Channel NewsAsia

Football: FAS revamps Centre of Excellence programme

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has introduced a revamped Centre of Excellence programme for youth football, aimed at enhancing development in areas from technical skill to physical ability.

SINGAPORE: The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has introduced a revamped Centre of Excellence programme for youth football, aimed at enhancing development in areas from technical skill to physical ability.

The previous programme had been in place for the last 13 years.

The new approach sees the number of Centres of Excellence cut from eight to three centres, namely those run by football clubs Warriors FC, Home United and Balestier Khalsa.

The three football clubs were chosen because they satisfied new criteria put in place for the running of a Centre of Excellence, which include having at least three training pitches, a standard gym and a first-aid or medical room.

But each centre will have six age-group teams, up from three teams previously.

Those teams fall into the Under-13 to Under-18 levels.

They will compete in three competitions at the Under-14, Under-16 and Under-18 levels, together with the five age-group teams from the National Football Academy.

There will also be greater emphasis on coaching, as well as on aspects like nutrition and sports psychology.

Each Centre of Excellence will be led by a head youth coach, who would have at least an Asian Football Confederation (AFC) "A" coaching licence.

Specialist goalkeeping and fitness coaches will also form part of the team at each centre.

FAS president Zainudin Nordin said: "We're able to centralise some of these aspects, support the clubs, and ensure that the resources, the technical ability and the quality that we are able to impart can be done in the most optimal manner. And I'm very happy that this is the outcome that we have achieved."

S Thavaneson, Balestier Khalsa chairman, said: "Being the young boys that they are, we've got to build them up physically -- their fitness levels, their body strength and the conditioning work. So in this sense, this puts us on a different level from the Centres of Excellence of previous years."

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna