Alvin relishes Barca trip

Alvin Wong (far left) is among five children selected for a trip to Barcelona to train at the FCBEscola Soccer School in October. They were chosen during the Milo Soccer Cup.
Alvin Wong (far left) is among five children selected for a trip to Barcelona to train at the FCBEscola Soccer School in October. They were chosen during the Milo Soccer Cup.ST PHOTO: JONATHAN CHOO

The Primary School Leaving Examinations might be the last thing on Tanjong Katong Primary 6 pupil Alvin Wong's mind right now.

For in the same month as his exams in October, he will be flying off to Barcelona to visit the Catalan giants' football school FCBEscola Barcelona for about a week.

The 12-year-old centre midfielder picked up the sport only when he was in Primary 4 at a neighbourhood basketball court along Haig Road. Yet two years later, he has impressed with his skills so much that three secondary schools with strong football teams have already offered him Direct School Admission routes.

Alvin's talent also caught the attention of a team of former national players including Fandi Ahmad, and Nazri Nasir yesterday at the inaugural Milo Soccer Cup held at the Institute of Technical Education College Central.

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Five budding players were selected to go to Spain at the end of the one-day friendly tournament that involved 432 participants between the ages of seven and 12.

Alvin was selected along with Muhamad Ali Manaf, 12, Rayan Putra Wilden, nine, Caden Pereira, seven, and Aiman Zayani Yazid, 10.

During the trip, the youngsters will attend football clinics and go on a tour of Barcelona's famous Nou Camp home ground, just next to FCBEscola Barcelona.

Alvin, who lists Sweden's Zlatan Ibrahimovic as one of his favourite players, said with a laugh: "I've always gone into matches thinking that I'm the best player on the field.

"I always expect myself to become the Man of the Match."

However, his father Kent Wong, 47, a sales director, hopes the trip will develop his second son's character in leadership and grace.

He said: "He knows that he is good. He's still young and he's learning how to help his team-mates."

Fandi urged them to learn as much as they can from the trip. He said: "This is a chance for them to learn more about the world's standard of football. I hope they excel and be excited to see football as a possible career to pursue."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 30, 2017, with the headline 'Alvin relishes Barca trip'. Print Edition | Subscribe