Gareth Low, skipper for the NFA U16s, was one of two NFA players named as Player of the Tournament (photo by Jervis Mun/SSC).
Eight days and 11 games later, the 25th Canon Lion City Cup came to a rousing close. Even as SC Corinthians were crowned champions of the tournament, two of our players from the Singapore National Football Academy clinched ‘player of the tournament’ awards.
Gareth Low of the National Football Academy (NFA) Under-16 team and Hami Syahin of the NFA Under-15 side were both awarded the title, as officials could not decide on a single winner.
Gareth Low is currently the captain of the NFA Under -16 team. Despite not putting his name on the score sheet during the tournament, Gareth contributed significantly to his team’s performance in other ways.
When asked why he thought he won the award he humbly responded, “I guess it’s my leadership skills? I hope that I managed to support the team and boost their morale because that’s what captains do.”
His leadership skills definitely did not go unnoticed as coach Robin Chitrakar commented on his performance at the press conference as well.
“I think the tournament was a great experience for the boys. They got to play games at a higher intensity and they learnt along the way. He (Gareth Low) helped his team get the win against Eintracht Frankfurt and today’s game against the NFA Under -15 team by being both a leader and a friend to his teammates.”
The other award was given to the slightly younger, Hami Syahin. The 14 year old striker was recognised for being the support and playmaker of the team’s attacking line. Despite also not scoring any goals during the three games he played, the number 10 on his jersey caught the attention of many as he was the one who usually led his team’s attack.
Coach for the NFA Under -15 team, Nazri Nasir was so confident about Hami’s soccer skills that he was just singing praises about the lucky player. “Look out for number 10, Hami. This year, from what I see, he has been excellent.”
Hami himself could not believe that he won the award. He thought that there were other players who deserved it as well but he was just happy that he achieved what he set out to do for the tournament.
“I just wanted to win something from this cup. It’s sad that my team came in 6th so we did not get anything. But I’m happy that I won this award so at least I met my goal.”
For winning the award, both boys will get a chance to hone their football skills at a selected European club overseas.