Football Sports

Fandi Ahmad Appointed Head of Elite Youth

Fandi Ahmad will be the FAS’ new Head of Elite Youth, the organisation announced in a media statement last Saturday (23 Nov).

The announcement quashes rumours that Fandi was considering offers from overseas clubs.

Currently the head coach of the Singapore Premier League’s Young Lions team and the national Under-22 team competing in the SEA Games, Fandi’s contract was due to expire on 31st December of this year.

While the FAS did not state the length of the extension, The Straits Times reported that it will be for two years.

In the statement, FAS said Fandi will work closely with technical director Joseph Palatsides to enhance the pathways and structure for the development of youth players for the national teams.

This includes player scouting and tracking, mentorship programmes as well as specialised training sessions for players in the various national teams. 

In addition, Fandi will also be part of national team coach Tatsuma Yoshida’s backroom staff, in order to create greater synergy between the elite youth developmental pipeline and the National Team.

Nazri Nasir, the current national assistant team coach, will take over the reins of the Young Lions in the 2020 Singapore Premier League season, as well as the Under-22 National Team.

Commenting on his new role, Fandi said he was confident in the development of young elite players in Singapore and was looking forward to working with Joseph and the national youth coaches to develop the next generation of players.

“I have seen potential in many youth players over the years but not many had the opportunity to be groomed for the future. We need to establish a strong foundation for our youth development system so that we can identify and nurture the talent of tomorrow,” Fandi added.

Welcoming the appointment, FAS General Secretary Yazeen Buhari said in the statement, “Fandi has accumulated a wealth of coaching experience in the last 20 years and we see the value he brings to the area of elite youth development. 

“His work rate and professionalism are exceptional and he has embraced the FAS’ desire to further develop our youth footballers. He has developed a good working relationship with National Team Coach Tatsuma and we see this partnership further growing for the benefit of Singapore Football.”

This article first appeared on The Straits Times.

Football Local Sports

Laos Earns Point in Goalless Draw Against Singapore in SEA Games 2019 Men’s Football Opening Game

In what was a physically challenging game for Laos, they stood their ground against a Singapore side whose captain Irfan Fandi stood almost two heads taller than Laotian skipper Souk Aphone Vongchiengkham.

Singapore head coach Fandi Ahmad fielded a strong side for the game, naming Singapore Premier League player of the year Faris Ramli and Norwegian side Raufoss striker Ikhsan Fandi in the lineup.

And Irfan Fandi, with 23 senior international caps to his name, commanded the backline with another towering centre-back, Lionel Tan. 

Singapore had set themselves lofty ambitions going into the game, aiming to make it to the knockout stages from their “Group of Death’. On the other hand, Laos would be more than content with getting more than three points at this group stage — their tally at the 2017 Games. 

But based on the game, it was clear that Laos could aim higher than that, resolutely defending against Singapore’s offensive waves. 

And while the result did not go Fandi’s way, it was a welcome reunion with Laos head coach and ex-teammate V. Sundramoorthy.

Laos face Vietnam next, who served Brunei a 6-0 thrashing in their opening game. For Singapore, they face an in-form Indonesian side who defeated defending champions Thailand 2-0.


This article first appeared on Fox Sports Asia.

Asia Netball Sports

Two in Two for Singapore Netball at SEA Games

The Singapore netball team won their second consecutive game on Wednesday (Nov 27) with a convincing 62-38 win over Brunei, the 2017 Games bronze medallists.

The Bruneians, though, made Singapore work for the win. They took a 4-1 lead early in the first quarter of the match, and precise shooting and resolute defending helped them finish the first quarter with a 9-8 lead over Singapore.

But Singapore, silver medallists in 2017, picked up the pace after the break and went up 25-20 after the second quarter. 

And in the third quarter, Singapore went up another gear and extended their lead over Brunei, ending the period with a comfortable 43-28 lead. 

Natalie Milicich’s side continued their offensive and outplayed their counterparts in the final quarter to see themselves to another win – the first was a 80-28 thumping of hosts Philippines on Monday.

Singapore will face Thailand next on Thursday, and causeway rivals Malaysia after that. In the 2017 Games, Singapore lost the gold to Malaysia 65-41 in the finals. 


This article first appeared on Channel NewsAsia.

Local Sailing Sports

Return to Glory: Sailor Victoria Chan Aims for Olympics

Chan has her eyes set on qualifying for the Olympics for the first time, despite last competing four years ago. 

The 2011 SEA Games sailing gold medallist made no promises about getting gold at this edition in the Philippines, but instead will use it as a testing bed for her Olympic dreams. 

The Asian leg of the Olympic qualifiers are in March.

“Definitely, in any competition that you represent Singapore, you want to do your best and bring glory for the nation,” she told The New Paper.

“But, for me, the Games are more like a stepping stone to the Olympics.

“I want to qualify for the Olympics, that’s the goal for me. So, this is a great event for me to see where I’m at in that regard.”

Her previous competition was the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore, where she clinched a silver in the individual Laser Radial event, the same category she will be competing in during this year’s SEA Games running from 30 November to 11 December. 

Then a chronic ligament injury in her left wrist swayed her to take a break from sailing and undergo surgery.

