum of 8 teams per age category. Led by our intrepid tour guide, Christopher, the boys utilised their "big focus" to compete very strongly against teams from Malaysia, Perth, Indonesia, Thailand and South Australia.

After a friendly game against Malaysia, followed by a day of rest and tournament dinner featuring a cultural show and informative chat with ex-Socceroo Alan Davidson, the support team of mums and dads (affectionately referred to as MADs), nervously watched on as our first match against Tabs Malaysia got underway at Penampang Stadium. Both teams became instant friends, with Tabs using their passionate war cries and hypnotic drumming to support the Tamborine Mountain Eagles in subsequent games. After a two-hour break the Eagles played Perth City, NPL champions of the west, who just happened to be travelling with their personal physiotherapist (slightly intimidating) at Likas Stadium. We held our own, although Perth went on to win the match and the tournament.

Day 2 and we were back at Likas on the scorching artificial turf to play the British International Sports School from Thailand. Our first goal of the tournament, scored by Archie Greig-Lawson, was a welcome relief with the Tabs Malaysia team nearly raising the roof of the bleachers as they banged their empty water bottles and screamed themselves hoarse in support. Much later in the day, when the temperature had dropped to a chilly 33 degrees, we played our semi-final against the Western Strikers NPL team from SA on the 25,000 seater Likas Stadium. The Eagles dominated the game, securing our first win of the tournament with Conor Tepea Smith slotting a goal in the last 5 minutes of the game.

The following day, our Plate Final, was a nail-biting game played against TABS at Likas. The Eagles dominated throughout but could not score, with the game going into extra time (9 a side for 5 minutes), then extra-extra time (7 a side for 5 minutes). Still no result! This meant a sudden death penalty shootout was required, rotating through our team players and putting our fabulous goalkeeper, Indigo Sharp, under immense pressure. It was a nerve-racking end to a sensational game with TABS the ultimate victors. In the searing Malaysian heat, the boys swapped very sweaty jerseys, snapchat details and went away firm friends.

Big thanks to coach Dean Critchlow, for his assured tactical decision making, no doubt learning a lot by taking a group of 17, 16-year-old boys overseas and to coach Troy Mackriell for his informed player management, assured reading of the game and countless wet towels. We wouldn't have been prouder of our team and, with very few injuries (thankfully no major ones) we piled into taxis and headed off to Pacific Sutera Resort, celebrating with a buffet, a fire-twirling show and a spot of limbo.

The tired warriors, their coaches and MADs boarded the plane bright and early Sunday morning and made their way back to the mountain, carrying with them the sense of a job well done, plenty of souvenirs and just a touch of Borneo belly. Jump on the Eagles Soccer Team FB page to see some fantastic photos snapped by Adrienne Harvey and Jess and to view the inspirational videos compiled by Dane Sharp.

Howard Stubbs, Technical Director, Northern Inland Football, U12s

On behalf of Northern Inland and all the traveling staff and players I congratulate and compliment you on the quality of the Borneo Football Cup. This tournament is one to embrace and would encourage any age group teams who would like to travel and experience football in Asia to look no further. The football standard the venues and transport provided was all excellent, along with the overall support from our tour guide for the week Philip the whole experience was outstanding. We took the budget package accommodation, again the standard and meals provided at the hotel were great value and we would take this package again.

The tournament dinner and cultural evening was another highlight of the tour and this certainly engaged some of our quieter players who were amazed at the whole
event and ultimately got involved throughout the night. From the day we landed in Kota Kinabalu to the day we departed the Northern Inland U12's players had an absolute ball, we are now look forward to next year 2019 and returning with three age groups.

Again, many thanks Scott for your support of our team attending the tournament and your friendship while in Borneo.

Miguel Sosa, Coach, Kemps Creek & Club Marconi and Director of Miguel's Football Academy (MFA), U14s

I would like to thank you on behalf of my touring team players/ officials and parents on another tremendous tournament. This is my 2nd time participating in the Borneo cup and can say I seem to enjoy it more each time. Everything about the experience is well organised and plays out effortlessly with your great staff looking after our every need. I know my players were thrilled and excited to play teams from throughout Asia. We as a touring party really enjoyed not just the complete football experience but also the excellent hotel , the tournament dinner which included multiple cultural shows and the insights into the game by past footballing greats. Also the day at the nearby island with activities like banana boat rides, para sailing and flying fish was a great fun days for my players. All in all a tremendous week that we will never forget thank you and your staff and look forward to seeing you all again in the next tournament.

