- POSTED: 28 Sep 2013 23:08
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F-17 academy will be open to kids as young as four, will operate in four locations islandwide.
SINGAPORE - Fresh from his recent stint as the head coach of Malaysian Super League side Johor Darul Takzim, Fandi Ahmad is now on a new quest.
The Singapore football legend wants to discover and develop the next footballing star of Southeast Asia and he wants to use his new academy - the F-17 Fandi Ahmad’s Academy of Football Excellence - to do so.
The 51-year-old Fandi unveiled his new football development project at a ceremony at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on Saturday, which is a merger between the Fandi Ahmad Academy (FAA) and another football school, the Academy of Football Excellence.
The F-17 academy is open to kids as young as four, and will operate out of four locations - SAFRA Tampines, ITE College Central, Premier Pitch at Balestier Road, and Serangoon Gardens Secondary School.
Said Fandi: “The FAA has been successful in the last two years in proving our students’ football skills, and F-17 will continue to do so.
“We are also aiming to open more training centres around Singapore to improve accessibility to our training programmes.”
Apart from being a football school, the F-17 Academy also plans to develop promising talents who have the potential to go far and the right attitude into future stars.
These young footballers will be offered scholarships worth about S$10,000 each which will be used to sponsor overseas training stints for them, as well as other forms of support such as top coaching programmes, fitness trainers, sports nutritionists, physiotherapists, psychologists and counsellors, said Mizra Ismail, the director of F-17.
The Academy plans to offer up to 50-60 scholarships.
“Besides the scholarships, the main difference in F-17 is our integration with AFE, which will help us in our efforts to step up our talent-scouting, and push the good players up to our elite squad,” said Fandi.
The former Singapore skipper added that he plans to leverage on his experience and connections in Europe and other parts of the world to arrange overseas stints for the promising ones.
“Apart from Holland and Spain, I also have contacts in Chile and Argentina, and I will use them to arrange for trials and attachments. In fact, FC Groningen, the club I once played for in Holland, has already agreed to take some of my players under their wings for stints.”
When asked whether he would consider coaching overseas again, Fandi who has coached in Indonesia and Malaysia, said he is happy in Singapore and would like to stay put here for now.
“I have had some offers to coach Malaysia Super League teams, but I would like to stay in Singapore,” he said.
“I am happy with the work I am doing here now with F-17 and helping a lot of needy youths.”