photo from goal.com
Futbol stars are coming to town! Edgar Davis, Robbie Fowler and Craig Bellamy will be gracing the small red dot, Singapore, this weekend! So where are the best locations to catch a glimpse of them? Junpiter Futbol shares with you!
As part of the leading IT, electronics and home furnishing solutions retailer, Courts Megastore’s Futbol Carnival to kick off the UEFA EURO 2012, they have invited former Liverpool’s hotshot, the “God” Robbie Fowler to make a special appearance in Singapore! Futbol fans will have the opportunity to meet Robbie Fowler at Courts Megastore on Sunday, 3 June from 3pm to 4pm! Terry O’Connor, Courts Chief Executive Officer spoke about the excitement of the upcoming UEFA EURO 2012 and hoped that by bringing in a futbol legend could help celebrate the futbol fever that is heating up the small island. Courts will also be giving away free passes to the exclusive meet and greet session with Robbie Fowler. To find out more, please log on to http://www.facebook.com/courts.singapore.
The former Ajax, Milan, Juventus, Barcelona, Internazionale, Tottenham Hotspurs and Dutch International, Edgar Davis, also known as “The Pitbull” will be here in Singapore for the Tiger Street Football 2012. This dreadlocked haired with his protective goggles which made him one of the most recognizable players of his generation, will be at the Tiger Street Football pitch @ Clarke Quay Central Fountain, this coming Thursday, 31 May at 7.30pm for an exclusive meet and greet with the Tiger Beer fans. Fancy a chance to meet up with this creative defensive midfielder, log on to Tiger Beer’s faceboook at https://www.facebook.com/tigerfootballsg.
Probably among the 3 players who are heading to Singapore, Liverpool’s Welsh striker, Craig Bellamy has got the most straight forward commerical schedule I suppose. The Liverpool striker is set to launch Liverpool’s new Warriors home kit which is inspired by the greatness, its modern tradition and its unapologetically Liverpool FC, at Singapore River bank opposite The Fullerton Hotel on 1 June, 12.15pm! To find out more on what he will be doing here in Singapore? There’s no better way than to be there onsite. It’s something you will have to see to believe!
So see you guys there and enjoy the great futbol stars weekend!
30 May 2012 READ MORE >
photo from sg.sports.yahoo.com
Singapore overcame opponent such as Korea Republic, Jordon & UAE, to finish third at the AFC DREAM ASIA Cerebral Palsy tournament last month in Abu Dhabi. So what made this humble achievement worth writing? Gentlemen, we are talking about a group of Cerebral Palsy players who wanted to show Singapore or perhaps, the whole world, despite their disabilities, they can also live a FUTBOL DREAM.
Asian Football Confederation (AFC) acknowledges the fact that all persons irrespective of any physical, sensory or mental impairments should be given the right to participate and play football. Other than the effort put in by the players, credit also has to given to their head coach, coach Mohamed Zainudeen.
Coach Mohamed Zainudeen, popularly known as Coach Zai, took up the coaching of the team 3 years ago after an invitation from the Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC). He trained them weekly for the past 3 years prior to this tournament. According to the humble Coach Zai, he was inspired by the boys everytime they trained and he was taking this opportunity (coaching the team) as a responsibility to return to the society - using futbol.
Coach Zai was not the only one showing his appreciation for what AFC had been doing for the Celebral Palsy players, The Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association (CPISRA) has also said that the tournament recently organised by the AFC was not only an important development opportunity for the countries but also a significant step for all those involved in cerebral palsy football worldwide.
Regardless of the kind of support which you could extend, put the most basic funding issue aside, awareness is the key. Let’s do our best to raise the awareness among our peers. Give the Cerebral Palsy players a chance to play the beautiful which none of us should deprive each other from enjoying. I saw the photos taken during their training at Coach Zai’s facebook - they were enjoying their futbol… with their hearts.
20 May 2012 READ MORE >
When I was young, I ever asked myself why there wasn’t any an event or competition-like reality show to unearth good futbol players who were good but just short of some lady-luck? In futbol context, many seasons passed, Singapore is finally doing one, First XI!