Marissa, Panazzolo, Western Strikers, U16s

Western Strikers SC (WSSC) from South Australia would like to extend a huge thank you to Scott and his team for what was a well organised trip but more importantly a fantastic experience had by players, coaches and parents alike.  With regard to the Tournament itself, WSSC sent a team consisting of 13,14,15 and 16 years olds to participate in the U16 category for 2018. The boys didn't know what to expect but were excited about the opportunity to play in an international football tournament competing against other countries i.e. Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and a few other Australian teams from interstate. The biggest challenge the boys experienced was coming straight from playing in an Australian winter to acclimatising to the humidity and heat, but overall the boys loved every minute of it. Their biggest take away has been an appreciation of international teams and their style of play e.g. the technical ability vs. the physicality of Australian teams.

To ensure the boys also came away with knowing a little bit about Kota Kinabalu and Sabah we requested to do a couple of extra tours pre and post the Tournament, this included white water rafting and a city/wildlife park tour. a special mention also goes to our tour guide Roy who we cannot speak highly enough of, he was a wonderful source of knowledge everywhere we went, great encouragement for the boys pre and post matches and assisted with any request we had. To anyone considering attending we would highly recommend going if the opportunity is ever available. The football experience, the personal development, the friendships and the memories is something that will remain with the boys forever."

Paul Smith, HKJFL

Here are some more pictures of the HKJFL Borneo Cup Tour for the 2005-2003 age groups. The final age group did brilliantly but didn't have any luck and missed out
on 3rd place on penalties. We would like to thank Scott Ollerenshaw for a really well run tournament providing the HKJFL teams with top competition over the age groups. It's a great opportunity for players to play outside their comfort zone and really come together as a team over the 4 days they are there. It's competitions like the Borneo Cup that really make a difference to our players from Hong Kong. We look forward to returning next year to defend our age group titles.

Miriam Whittington, South Hobart Football Club

The Borneo Football Cup is so much more than soccer!  It is an opportunity to be with friends, experience another culture and to take a big step in growing up.  The fact that families as supporters can share this adventure is a bonus.  For South Hobart FC our trip was priceless. 

South sent an U13 team to the BFC in 2014.  For us, competing in this well run tournament provided a chance to test ourselves against teams from South East Asia.  This was our primary motivation for entering.  We expected a lot from our boys - not to win - but to play consistently good football with 100% commitment despite the hot humid conditions and however events unfolded on the pitch (goals against, referee calls, how big other teams are).  Our boys were also expected to conduct themselves at all times with discipline and maturity beyond their years.  As parents, this trip was an investment in our sons' journey to being good men.

This non results based attitude was vital in making the BFC a success.  For our club we see youth football as the development years and it is more important for players to be growing in a positive environment than to concentrate on actual results.  We want our players to keep playing the game into their senior years and to provide them with reasons to do so - supportive team mates and coaches and encouraging but not over involved parents.

The teams from Kuala Lumpur, Indonesia and the Philippines matched the Australian teams in terms of skill development. But with such huge populations they have so many more players and with representative teams this means they can select bigger kids - those who've hit puberty sooner. So our young team found ourselves at times up against taller, stronger, faster players with good skills.  The conditions in Kota Kinabalu are also tough for Australian teams - especially for a team from Tassie with a sprinkling of snow still capping our majestic Mount Wellington.

Getting our boys playing good football with the right attitude meant they had a positive time on the pitch regardless of the score-line and where the team ended up in the 10 team tournament.  As it turned out we had 2 wins, 1 draw and just 1 loss to the eventual Cup Winner in our round games.  This left us third on a goal difference of one only in our group (so close to second) and leaving us in the 5/6 play offs which we won.  The play offs concept is a clever structure because it means on the last day of the tournament teams play similar standard teams and the competition is relatively even.  It also means that the last five games of the final day are all "finals" and the atmosphere was terrific. 

But apart from the actual BFC - the days we spent in Malaysia before and after made our trip that much more memorable.  We were met at the airport by our friendly and very helpful trip guide Nelson who we travelled with all 9 days.  And the itinerary arranged by Scott was ideal - well paced and allowing for cultural immersion as well as football.  Having a guide, a bus and a good itinerary made our tour stress free.

