Football: Local under-15 footballers receive the Manchester City treatment

Manchester City youth coach Alan Dixon working with under-15 players at the Betadine Youth Football Development Programme at Jalan Besar Stadium.
Manchester City youth coach Alan Dixon working with under-15 players at the Betadine Youth Football Development Programme at Jalan Besar Stadium. PHOTO: MUNDIPHARMA

SINGAPORE - Manchester City youth coaches Alan Dixon and Chris McCarthy are in Singapore to teach some of the best local under-15 boys and girls the Manchester City way of playing at the Betadine Youth Football Development Programme held at Jalan Besar Stadium.

The Manchester City coaches will train the players using the Manchester City curriculum - the City Play model - throughout the week, the same way players in the Manchester City youth academy are trained.

They also will train current National Football League youth coaches in "Coach the Coaches" sessions, transferring their knowledge of coaching to the local football scene.

After the first day of the clinic concluded, Dixon said: "It's been a fantastic first day, the kids have loved it and so have we, it's always great to see the passion and enthusiasm that everyone approaches these clinics with and it's been no different in Singapore.

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"As well as helping with technical skills, football is a great tool for teaching young people things like living a more healthy lifestyle, better communication and teamwork - these are just some of the things which participants can take away from the clinics.

"We want them to enjoy themselves and have a good time. That's the most important thing. Above that, we want to fuel their passion for the sport they love and help them pick up some new skills and insight into how the game works.

"I've been really impressed with what I've seen so far, but the main thing is that they enjoy it."

14-year-old Nur Fazli, who plays for the under-14 Football Association of Singapore team, said: "We did a lot of ball control, tried to play like City (midfield) players David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne.

"I think we should play like them because they are composed during the match and are comfortable with the ball at their feet, they're the example footballers need to follow."

Fazli, a Jurongville Secondary School student, added: "The coaches are helpful, when we make some mistakes they don't scold us, he just tells us where we need to improve and from there we can lean the lesson and improve."

Fazli also said he is "looking forward to the rest of the week" and hopes learning the "European way of football will give an advantage" while playing here in Singapore.

"I thought the clinic would be so tough, as it's from Man City - higher pace, but but I could manage the pace. Maybe for this whole week I can learn a new experience."