Football: FAS launches new Under-15 tournament, featuring Asia Pacific youth teams

Singapore Under-16’s Ikhsan Fandi (in blue) attempting to score against their U-15 counterparts at Jalan Besar Stadium on Aug 16, 2016.
Singapore Under-16’s Ikhsan Fandi (in blue) attempting to score against their U-15 counterparts at Jalan Besar Stadium on Aug 16, 2016.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Five young football teams from around the region will be in Singapore for the inaugural International Challenge Cup Under-15 football tournament, which kicks off on Monday (Nov 21).

The five teams are Promotion Fund of Vietnamese Football Talents (PVF) from Vietnam, Matsumoto Yamaga FC from Japan, Mendiola FC from the Philippines, Johor Darul Ta'zim (JDT) FC from Malaysia and St. Monica's College's Northern Football Academy from Australia.

The seven-day tournament, organised by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), will also feature three local teams - the Centre of Excellence (COE) Combined Team, National Football Academy (NFA) Under-15s and the NFA U-14s.

FAS' general manager of youth development and junior centres of excellence S Varatha Rajan said: "We organised this tournament because we wanted to expose our young footballers to the quality and different styles of international football as much as possible. Fielding three teams will allow even more players to benefit from this.

"The teams we have invited are of a high calibre, so we are looking forward to seeing how our boys cope with them."

The eight teams have been divided into two groups, with Group A comprising the COE side, NFA U-15s, PVF Vietnam and Matsumoto Yamaga FC. The other four teams are in Group B.

The preliminary round matches will take place at the Singapore Sports School, while the semi-finals (Nov 26) and final (Nov 27) will be held at Jalan Besar Stadium.

Another tournament taking place at the Jalan Besar Stadium is the Singapore 9s Masters this weekend, which is now in its 10th year and open to the public. Fourteen teams will participate in two categories - above 50s and above 40s.

Former national players Nazri Nasir, Rafi Ali, Quek Hock Tiong, Shahri Rahim and Geylang International assistant coach Noor Ali will feature for the SG Ex-Internationals side.