On our way to KK we had two full days in Kuala Lumpur, playing a friendly, having a light training session and visiting the Batu Caves - a Hindu Temple in a cave with a lot of free roaming monkeys scavenging for food.  This was very much a highlight!  Our hotel was in the middle of the city - complete with sky pool and very near the night markets with "genuine" Nike Strips for a few ringgit.

In KK we also stayed in a hotel in the centre of the city and we loved the freedom this provided.  Parents and players could wander about the night markets (very safe feeling compared with KL) just outside the door and cross the road to the many good kid friendly restaurants on the water front.  It was well worth paying that little bit more to stay in these centrally located 5 star hotels - enormous buffet breakfasts, on call laundry services, pools, and clean well-appointed rooms, Wi-Fi - access to these things make or break a tour. 

Our group opted for the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park (small zoo with hilarious otters and very active tigers and sun bears) and the trip to Manukan Island. A typhoon over the Philippines meant that these days in KK  involved a lot of torrential rain - the worst storms in 40 years according to the Malaysian Times - but we didn't let the weather detract from our fun.  We just rolled with the punches and instead of lazing on the beach, snorkelling and banana boating - our lads played an intense barefoot friendly with the local Malay workers on the island in ankle deep water and jumping over a rather large monitor lizard.  The boat trips out and back through the swirl were exhilarating enough for everyone - including those with boats back in Hobart.

Here are our tips for other Australian teams:
• Have realistic expectations and well defined policies for how the team will operate - codes of conduct and subbing.
• Make sure picky eaters realise that sometimes their food choices will be different (chips not always on the menu).
• Stay central, with a pool and shopping (night markets) and restaurants on hand.
• Playing one/two friendlies in KL helps with acclimatisation - both the weather and being in Malaysia.
• Go back to the hotel between games if you can - we negotiated this with our guide as an extra cost but given the heat it was worth it.
• There are only two games each day but this is more than enough in the conditions. Anymore and the players performances would significantly decline.
• Take plenty of tissues! And anti-bacterial hand wash! Some public toilets in Malaysia do not supply paper but rather hoses. This was confronting for our players (and their mothers).
• Little brothers are very much welcomed as ball boys!
• Only drink bottled water. No Ice! And only cooked food at least until after the BFC. None of us got sick at all. Apart from our coach on the plane trip home.
• Go with a positive attitude and go with the flow - it's South East Asia - things are different - and besides - the weather is what it is.

Michael Swibel (St George u13s), National Admin Manager, Westfield Ltd
Congratulations on the recent edition of the Borneo Cup 2012. The Under 13's tournament lived up to all expectations and delivered exactly what was promised. Not only did it provide a taste of life as a professional footballer as players adapted to travel, climate, cuisine and styles of play but it also gave a wonderful experience in terms of culture, visiting a foreign country and meeting players from other parts of Asia. The tournament itself was very well run and organised with team buses, game officials, grounds and catering all provided throughout the event. The matches were played in good stadiums and in good spirit by all the competing teams.

On top of this a great team bonding day was spent on Manukan Island with water activities such as snorkelling, parasailing and banana boating all included and topped off with a Bar BQ lunch on the picturesque island. The formal dinner was another highlight, set by a beachside venue, with the sun setting on the South China Sea as the players were well fed and then listened to the advice and career highlights of former Socceroos Abbas Saad, Brad Maloney & Aytek Genc.

I have been on previous football tours of Asia, South American, Europe and the Middle East at both senior and junior level and I have no hesitation in stating that the Borneo Cup tournament was right up there with the best of them.

Shayne Holzheimer, Junior Coordinator, North Star FC, Brisbane Qld
I would like to thank you and your team on a tremendous football tournament in Borneo. The players loved the football and enjoyed Borneo. The opposition were strong and the conditions were tough. It was a great Footballing and growth experience for our team. To stand on a quality pitch in a large stadium listening to the Australian National Anthem is an experience they will never forget and I am sure that you have given each player the burning desire to play for their country. The opportunity to mix with 4 ex-Australian players was one of the highlights. They now have a better understanding of what it takes to be a pro footballer.