Post-surgery, she joined the People’s Association and is now a manager at the PAssion WaVe @ Marina Bay Lifeskills & Lifestyle Division.

Chan mentioned that the flexibility of her work schedule and missing the spirit of competition was what urged her to return to competitive sailing last June. 

The 29-year-old said, “My company has been supportive of my interest and this gave me more motivation to try out for the Games.

“I am able to put in at least 16 hours of training (a week) whilst still working. With their backing, I felt really supported in my pursuit to make a comeback.”

She also said she loved making her own decisions out at sea, where you are all alone and you have to persevere.

“You don’t hear your coaches out in the sea…even just coming back is satisfying and I want to focus on the process of improving.”

While Chan was out on her hiatus, her competitors were improving in leaps and bounds – something Chan is more than aware of. 

“I know I have to train hard because, while I was out of the sport, the others have been training and improving.

“Malaysia and Thailand have Olympians taking part, so it’s not going to be easy.

“But I want to see where I stand against the pack.”


This article first appeared on The New Paper.

Local Netball Sports

‘Friendly’ Match Sees Singapore Brush Off Host Philippines in SEA Games Netball Opener

Singapore beat host Philippines 80-28 in their opening game at the 30th SEA Games on Monday (25 Nov), in what was labelled as a match between close friends by Singapore captain Charmaine Soh.

“The Philippines team and us have a very close friendship, so playing them on court felt like a game between close friends,” Singapore captain Charmaine Soh told CNA after the game at the Laguna sports complex in Santa Rosa.

“Even in the hotel, we say hi and hug each other like long-time friends.”

Players from both sides could be seen speaking with one another during the game, with Soh occasionally applauding the efforts of the Filipinos as well.

“The players were saying that they improved quite a bit,” she added. 

“We played well, we had quite a jittery start but we managed to carry out the game plan after. I felt that the whole team got on court – the young ones, the old ones, we try to work out combis (combinations) and setups so the team did pretty well.”

The Singaporeans, who last won gold in 2015, raced to a 21-6 lead in the opening quarter. 

An enthusiastic, pom-pom-wielding crowd, rallied on the Philippines side, but the Singapore players kept the cheers to a minimum as they stretched their lead to 43-15 in the second quarter.

Exceptional defence from Natalie Milicich’s charges meant they kept the home team to just five points in the third, before closing out the game.

Speaking on reports that insufficient food had been an issue for the team at their hotel, Soh said that it was settled “almost immediately”.

She said: “The hotel and accommodation are good, everything is fine. 

“Normally we eat a bit more, just that the portion wasn’t a lot. So we coped with the issue by ordering (food) in so that wasn’t an issue at all. We manage to settle the issue almost immediately.”

The team has taken it in their stride, added Soh.

“We should expect the unexpected. This is just one of those unexpected events we have to cope with and this is really a small issue for us,” she said. 

At the last edition of the Games, Singapore beat Philippines 91-22 in the semi finals, but missed out on gold after losing to host and Causeway rivals Malaysia 65-41 in the finals. 

Singapore will face Brunei next on Wednesday.


This article first appeared on Channel News Asia.

Football Local Sports

U-15 International Challenge Cup Set to Test Local Youth

Talented youth from Japan, Australia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore will battle it out in the fourth edition of the Under-15 International Challenge Cup, organised by the Football Association of Singapore.

The teams will compete in two groups of four from 23 to 29 Nov, with all matches played at Singapore Sports School, except for the semi-finals and finals which will be played at Jalan Besar Stadium.

As reported by The New Paper, there will be two locals sides playing – the Singapore Under-15 team and Singapore Sports School (SSP). The foreign teams taking part are three-time champions Promotion Fund for Vietnamese Football Talents (PVF), Malaysia’s Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT), Japan’s Matsumoto Yamaga, Indonesia’s Garuda Unity and Australia’s Melbourne City College and Perth United.

SSP coach and former Singapore international Isa Halim said, “This competition will expose the players to different teams and their varying styles of play.

“Also, it will give my team the chance to compete and understand the demands of international football.

“I want my players to adapt to these demands and give a good account of themselves by applying what they have learnt.”

Under-15 International Challenge Cup

Nov 23 (Sat)

8.30am: S’pore Sports Sch v Perth United

4pm: Melbourne City College v Garuda

7pm: Singapore U-15 v JDT


Nov 24 (Sun)

8.30am: PVF v Yamaga

4pm: Melbourne City College v JDT

7pm: Singapore U-15 v Garuda


Nov 25 (Mon)

8.30am: JDT v Garuda

4pm: S’pore Sports Sch v Yamaga

7pm: PVF v Perth United


Nov 26 (Tues)

8.30am: S’pore U-15 v Melbourne City College

4pm: PVF v S’pore Sports Sch

7pm: Yamaga v Perth United


Nov 28 (Thurs)

8.30am: 7th place play-off

3pm: 5th place play-off

3pm & 5pm: Semi-finals at Jalan Besar Stadium


Nov 29 (Fri)

8.30am: 3rd place play-off

5pm: Final at Jalan Besar Stadium

* All matches at Singapore Sports School unless stated. Admission is free.


This article first appeared on The New Paper.