New youth league among 4 initiatives unveiled by FAS to nurture young footballers
Football enthusiasts may also join a volunteer programme to assist in coaching and event management.
New initiatives to identify and develop young football talents have been announced by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).
The association is known for organising football league and cup competitions and supervising youth development, women’s football, refereeing and coaching programmes.
The first of four new initiatives is named the Academy Accreditation System (AAS). A standardised framework based on an accreditation system has been developed for consumers of football to identify FAS-recognised academies.
Accreditation will be obtained based on the criteria of talent identification, coaching, player performance, player welfare and annual assessment. Academies will then receive different levels of accreditation, from level one (highest level) to level three (base level).
Young players from AAS clubs and academies will be tracked on their progress through a comprehensive database and included in the FAS Talent Identification programme. This may provide opportunities for talents to join National Development Centres or train with national age group teams.
Successful academies under the AAS initiative may have access to a comprehensive training compensation system in 2024. This second of four initiatives will provide financial training incentives to clubs that make an effort in youth development.
The compensation system will apply for domestic transfers of players between amateur and professional clubs.
It will be payable until the end of the season, when a player reaches the age of 23. However, the payable amount will be calculated based on age from 12 to 21.
The third initiative will see competitive tournaments for young talents to be exposed to match experiences. Named the Singapore Youth League (SYL), it will launch in 2024.
Different age groups starting from U8, U10, U12 and upwards will have competitive leagues. An additional U13 category will be included as there are presently no competitive platforms available for the age group.
Championships for U15, U17 and U21 age groups are currently underway. A programming matrix specifying the minimum number of games each age group must play to ensure youth development, will be followed in the tournaments under FAS.
The FAS Volunteers Programme is the fourth initiative for more people and organisations to assist in operations of the SYL matches.
With the introduction of the SYL matches, there may be a large increase in the number of grassroots games with more participating teams.
Volunteers may receive proper training in coaching, match organisation and event management to enhance their impact on the football ecosystem.
According to the FAS, these initiatives highlight the association’s commitment to elevating football development in Singapore.
FAS will be engaging the key stakeholders, including local clubs, academies, coaches, players, and volunteers to gather feedback and suggestions to further refine the initiatives prior to their launch in 2024.