The recently launched ActiveSG Football Academy announced five new head coaches at the Home of Athletics on Sunday.
Hailing from various backgrounds and experiences, the new head coaches are Richard Bok, Robin Chitrakar, Hyrizan Jufri , Mohamad Hairil Amin and Steven Tan.
New head coaches (from left) Steven Tan, Robin Chitrakar, Hyrizan Jufri, Richard Bok and Mohamad Hairil Amin with Aleksandar Duric (in red) during the ActiveSG Football Academy 5-a-side futsal tournament at the Home of Athletics. Photo: Sport Singapore
Working under academy principal Aleksandar Duric, the five head coaches will oversee the programme at five sport centres across the island: Woodlands Stadium, Jurong East Stadium, Queestown Stadium, Kallang Cricket Field and Serangoon Stadium.
“If you see their names, it’s very much experienced coaches who have been involved in football, and as ex-national players at the same time, most of them have coached youth teams and have been involved in the Football Association of Singapore as coaching staff,” said Duric.
Aleksandar Duric interacts with participants during the ActiveSG Football Academy 5-a-side futsal tournament. Photo: Sport Singapore
Bok, a three-time S-League Coach of the Year, said: “There are currently many Singaporean youths who love football but do not have the opportunities to play and appreciate the sport better, especially if they are not in their school team.”
“The ActiveSG football academy can change that and play a crucial role in giving our children more playing time. With more children playing football, our talent pool for the national football team will also expand.”
Priced at an affordable $130, the inaugural programme will begin on 28 May and run for five weeks over the June school holidays.
Depending on the participant’s interest and skill levels, they can choose to attend up to three sessions per week.
Beyond the obvious benefits in improving one’s football skills, the football programme will also inculcate life skills that can’t be taught in a classroom.
"We are looking at also training them in their life skills. At the end of the day, they come out of this training, [they should] be able to adapt to the community outside," former Geylang United and Tanjong Pagar midfielder Hyrizan Jufri said.
"We want them to be confident in anything they do. And of course, have some respect for all, especially their teammates and their parents."
One of the head coaches, Steven Tan, and participants in action during the ActiveSG Football Academy 5-a-side futsal tournament. Photo: Sport Singapore
Speaking from personal experience, ActiveSG Football Academy Ambassador Lim Tong Hai also believes that the social skills picked up in football will benefit them in life down the road.
"I think this is a good time for them to bond, to interact with each other, learn with each other, and learn to cope with their shortcomings, et cetera," said the former national footballer.