On behalf of the North Star FC U14 team we would like to thank you for the tournament and we appreciate all that you have done for our team while staying in Borneo. Fantastic event and we hope to see you next year.

Domenic Di Biase, Manager, Australian Academy of Football
This has been my 3rd consecutive Year attending the Borneo Cup, I can't express in words how well run and organised this tournament is, from the time we landed at Kota Kinabalu International Airport, we were met by our tour guide, we were then driven by coach to our 5 star hotel in style. The Borneo Cup has given our lads a small taste of life as a professional footballer. The tournament is the brain child of Ex Socceroo Scott Ollerenshaw, and was introduced to myself and my son in 2010, when we were asked to join Rui Spinola and his Academy ATFA. Since then i have fallen in love with Kota Kinabalu.

When you arrive, It's not long before you get to see bright eyed boys from many different parts of the world, wandering about the hotels lobby, all decked out in their track-suits looking like young professional footballers. Its here you start to feel the excitement and tension that comes with such a professional tournament. Scott You are to be congratulated on the overall organization of the event. Everything ran smoothly. Nothing was left un turned and all the organisers were quick to act on any request that may have been asked of them and it was never to much trouble.

The stadiums were amazing, the referees were a mix of local and some foreign referees who were invited to officiate at this tournament.The friendships made by all will surely last a lifetime. The 2012 Borneo Cup was an extra special moment for me, as I attended as manager for my best friend, Bill Galanis and his Australian Academy Of Football. Bill a long time friend who i met while watching our boys play U/10s at Apia Leichhardt Tigers, is one of the most dedicated coaches i have ever met, his passion for youth development is 2nd to none and the patience and guidence he shows his lads is to be seen to be believed. Bill also attended this tournament in 2010and we have come back to tackle this tournament together for the 3rd time, and this year the lads were well prepared and were crowned 2012 u/16s Champions.

Bill has vowed to bring back a team every year as he believes this tournament could easily become one of the most sort after tournaments in the future. This tournament can only grow bigger and better. The event although renowned for its football, is also know as an adventure holiday, built in with the football is a few days of R&R, a well earned reward for all. From the beautiful Manukan Island BBQ and banana boating / Parra Sailing day, to the adrenalin packed White Water Rafting day. It gave all involved a few days of leisure to really take in the beautiful paradise of Sabah, better known as the Land Beneath The Wind.

I would like to take this opportunity to once again to thank Scott Ollerenshaw and all his team for making the adventure a truelly memorable one. We are already in preperation for another stint in 2013 and will be taking over two sides, U/14s and a squad to take on the Mens Open. I will personally recommend the Borneo Cup to anyone out there, who wishes to experience 1st class Youth Development Football, against some of the great football loving nations such as Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Australia. Its the best value for money you will ever get and an experience of a lifetime.

Les Murray, SBS Chief Football Broadcaster & Australia Football Hall of Fame
I am the first to admit that this job has its pleasurable moments. I write this in the midst of just one of those, from Kota Kinabalu, capital of Sabah state in Malaysia, a nice place. Penny Wong, the Australian finance minister, hails from here, which is likely the only reason most Australians have heard of it.

For me it's more famous for being the home of Scott Ollerenshaw, the former Socceroos' flying lefty who in 1988 so terrorised Brazil's Jorginho that the latter got himself sent off for trying to stop him with a waste-high rugby tackle. He was a fiery red head, our Scott, with a combustible temperament on which his coach, Frank Arok, once commented: 'What do you expect? He has red hair.' Frank would be disappointed to learn that the hair is now gone, and not just its colour.

Scott, or Ollie to his friends, now makes a living running sports tourism events in this tropical Eden on the north-eastern tip of Borneo. It's here where Ollie played out the final years of his career and just couldn't bring himself to leave. It's an idyllic place - as you might guess - with balmy temperatures, palm trees, quiet beaches and, not far up in the hills, wild orang-utans with whom one can have encounters of the third kind.

I'm here at Ollie's invitation, although I've been coming here for various reasons - including on holiday at my expense - since 2006, even spending one New Year's Eve here (which I don't recommend unless you get off on excruciatingly bad karaoke). My not unpleasant chore is to contribute, as guest speaker, to Ollie's premier event, the Borneo Football Cup, a two-week annual tournament for invited junior teams (anyone can apply), from ages 12-16. Craig Foster is here also, so that he too can impart some wise words to the kids, including probably something about Barcelona.

