I feel the pinch (too) when I saw this online article – young futbol talents, hampered at the start of his futbol-ing career by national service duty back in Singapore. Not only me, I believe many futbol hopefuls reading these would understand how much impact the national service had caused especially when you were at the peak of your futbol career.
Just when you were done with a few thousand pieces of jigsaw puzzle using the past 10 days, someone came and messed it all up. You would be having this dilemma, questioning yourself if you should redo the few thousand pieces of jigsaw puzzle or should you just stop and carry on with other things? Some might argue with me on this example but let’s face it, put the agenda of doing the jigsaw puzzle aside, not all but many, or most of us would not re-do it the second time. I want to put this example back to the unfortunate reality which Singapore futbol is facing. Please do not get me wrong, I am a Singaporean and I went through the mandatory 2 years of national service and in fact, in another 2 years’ time, I will be officially ROD (save your time of searching the meaning of this ROD, it simply means finally I am off from the government’s book for good!!).
My national service called-up came when I was at my futbol peak. I traded my futbol jersey for the army green unwillingly, in despair to be exact. Unwillingly accepted the fact that one of my feet was on the professional futbol pitch and now I am stepping out totally and indefinitely. 2 years passed, I am not anywhere near the standard where I used to and eventually gave up that futbol dream which I was holding on passionately for years. I can still remember making the same wish, to be a professional futbol player, every year prior to blowing the birthday candles in front of all my friends and family.
I do not want to give readers here an impression that I am blaming national service for my misfortune - national service is a futbol-dream dasher. I just feel that something can be done to give this lot of young futbol talents an opportunity to shine and to continue improve without any distraction or unnecessary pressure. All of us know that the crucial age for futbol development is between 18-25 years old and unfortunately many local talented players are enlisted during these age. Honestly, how many can make it to Home Utd or SAF? Or I should say, how many slot the clubs have to accommodate thousands and thousands of gifted youngsters?
I enjoy reading the comments on facebook on this topic. Is it true that South Korea has this arrangement where a man can be enlisted to army at any time before 30 years old? Talk about this, I ever did hear that some Korean artists such as famous Rain, only went into the army when he’s near 30 years old! If this is true, then I think that special “allowance” will be very helpful for our futbol players here! National service is mandatory and crucial but we hope that certain flexibility can be practiced to compromise the national service vs futbol-issue. Even our legendary striker, Fandi Ahmad, hesitated if he should allow both of his talented young boys who caught the eyes of Chelsea’s and AC Milan’s scouts, to take up Singapore citizenships. Don’t get it? Means he’s aware that national service will put a halt to his children’s European futbol career development!
If anyone who’s reading these, and have the capability of influencing the top government officials, like children, cousins, nephews, nieces of Singapore’s Ministers’, Prime Minister’s or Mr. President’s, do me a small favor… show this write-up to them, on behalf of Junpiter Futbol, thank you very much!
Last month, I attended the AFC Cup 2012 Draw at AFC (Asia Football Confederation) House at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Due to my hectic schedule, I was not able to stay back further to catch the AFC Champions League Draw. To be honest, the attending of these Draws had given me a real insight of what’s going on at the draw scene in which normally, only concerned clubs’ officials and media were invited.
What welcomed me at the venue were banners and banners of our Asian futbol clubs, those which were qualified for the AFC Champions League 2012. Obviously I knew I am at the right place for the Draw!
Registering myself under Junpiter Futbol, media, I stood at the end of the room trying to catch the whole action at a glance. Probably due to my (full-time) work nature as an event manager, my focus switched to the Draw’s setup such as the type of seating arrangement, the position of the sound console, the lighting setup, the backdrop, how the Draw result was announced, the drawing equipment used and etc. The entire setup was exactly what I had expected but probably the flow of the programme was something new to me.
I could see that many clubs’ officials were anxiously waiting to know which group their respective club would been drawn into. Prior to my arrival at the venue, I was informed that there would not be any Singapore’s futbol official at the Draws so with all great respect, I am the only representative from Singapore at the Draw! And among this group of clubs’ officials, many came wearing official suite with their clubs logo embroidered on the chest. There were some even in their national costume! Well, considered myself a pure South East Asia and East Asia futbol follower, I’ve only seen the West Asian (futbol) on TV. That very day, its the first time I ever met West Asian futbol representatives in person! I thought that was quite cool!
I did not stay long but the exposure I gained from attending such an prestige Draw was amazing! For those who are interested in the upcoming AFC Cup 2012 and AFC Champions League 2012, you may click the below links for the respective schedule..
Unfortunately, Singapore’s futbol clubs are not eligible for the AFC Champions League, I would hope to see our only qualified teams, Home Utd and Tampines Rovers, in the AFC Cup, flying our Singapore’s flag high at the Asian level.
Before I end my writing here, another piece of interesting fact for you who are reading this, the overall highest top scorer for Singapore in this AFC Cup is our former Singapore’s striker, Indra Shadan at 10 goals! Followed by Egmar Goncalves at 8 goals and Aleksandar Duric at 7 goals. Base on the current status, 41yrs old Duric is definitely fit enough to slot in a few more goals to overtake SAFFC’s Indra Shadan! Do not let us down, Singapore’s boys, all the best!