The boys from Saturday Night Lights were privileged to undergo a football clinic by Arsenal coaches, who were in town for the Canon Lion City Cup (photo by Lee Jingyi/SSC).
Held in conjunction with the 25th Canon Lion City Cup 2013, the SportCares initiative by the Singapore Sports Council organised an exclusive football clinic for the footballers of the Saturday Night Lights program on the morning of 12th June at the Jalan Besar Stadium. Led by the coaches from world-renowned English team Arsenal, the boys could barely hide their excitement for this once in a lifetime learning experience.
The clinic kicked off with some of the standard football drills to get the boys warmed up for the intense training that the Arsenal coaches had in mind. Some of the key highlights that the coaches had wanted to target specifically were footwork and stamina training.
Placing great emphasis on teamwork, the Arsenal coaches went on to give advice to the individual players as the clinic progressed. It was definitely something to smile about seeing how these distinguished coaches engaged themselves with the boys. There was clearly no display of superiority by the coaches as they sincerely guided the boys along, teaching them useful tricks and tips to improve themselves and their team at games.
Nearing the end of the two-hour session, a mini match was played amongst the boys to give them a chance to put their skills to the test. Applying what they’ve learnt in the game didn’t prove to be as easy as many would’ve thought; the boys were seen stumbling about as they tried to use their newly acquired tricks. The game came to an end after 15 minutes, but more than what scores matter is what the boys have learnt out of the short but fulfilling session.
“It was really fun. The coaches are very kind and very good. It’s a lot different from our training and we learn more skills and styles”, said 13 year-old Shahfakhly, a privileged participant of the clinic from the Saturday Night Lights program.
Love for the game
The love for the game could be seen clearly on the faces of the boys as they made the most of their time with the coaches, asking questions and demonstrating skills. The coaches also learnt new local skills from the boys as they took turns showing off their tricks.
A group shot of the Saturday Night Lights boys with Arsenal Football Club after the Canon Arsenal clinic held on Wednesday, 12 June 2013 (photo by Lee Jingyi).
“It was fantastic and a really great opportunity. They played some really good football and they are really disciplined. The boys have been a real credit to the programme’, said Darren Hawks, one of the two coaches from Arsenal who was present for the clinic.
“I really enjoyed today. It’s been a great experience to come and work with these local boys. They are full of fun and enthusiasm and you can see that they really love football”, expressed Arsenal coach, Kwame Ampadu.
Even though it was a short period, the players from the Saturday Night Lights program got to experience world-class football coaching by coaches from one of the most respectable football clubs in the world. The clinic not only gave the boys a platform to learn new skills from foreign coaches, but it was also a good opportunity for them to express their potential to the fullest. The clinic was certainly an experience like no other that these boys would never forget.