In the hotel lobby, one mingles with bright eyed boys from many corners of the region, all track-suited up like young professionals and displaying fine manners. They are in bed by the time I have a late night drink in the lobby bar with George Konstandopoulos, a one-time NSL player with West Adelaide, as some of you will remember. The blond Greek. He is here as the coach of Adelaide Olympic's Under 16s. He talks passionately about his team playing an ideal brand of football, and it does try to, but then presides over a loss in the final the next day to a bunch of mainly Korean school kids from the TY Sports Academy, ironically a Brisbane-based institution.

It doesn't please George, who seems about as blackened by the loss as Jose Mourinho would be after another defeat at the Nou Camp. George's memory of a similar result in the final two years ago doesn't help. The kids, being kids, shake it off and are soon seen happily frolicking around the pool at the Sutera Harbour Resort, where they are staying. It's all the usual education about who responds how to a loss, and at what age. In any case, at this age it's not about results and trophies, as we non-coaches find it easy to say.

What it is about, though, is development and experience. That's why this event is more to the kids than splashing about in swimming pools while their parents drink at the swim-up bar. Down time is pleasant, to be sure, but it's all primarily about the football and about playing well. They play in unfamiliar conditions (the heat and humidity alone can be sapping), against foreign teams, with foreign styles and philosophies. They are constantly challenged and it means a lot to them. Last year, when I handed out winning trophies to a team of Japanese 12-year olds, several of them broke up crying. That's fine, by the way. What you don't want to see is children crying because they lost. Nobody should care, provided they learned something.

Other familiars who arrive at various times include Brad Maloney, Milan Blagojevic  and Terry Greedy, all former Socceroos of various vintages. Aytec Genc, who runs his own football academy and is the technical director of Sydney's vast St George district, is coming in with a party of 65. It's a wonder he didn't hire a private jumbo. There is something serenely agreeable about watching - and mingling with - eager-faced, innocent young footballers, and teams acting as families on their collective little voyage of discovery.

Not all of them are so-called 'elite players', indeed most are far from it. And that goes for not just the Australians but the others from Korea, China and elsewhere (no team from Japan could make it this year because of the after-effects of the earthquake and the tsunami). They are kids trying to play and to learn, and trying to match their wits against foreign opposition. Most of these Australian boys will probably never become Socceroos or ever wear the green and gold at any level.

But as you observe them, you can't help getting the feeling that they see these as fair-dinkum international games, a small way to a dream of playing for their country. They will scarcely forget it, not to mention how much good it will probably do for their human development, through comradeship, the team ethic and the building of a sense of cultural identity. And all through football, an almost unrivalled vehicle for such things. This naturally makes me, a football man watching it, very proud. Craig too, I am suspecting.

Scott Ollerenshaw spawned a good idea when he dreamt up this tournament four years ago. It's a living for him, in a part of the world where income opportunities for an expat Australian can be a challenge, especially through the medium of football. But I'm not sure if he counted on the value and rich sense of fulfillment his idea now brings every year to at least a small group of impressionable people from beyond Borneo's shores, Australians included.

Alan Davidson, Legendary Socceroo & Australia Football Hall of Fame
Well organized, impressive stadiums , quality international teams all held in an amazing and exotic destination – fully recommended.

Steve Kalend, Executive Officer for Sports School Australia
I am writing to formally thank you most sincerely for your kind and generous invitation to attend the 2nd Borneo Football Cup in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah earlier this month. It was a truly wonderful experience for me and I'm sure for all the participants and the many parents who attended. I was immediately struck by the similarities in the way which you organise the event to our own School Sport Australia Event Philosophy – all about using sport to provide the kids with a total sporting, educational and cultural experience.

Highlights for me during the week included:
  • The passion with which teams played their matches
  • The commitment and enthusiasm of the team management and the accompanying parents
  • The excellent stadiums used for the competition
  • The superb location for the event
  • The wonderful sighseeing and cultural opportunities available to teams
  • The excellent accommodation provided for teams
  • The positive reaction to the ex Socceroos - your event "ambassadors"

You are to be congratulated on both the concept and overall organization of the event. Everything ran smoothly - nothing was too much trouble and no request was denied. I will certainly be doing my best to assist in whatever way possible in promoting your event in 2010 through our state school sports associations. Our 2009 School Sport Australia Conference is on next week and I have already organized to include on the agenda a report of my visit to your event.

