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- Mar 15, 2010
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Harimau Muda was a former U21 football club representing the Malaysia national under-21 football team and participated in the Premier League Malaysia, thus helping to prepare them for international tournaments. The team is considered to be the feeder team for the Malaysia U-23 and the senior national football team. The club is controlled by the Football Association of Malaysia. The club discontinued in 2009 after winning the 2009 Premier League where the club splited into two teams, Harimau Muda A and Harimau Muda B after a major schedule conflict with league matches and international matches.
In addition to entering the Malaysia national under-21 team in international competitions, the Football Association of Malaysia also enters a team made up of national under-21 players in Malaysia's domestic professional competitions under the name of Harimau Muda.
Harimau Muda A has competed in Malaysia's domestic competitions since the 2007-08 season, Malaysian FA Cup and the Malaysia Cup.
By entering Harimau Muda domestic competitions, the FAM hopes to expose Malaysia's top under-21 players to top-level competition, thus helping to prepare them for international tournaments. As such, Harimau Muda is one of only a few football clubs in the world which places an age restriction on team members while playing in a national professional league.
The team is aimed at developing Malaysian youth players and will not recruit any foreign nationals in its squad.
The name "Harimau Muda" means "Young Tigers" in Malay.
Harimau Muda was made up of Under-21 players from across Malaysia, mainly chosen from the SSBJ football team and in the President Cup. Harimau Muda first participated in the Premier League Malaysia 2007-08. Harimau Muda's performance was not as the Football Association of Malaysia expected, When the club finishing 8th in the 2007-08 season.
FAM was thinking to dissolved the club, but gave Harimau Muda a second chance to participate in the 2008/09 Premier League season, but this time with more experiences player and more better players. Harimau Muda proved FAM that they do not deserved to dissolved as manager Ong Kim Swee led the Harimau Muda team into winning the 2008/09 Premier League season, with only losing two matches
Following the club splitting into two teams, Harimau Muda was not allowed to be promoted into the Malaysia Super League. The Football Association of Malaysia gave Harimau Muda B a spot in the Malaysia Premier League later on.
Due to international duties in 2009, the Malaysia national U-21 team was needed to participate in the 2010 AFC U-19 Championship qualification. But they also needed to participate in the Premier League Malaysia and the Malaysia FA Cup 2009. This cause a major schedule conflict that posed a great problem for the Football Association of Malaysia.
On July 2009, the Harimau Muda were split in to two teams. Harimau Muda A and Harimau Muda B. Harimau Muda B was sent to Zibo, China to participate in the 2010 AFC U-19 Championship qualification and Harimau Muda A was to participate in the Premier League and the FA Cup.
Harimau Muda B continued to participate half of the 2008–09 Premier League and the FA Cup with only reserves players, SSBJ football team players and mostly loaned age under 21 players from the President Cup, while the key players were with Harimau Muda A. with a combination of reserves players and loaned players, Harimau Muda B manage to play well in the league with the management of the assistant coach.
When Harimau Muda A returned to Malaysia, they combined together and managed to win the 2008–09 Premier League.
Football Association of Malaysia officially split the team into two teams after the 2008–09 Premier League finished in order to avoid another major schedule conflict.
Premier League Malaysia
Winners (1): 2009