FAS Football Academy Players Will Continue To Train With Respective Clubs
After a string of poor youth team performances, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced on Saturday (12 Jan) that it will be shutting down its elite youth academy — FAS Football Academy (FFA).
Singapore’s footballing body intends to refresh the existing youth system through this shakeup, which will hopefully translate to some positive results.
The FFA was launched on 13 Aug 2000 with the purpose of grooming Singapore’s elite youth players between 15 and 18.
However, the youth team’s results have been less-than-ideal of late.
In 2015, the Under-19s found themselves languishing at the bottom of their group at the Asean Football Federation Championships (AFFC). The team managed only one goal throughout the tournament, and was humbled 4-0 by Malaysia.
2 years later, the Under-15s (U-15) found themselves at the bottom of the group stage, after suffering 5 consecutive defeats, failing to score a single goal in the process.
Decentralised system moving forward
Moving forward, former players from the FFA will continue developing at their respective Singapore Premier League (SPL) sides.
This is in accordance to FAS’s plans to decentralise the youth development process, as mentioned in a press statement released on Saturday.
In addition, FAS will be working closely with SPL sides and schools in order to widen the pool of elite players eligible for National Team selection.
Explanations for disatisfactory results
Several reasons have been cited for the youth team’s lackluster results.
Jeffrey Lightfoot, skipper of the U-15 team that clinched bronze at the Youth Olympic Games, felt that players struggled adapting to the frequently changing coaching staff.
According to the now 23-year-old, the team had 4-5 different coaches within “a couple of years”, all of which had their own distinct style of coaching.
One mother of a recent FFA graduate felt that were inadequate incentives and benefits for youths in the academy.
Trainees in the past allegedly received generous benefits.
- Daily allowances
- Boots allowances
- Bus-stamp reimbursements
- Training grants
These benefits have since been significantly trimmed. Current trainees only receive $5/ training session.
Hope things take a turn for the better
Recent results may not have been exactly flattering for our youths, but we’re glad that the FAS is actively taking steps to rectify matters.
Meanwhile, let’s hope things take a turn for the better soon, and that we’ll see the Singapore flag fly high in the near future.
Featured image from Flickr.