Robert Alberts, Ex Director of Coaching Korean FA, Ex Technical Director FA of Malaysia
It was a great honor and pleasure indeed to witness the first Borneo Football Cup. The organization was first class. It was obvious that the participating teams from overseas enjoyed their stay very much. The matches where played in the Likas Stadium and the field was of acceptable quality for an international tournament like this. And of course this is the main purpose of the football tournament, playing matches against foreign teams. I could observe the enthusiasm of the players. It meant a lot to all players to be able to play quality matches on a good field in a nice environment. It was indeed the best team that won the tournament, Marconi from Sydney. The players showed good discipline and also they had some real talented players. That's why this tournament is so important for the development of youth players.

Besides the matches the cultural side was also of the highest class. Foreign players, officials and their parents were entertained with sightseeing trips to enjoy the beauty of the many varieties that Sabah has to offer. Special mention to Scott Olleremshaw, a former Australian International who also gained great popularity in Malaysian Football when he was awarded the Golden Boot while playing for Sabah FA. It is with no doubt that this tournament will grow in strenght and I would be pleased to recommend any team that is looking for a quality football tournament.

John Economos, Australian Football Writer
The inaugural Borneo Cup Tournament, blue-printed and promoted by former Australian International and St George Budapest striker, Scotty Ollerenshaw, staged in October in Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, East Malaysia, was absolutely nothing short of magnificent. So meticulous was this entire Soccer-Holiday Tournament planned by Mr Ollerenshaw and solidly backed up by his experienced, courteous, dedicated and loyal staff, not a single thing was left to chance. The entire production was totally and smoothly executed, without a single hitch. Training and playing facilities were excellent. All the Tournament matches were played in the spacious, lush Buffalo-grassed pitch of the Likas Stadium.

The Borneo Cup facilitated for the Marconi squad, most valuable exposure to foreign styles and formations of play. The six star accommodation at the spacious, plush and palatial Pacific Sutera Resort Hotel where the Marconi Under 16s squad was based, was unbelievably luxurious, embraced in a totally impeccable and relaxed atmosphere. Mr Ollerenshaw's extensive Borneo Cup Tournament planning, embraced not just the Soccer Tournament, but incorporated a vast selection of magnificent, colourful, enjoyable, exciting and educational sightseeing and activities. Crammed daily programmes scheduled, included sumptuous lunches and evening dinners, swimming, snorkelling, parasailing, a water launch trip, plus a relaxing and romantic BBQ on a private island. As another unexpected bonus, Mr. Ollerenshaw's staff organised a historical and most moving visit, a bus trip that climbed the highest mountain in Asia, Mt Kinabalu (4.250 ft above sea level). At the crest of this massive rugged Mountain, we sighted a magnificent World War 2 Memorial, in eternal remembrance by the Malaysian people for the 2,400 Australian prisoner-of-war soldiers that were killed by the Japanese in 1944, on the savage, brutal and infamous Sandakan trek.

Malaysia is a magnificent small South East Asian nation. The Malaysian people are calm, placid, warm, gentile and above all, very respectful, especially towards all Australians--a trait stemming since before World War 2. The Malaysian Government in recent years has seriously concentrated in opening and developing its Country borders to the major economic industry, Tourism. However, this rapid expansion into the Tourism sector, has been very strictly controlled, to shield Malaysia's history, culture and all of its traditions from being severely eroded by decadent Western trends. I highly recommend all Australian teams, (irrespective of age group), to participate in the '2009 2nd Borneo Cup Tournament'. It's an unforgettable experience, coupled with idelible and relaxing pleasure.

Ian Mehta, Head of Middle School at Jerudong International School
For some time now we have been looking into ways of providing some 11-a-side competitive fixtures for our younger students at JerudongInternational School. The Figos Borneo Football Cup provided the ideal solution. We had the opportunity to take a squad of 16 players to compete against strong opposition. The impact that this competition had upon the development of our players was enormous and we hope to be involved for many years to come. However, it was the quality of the whole experience that was so beneficial to our boys. Travelling to Kota Kinabalu and enjoying some of the tourist attractions that Sabah has to offer was an absolute pleasure. The staff of Borneo Sports and Adventure went out of their way to make sure that every detail was taken care of and they made us feel so welcome. Thanks to Scott and all the team - we hope to see you again next year.

