Ahmad Ali

reliable source of wise counsel

If I were FAS President…

FASI read yesterday’s New Paper about “YOG stars losing their lustre” and “FAS must rescue gifted generation” to much despair. Its been barely 2 years after the YOG, after these guys showed great commitment and excitement to thrill the crowd. And some of us are waiting for them to age just enough to don the national colours. How can it all go wrong so soon? Two years, two whole years is enough time that can set their path right. This was the opportunity to prepare the country for something phenomenal.

Alright, lets not chastise this and in the words of the FAS president, provide constructive criticism. Ok, lets go one further and provide solutions. You need to find solutions. What we are looking for is to solve the problem. I am not in a position to state what the problem is. Im sure its huge given the newspaper report. So many factors come into play. However, its a recurring problem that possibly may have a solution.

Scrap Training
As the paper states, its the end of the calendar year and many are undergoing exams etc. One solution is to scrap the training altogether during these period. It will avoid the country being embarassed in front of a foreign coach. Unless of course contract says otherwise so die die must squeeze the coach to train.

Combine U-
Second solution is to combine the U-. Maybe theres one too many between 16 and 20 that the numbers are spread out too thin. For this group, its advisable to group them together. Im not sure what is the attendance like for the rest of the time but if a combine squad of 30 players each time for training is good. Too many to train? Then there is no issue of having to fire the coaches for the age groups.

Recorded Attendances
With a recorded attendance, only those who turn up will have the advantage of playing. This is not like school where we are constraint with numbers that even if the better player doesnt turn up, more often than not, he gets to play.

This is good as those who turn up will be imparted tactics and strategies for the game to ensure smooth transition to future national squad. Its seamless. Having this squad, lets say U-20, they will compete together in the prime league. With an average of 30, more often you will have the numbers to compete in a game. Matter of placing the right players at the right positions.

There is no worry about exams, NS, holiday etc. They will have the numbers. This squad will be the feeder squad for the U-23 and even the national team.

Sporting Certificate or Diploma
Im not sure what is their training schedule like. Im sure they are schooled as well. But there be a group of players who are at cross roads as mentioned by the reporter. These are those who are probably school leavers, undergoing NS etc. These guys need to make decision to whether continue study or work or play football. Parents also will have a say in their next career move.

Here I propose tying up with Sports Education. There are many institute that provide sports education. We need to explore this and tie up with them. Or with the help of MOE, create one with the help of ITE or Polytechnic. We are good at creating these courses. So these group will have the choice to continue training and playing weely games at the same time do regular school work. No need Sports School style. Keep it simple. Ensure there are proper checks and balances in place. At the end of the year, the student be given a certificate; for those who attended 2/3 years, be awarded a diploma.

This will alleviate especially the concerns of parents. We will be making the decision for them to continue soccer easier. The country will be blessed with better, intellectual and mature players.

I hope this has been constructive. Its unfortunate that I applied for work in FAS and got “rejected”. No reply even. Its ok. For the sake of Singapore soccer, I am sharing my proposals. If anyone knows of any job opening in any other FA, let me know. Thanks.

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