SINGAPORE - Two coaches from Dutch Eredivisie club Ajax Amsterdam were in town on Monday (May 29) as guests of the ActiveSG Football Academy. They conducted a clinic for ActiveSG Football Academy children and participated in a coaches' workshop.
The duo - Corne Groenendijk and Casimir Westerveld - co-coordinating coaches at Ajax Youth Academy, were present to see the academy's structure and share more on their own academy's model.
Groenendijk, 45, praised the grassroots model adopted by the ActiveSG Football Academy and agreed that it will help produce better footballers in Singapore.
He said: "If you want to go somewhere with your football, you have to offer possibilities for kids to play. It's extremely important that you get as many players as possible to play, the more you get to play the more you get to choose from to be elite players."
"So the fact that this is done in Singapore, it is very important and valuable to do this. Therefore I think this is a great programme."
The ActiveSG Football Academy is led by former Singapore international Aleksandar Duric and has seven training centres established across the island.
At the facility, boys and girls learn, play and develop progressively through exercises, small-sided games and competition.
Beyond the basic skills, the trainees (in two groups aged six to 12 and 12 to 17) will learn about the important values such as discipline, respect and team spirit, and acquire valuable life skills including communication, goal setting and problem solving through the game of football.