Getting into a football team will also help you experience competitive football starting from small competitions and slowly progressing towards league competitions which are more intense and competitive. Through this exposure, you will gain sufficient experience and it will definitely improve not only your footballing skills but as well as your footballing intelligence. It is essential for young footballers to be exposed to competitions and only then, they can gain more experience and learn from mistakes. There will definitely be obstacles along the way but remember, mountains are there to be climbed.
With the experience you obtained through those competitions and as you grow older, you will become more competitive and would want to compete at a higher level and play for S League clubs here in Singapore. Following the various clubs here in Singapore on social media would be a great start. Football clubs in Singapore would often conduct soccer trials during the early part of the year and at the end of the year. It is important to stay updated regarding club trials. S League clubs have various age groups starting from the U14’s and starting from their youth system would be a great stepping stone.
Here are some Examples of Clubs posting trial dates for their respective age groups:
|Warriors Football Club
|Home United Football Club|
|Geylang International FC|
Even if you did not manage to go through the first trial, it does not mean it’s over. Many successful players have not succeeded in their first try. A good example of a Singaporean player who did not had his break through yet would be Shawal Anuar. He only made his break through while playing in the NFL where he got scouted by one of the Singapore premier League Clubs and eventually he landed his first professional contract. Trials are conducted not only for clubs to select players to represent their team but it is also an opportunity for you to make new friends and get to know the coaches. In Singapore, having connections is vital if you want to pursue a footballing career here. Some S League clubs conduct “closed” trials which means they do not update their social media regarding any trials and only accept players through invitations. Thus, having connections would be key to ensure that your chances of playing competitive football would be higher.
Playing for clubs would then give you a better opportunity of being able to represent the Nation in National Competitions. Every year, Singapore would participate in the ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) and Asian Football Competition (AFC) for the U15 and U18 age groups and also other National Competitions. As FFA (FAS Football Academy) has been discontinued, the coaches for the respective age groups is required to scout for players more frequently from the Centre of Excellence (COE) Leagues and from the National School Games to fill up their respective squads. Getting into a COE club and performing extremely well in both the COE League and Regional School Competitions during the season would be a great stepping stone to play for your Nation in the younger age group as the chances of you getting scouted would be higher.
Philippe Aw (Under-15 National Team Coach):
All in all, it does not matter if you fail once, twice or thrice. The most important thing is to work hard. Having a positive mindset would be essential in order to achieve something regardless if it is football. If you believe in yourself, have dedication, pride and never quit, you’ll be a winner. (Paul Bryant)
|Competitions in Singapore||Teams Participating in the Competitions|
|National Football League (FAS) Division 1 and 2
· Some NFL Teams would update trials on their respective Facebook Pages. However, most NFL clubs conduct closed trials and players come to trials only through invitation.
1. Admiralty FC (https://www.facebook.com/admiraltyfootballclub/)
2. Jungfrau Punggol
3. Kaki Bukit SC
4. Singapore Cricket Club
5. Warwick Knights
6. Singapore Khalsa Association
7. Siglap FC
· Balestier United
· Eunos Crescent
· GFA Sporting Westlake
· Katong FC
· Police SA
· Singapore Khalsa Association
· Tiong Bahru FC
· Warwick Knights
· Yishun Sentek FC
· Admiralty CSC
· Admiralty FC
· Bishan Barx FC
· GFA Victoria
· Jungfrau Punggol FC
· Kaki Bukit SC
· Project Vault SC
· Siglap FC
· Singapore Cricket Club
· South Avenue SC
· Starlight Soccerites FC
|Island Wide League (IWL)
1. Simei United FC
2. Yishun FC
3. GDT Circuit FC
4. Commonwealth Cosmos
5. Bedok South Avenue
6. Admiralty Rangers
· Simei United FC
· Yishun FC
· GDT Circuit
· Commonwealth Cosmos
· Bedok South Avenue
· Admiralty Rangers
|Centre Of Excellence League (U14’s and up)
These competition consists of teams from the S League Clubs (Except for Brunei DPMM and Albirex Nigata). The Singapore based teams would send their youth teams to compete in the League.
Ex- International Footballer
Name: Lionel Lewis
Age: 36 Years Old
DOB: 16 December 1982
Questions for Mr Lionel Lewis
Question 1: At what age did you start playing football actively?
Question 2: Were you part of any Football Academies/teams (Recreational) during your childhood years?
Not in any football academies. Started in Geylang United under 16 team and move up the ranks to senior team along the years.
Question 3: When did you start taking football more seriously?
When I started playing for in the prime league (reserve league).
Question 4: Were you part of any of the Youth Set Ups here in Singapore? (COE, NFA Set ups) If not, how did you ensure that you were able to master your craft?
Was part of the first batch of NFA under 18 team.
Question 5: Did you have any intentions of playing in the domestic league here in Singapore?
Yes, I aspired to play in the then S-League.
Question 6: What has been your secret to the various success that you have throughout your footballing career?
Having a positive mindset and take setbacks as learning opportunities.
Question 7: How did you ended up getting a Professional contract and playing your trait in the S League? Was there anyone whom have helped you along the way?
I played well in the prime league and was promoted to the senior team in 2001. That was the start of my S-League career. There were many coaches that helped me along the way.
Question 8: What are the challenges that you faced during your footballing journey in the beginning?
Balancing school work and trainings. I had to miss classes due to the frequent travels that is required for my club and country.
Question 9: Throughout your footballing journey, what is the most memorable moment which you had? (National and S League)
Being nominated the Asian Footballer of the Year award back in 2006 and of course winning the S-League in my first season.
Question 10: How did you ended up playing for the National Team? At what age did you earn your first cap?
Was called up when I played well for my club in the S-League. I earned my first cap when I was 18 or 19 can’t really recall.
Question 11: Who was your biggest influence throughout your footballing career and why?
My first coach, Mr Robert Lim. He saw the potential in me and gave me the opportunity to progress.
Question 12: Is there any major differences between your generation and today’s generation in terms of football? (Mentality, Skill wise etc.)
Not much differences except the discipline and resilience part.
Question 13: What is the most important thing for a young player to take note if they wish to play for the National team in the future?
Work hard and be ready to grab the opportunity once it presents itself.