Rhodes Bryan, Under 20 Coach Marconi Stallions
The "SABAH CUP" is not only a fantastic football experience it's also - Wildlife, Jungle Rainforest, Underwater Treasures, World War Two History, Mount Kinabalu, Malaysian Culture, Food and SHOPPING. Having played and coached for many years I have just experienced one of the most exiting football trips to date. SABAH CUP promoter and ex Socceroo Scott Ollerenshaw has done a tremendous job in promoting the SABAH CUP and it was an absolute pleasure for our club Marconi Stallions to travel to Malaysia and experience a different style of opponent and culture when competing in the inaugural SABAH CUP. Apart from the above, the six star hotel experience at a more than reasonable price gave the players a chance to relax and recover throughout the competition, an ingredient that promotes camaraderie and professionalism throughout your squad. Other benefits for our club Marconi travelling to Malaysia and competing in the Sabah Cup competition was not only the high standard of football technically and tactically but we did not have to travel for long periods of time in the air on a plane. I strongly recommend that you take your team and experience the "SABAH CUP" and the Malaysian culture, a memory your team will keep for life.

Rick Chiellini, Marconi Youth Development Coach
What an absolute brilliant time we all had in sabah, the weather, the people, the food, the magnificent resort we stayed at the first class organization of the tournament and all sightseeing activities were sensational, all 34 that toured can't wait to return to this paradise called the land beneath the wind.This trip will stay in our memories forever and frienships have been made that will also last forever. we have set up a site that shows some photos of our experience at photobucket.com look for the album stallionsinsabbah (all one word yes sabah is mispelt) I know this tournament cant fail it will grow into the biggest youth tournament in Asia. To also have Mr Robert Alberts technical director of malaysia football present at the tournament and have him spend an afternoon with the players and coaches talking football was invaluable. Part of me wants to keep sabah a secret ,but that would be an injustice as everyone should have an opportunity to experience the land beneath the wind.

Alan Davidson, Former Socceroo - '79 Games
I toured Kota Kinabalu,Sabah in September 2007 as a guest of the CFA Football Academy.It was my first trip back to Sabah in well over 7 years & I was pleasantly surprised at how much development had taken place which has definitely turned Sabah into a tourist hub of SE Asia.Fantastic,quality hotels,modern shopping centres,delicious & diverse food & exciting & fun tourist activities were the obvious standouts off a very enjoyable 7 days. The Football side off the tour was extremely well run & professional & I felt like I was away on tour with the Socceroos once again.The bus was always awaiting our arrival,the tour guide was excellent & the Likas & Penampang Stadiums were perfect locations for the games. I look forward to the inaugural 2008 BORNEO FOOTBALL CHALLENGE CUPS in October for what I anticipate being an exciting & well organized tournament.

Mike Cockerill, SMH Football Journalist & Football Meda Pundit
When I was a kid living in Kuala Lumpur, I collected stamps, and the ones from Sabah were always the hardest to find. Since then it's held a special fascination for me - an exotic destination, far off the beaten track. It took me almost 40 years to finally get to Kota Kinabalu, and the wait was worth it. think what's happened to asia in those four decade, think what's happened to Malaysia, think what's happened to Kuala Lumpur's kampongs and then look at what you see, smell, and sense in Sabah. Soaring mountains, rushing rivers, unspoilt beaches, impenetrable jungles. The pace of change is quickening, but the lessons of the past seemed to have been learnt. Sabah is one of the last refuges of real asia, a point of difference. Lets keep it that way.

Aytek Genc, Former Socceroo & Managing Director 1st Eleven Footbal Academy
I have made numerous trips to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah as a footballer and also as a tourist. I can honestly say that it is one of my favourite places to visit. KK is a paradise that rivals many of the worlds best holiday locations. It is exotic and fun and a place you love to visit for its friendly people, the weather, the food, the activities, or if you just want to get away. Football is my passion and I could not imagine a better place have a Tournament. Players and their families will love KK and gain long lasting memories. I cant wait to go again.

