SINGAPORE - It might be one of the most affordable grassroots football initiatives, but participants are getting more than their money's worth with ActiveSG Football Academy's star-studded head coach line-up.
Academy principal and former S-League and national footballer Aleksandar Duric unveiled his slate of five coaches on Sunday morning at the Kallang Practice Track. Each will helm one of five centres spread over the island, where they will be assisted by four assistants.
They comprise former S-league coaches Richard Bok (Serangoon Stadium), Steven Tan (Kallang Cricket Field) and Robin Chitrakar (Queenstown Stadium), as well as experienced youth coaches Hyrizan Jufri (Jurong East Stadium) and Hairil Amin (Woodlands Stadium).
The programme is priced at $130 for 14 sessions and takes place over five weeks from May 28. Some 200 have already signed up, with organisers targeting 100 participants per centre.
Bok is a seasoned coach in the local football scene, famously winning four S-League titles with the Singapore Armed Forces FC (now known as Warriors FC). Tan and Chitrakar are former national players and coached Tampines and the Young Lions respectively.
Duric, himself an eight-time S-League champion, said: "These five head coaches have been carefully selected based on their track record in football coaching and experience working with youths. Many top football players in the country have worked with them before and I believe the children in our academy will blossom under their care - not just for football skills, but also the life skills needed to excel in whatever they do."
Bok, a three-time S-League Coach of the Year winner, said: "There are currently many Singaporean youths who love football but do not have the opportunities to play and appreciate the sport better, especially if they are not in their school team. The ActiveSG football academy can change that and play a crucial role in giving our children more playing time. With more children playing football, our talent pool for the national football team will also expand."
More information can be found at the programme's website (https://www.myactivesg.com/start-out/children-youth/academy/football).