A quick intro of First XI, a nationwide search will take place to unearth the best amateur football talents in Singapore aged 18 and above. This will be an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the man in the street to be part of a specially selected team to train under former Liverpool’s legend, Steve McMahon and former Singapore International, R.Sasikumar. The “First XI” will be put through 4 months of training, physical challenges and competitive matches. At the end of 4 months, the “First XI” will be selected and will then take on a professional team in the final LIVE televised match on Channel 5.
Due to my past coaching tenure, I was invited by the show’s management to assist Steve McMahon and R.Sivakumar for the trial which was held at Bishan Stadium. The respond was so overwhelming which saw nearly 1,600 players turned up at the Stadium and went through all 4 skill stations! I was at the most hatred station - Beep Test, so-called fitness test station.
Feedbacks for the trial were not extremely pleasant on the web partly due to the logistic challenges. I agreed that a 2-sided game might offer trialists more opportunities to show what they were capable of. However, as much as I want to be neutral, from my personal point of view, these 4 stations, Speed (Dribbling), Accuracy (Small net & Score board) and Fitness (Beep), offered an instant evaluation on a player’s mentality and technical aspect. Why was that so?
Well, everybody wanted a 2-sided game to show what they were capable of but First XI was looking for TALENTS. Talents, who were presented at Bishan Stadium, were those who could overcome the fear within themselves and pressure to outdo the rest of the 1,600 pax instantly! When given a chance, Talent shone and announced their presences within seconds under the applauses given by the spectators from the stand. Guys, touch your hearts and think about it, this is the difference between you, a good player, and an excellent player, the Talent.
This is the very first time we are doing such a futbol reality show. With this brand-new experience, I believe the second episode, if there is any, will be a much more successful one. A much more successful one means the current one is already a success to me! Despite suffering from a bad sunburn on my face, neck and limps, what I had gained was rare experience. I witnessed how Steve McMahon worked and what were the type of players he was interested. Good luck to all the players who made it through to the 3rd or 4th round. And do remember to catch my face on Channel 5 this coming March, First XI!
18 February 2012 READ MORE >
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!
My last memory of Malaysia Cup was probably the same as yours - Singapore beat Pahang 4-0 at the Shah Alam Stadium in 1994. Subsequently, Singapore NT received the pull-out of the competition news when they were training in New Zealand.
17 years passed, that group of players who received the devastated news in New Zealand were all way past their prime, but they may not be any happier now - Singapore is back to the Malaysia Cup again. Many veterans welcomed this return to the famous causeway league but will this return generate the much anticipated crowd again? We shall see next year when the home and away league kicks off next January 2012.
Malaysia Cup has a long history which nobody is aware. In fact, Malaysia Cup is the longest-running futbol competition in Asia where the first competition started off in 1921. Be proud of it, Singapore FA beat traditional rival, Selangor FA 2-1 in the very first edition! Base on the record, Selangor FA leads the table with 32 Cup wins while Singapore FA followed next with 24 Cup times.
It seems like all Singaporean futbol fans back then followed Malaysia Cup futbol passionately! I was one of them definitely. Malaysia Cup was introduced to me by my dad back in the early 90s. Those days, Singapore, leaded by Fandi Ahmad, was considered a strong team, together with Selangor, Kedah, Sarawak and Pahang. These names such as Zainal Abidin, Dollah Salleh, John Hunter and Allan Davidson are still going strong in my memory. Maybe some of you still remember these scenes, Sundramoorthy scoring an overhead kick against Brunei in the 8-0 thrashing at the old National Stadium, Fandi Ahmad scoring a sepak-takraw goal against Johor Bahru, Steven Tan dribbled past a few defenders before scoring against Pahang in the dying seconds, Lee Manhon putting a ball past Selangor’s GK from the third-quarter of the pitch and many more!
So will we see more of that next year? Will Singapore produce more names where we can call them heros just like yesterday?
Instead of seeing more spectacular goals and more names scoring late winners in the league, what we would rather see is having more good players coming through and move up into our Singapore NT. With the much travelling expected for the home and away games, this format surely is a realistic and professional futbol experience for the Lions. Initially, I am not convinced that the Malaysian’s futbol standard is beneficial to us but after their triumph at the last Suzuki Cup and the recent concluded SEA (South East Asia Games) at Indonesia, maybe its worth a try. Regardless what, the experience of playing in the Tiger’s den is always Singapore’s futbol gain. Soak up all experiences and crawl out of the cage with Singapore NT. Or at least that is what I hope. Malaysia Cup, here we come again.