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NexLions Cup to open doors

30 October, 2012   Felicia Quick




Come this December, Singapore’s youth footballers will have the chance to pit their skills against European football giants such as Manchester United, Liverpool, and Sporting Lisbon. 

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) announced yesterday at a press conference held at Jalan Besar Stadium the launch of an annual quadrangular tournament in which some of the world’s finest football clubs will come to Singapore to compete against Singapore’s youth aged under 21. 

The inaugural edition this year will take place on 14 and 16 December at the Jalan Besar Stadium, with big club names like Manchester United, Liverpool and Sporting Lisbon sending their U19 teams to participate. 

The tournament, which will also be filmed and broadcast on European television, aims to give some of Singapore’s most talented footballers an opportunity to be scouted and could possibly open more doors for them professionally. 

“We want to inspire our players, by pitting them against world-renowned teams. So that the players can say, I’ve played against Man Utd or Liverpool. Or even get scouted by European club coaches,” Said Mr Zainudin, President of FAS. 

The FAS President has also expressed that this is to aid building the foundation for local players by exposing them to international competitions. Thanks to the NexLions Cup, these youths will be exposed to international competition on an annual basis.
He added, “Instead of bringing the players overseas, we bring the competition here,” said Mr Zainudin.

The NexLions Cup is an initiative between the FAS and Kirkwall Sports Pte Ltd.  This year’s event features not only the big clubs but also some well known players. For Liverpool fans in Singapore, 17-year-old Liverpool winger Raheem Sterling, Spaniard Suso(18) and defender Andre Wisdom should be no strangers. These boys have broken into the first team at Anfield this season and are expected to be involved.  

So who is to say our boys don’t stand the same chance, if they are willing to commit and train? Former national skipper Aide Iskandar has been given the opportunity to coach the Singapore Selection side, and he said that “It would be a challenge for our boys but it will be good experience for them.” 

The Singapore Selection Team have been drawn to face Liverpool U19 in the first semi-final of the 2 day competition, while Manchester United U19 will take on their compatriots from Sporting Lisbon in the other semi-final. 

For more information on tickets, you can head on to www.ticketbooth.com.sg ticket sales would begin on the 1st-7th November. So grab them fast before they all run out.