Gus Cerro, Director Footbal - Cerro Football Academy - Australia
On behalf of Cerro Football Academy, we wish to thank you and your staff at Borneo Sports Travels Tours for hosting our 2007 Malaysian Tour. Your professionalism ensured that everything went smoothly. As the tour leader I had little to do as everything was perfectly organized from the moment we arrived in Kota Kinabalu. The Hotel was exceptional; your transportation staffs with the buses were professional and obliging in every way. The activities you organized were first class and everyone involved had an amazing six days that we will truly remember for a long time to come. We are excited at the prospect of returning to KK in the near future and would thoroughly recommend your services to any sporting organization interested in a sports tour. We wish all the very best in the future and hope to catch up with you again soon.

Stephen Morris, Australia
I would like to thank you for organizing the soccer tour to Malaysia. Sabah was my favourite bit of the trip by far. It was a great success and I can't think of any negatives. Everything was great fun and everyone had a fantastic time. I like the quality of coaches that taught us. I learnt a lot of new things which I can use to crack reps (hopefully). I also liked the variety of activities (especially the parasailing and banana boat) and sightseeing. I enjoyed the canopy walk but not so much the adventure park due to my collision. The hotel that you chose for us was the best I have ever stayed in. It was really good being close to all the markets and shopping. I got some fantastic deals on sports gear. Another thing I enjoyed was the variety of food we ate (Indian, seafood and Italian). You picked some really good places. I liked some of the real life stories Alan told me and being trained by Ken Shellito, Alan and you. While I was there I managed to get Ken's autograph on my Chelsea shirt. I loved playing on the amazing surfaces like Likas stadium. They were a lot better than the average park football grounds in Australia. Could you please thank Michelle for her talk. It was really interesting. Thank you once again for organizing this once in a lifetime soccer tour to Malaysia.

Maree Morris, Australia
Stephen & I had an amazing time in Sabah and we wanted to thank you for all your efforts to make it such a wonderful experience. The itinery was a perfect balance of football (both games and training) and sightseeing which enabled the boys to also experience the culture, shopping and other activities Malaysia has to offer. The boys enjoyed their games. Playing at Likas Stadium was a real treat for them. To have the opportunity to play alongside Alan, Gus and yourself with the three of you guiding them from on the pitch was an opportunity that most kids could only ever dream of. Meeting Ken Shelitto (Stephen is a huge Chelsea fan) and Michelle Koh, and hearing their stories gave the boys a great insight to what it takes to be a successful sportsperson. To have the experience of being trained by Ken was also a highlight for them.

The trip to Manukan Island was one of my favourite activities. I have always wanted to try parasailing and I can't wait to have another banana boat ride. The Adventure Park was also a lot of fun especially the quad bikes. (The only suggestion I would make would possibly be to go to the Adventure Park after their games in case of any mishaps). The day at Mt Kinabalu was also very enjoyable. When I look back I can't believe how much we managed to do in the time we were in Sabah. Le Meridien Hotel - both the accommodation and the service - was great. You obviously also put a lot of thought into the restaurants you chose. There was a great variety of places and the food could only be described as superb. The local people we met were very friendly and the tour guides you organised felt very much part of our group. We were very fortunate to have you organising the Sabah leg of our tour. Your local knowledge, attention to detail and planning ensured the best trip we could possibly have hoped for. Without your efforts there is no way we could have done everything we managed to do. It is certainly one of the best trips I have ever been on. The boys returned home pumped and both the parents and boys are still raving about the tour.

Rui Spinola, Director of Coaching, Australian Technical Football Academy
After the third time attending the Borneo Cup I can see why I keep coming back to be a part of what is in my belief the premier youth tournament in Asia. Each year the quality of the teams get better and as always the whole event is extremely professionally organised. From the pick up at the airport by your own tour guide, the 5 star accommodation and warm hospitality, the adventure trips on the Sutura Harbour, white water rafting, a visit to the zoo, to the well organised football competition, this tour has it all!! I highly recommend the Borneo Cup to anyone wanting to experience Asian youth football at a very high level for their team or academy, coupled with fun adventure in a luxury setting, which we can never have enough of. This is a must!! Thank you Scott for all your hard work and dedication you demonstrate towards youth development and can't wait to see you back there soon.