Football: Epson Youth Challenge attracts record number of entries for fourth edition

(From left) Geylang International chairman Ben Teng, adviser Tin Pei Ling and Epson Singapore's regional managing director Munenori Ando at the Epson Youth Challenge prize presentation at Our Tampines Hub on Aug 4, 2019.
(From left) Geylang International chairman Ben Teng, adviser Tin Pei Ling and Epson Singapore's regional managing director Munenori Ando at the Epson Youth Challenge prize presentation at Our Tampines Hub on Aug 4, 2019.PHOTO: GEYLANG INTERNATIONAL

SINGAPORE - Oswald Tan is a budding footballer at Queensway Secondary School and welcomes any chance to don a jersey and get into competition mode.

The defender was thrilled to play in the Epson Youth Challenge, where he emerged as the Under-13s champion and Most Valuable Player. He also welcomed the prospect of training with professional coaches.

He said: "It is good to have such a tournament where we can pit our abilities against other teams around our age, and we look forward to learning from the Yamaga coaches."

The fourth edition of the Epson Youth Challenge saw a record 167 teams and more than 1,500 footballers battling it out at Our Tampines Hub, Jalan Besar Stadium and Serangoon Stadium this week. The five-a-side matches cut cross six categories, from U-9s to U-18s, including the Girls' U-18s.

Held in conjunction with Pesta Sukan and organised by Singapore Premier League (SPL) side Geylang International (GIFC), ActiveSG and the Football Association of Singapore, the event saw six teams crowned champions yesterday.

Epson Singapore's regional managing director Munenori Ando: "Epson Youth Challenge 2019 delivered an exhilarating atmosphere and I am proud that everyone, including friends and families of the participants, got to enjoy the fun-filled football carnival.

"The success of this tournament is testament to Epson's strong commitment to providing a springboard for young sporting talent to grow and spur the development of Singapore's sports scene."

In addition to Epson products, the finalists from all categories will go through an exclusive local football clinic with coaches from J1 League's Matsumoto Yamaga in November.

GIFC chairman Ben Teng was pleased with the fruits of their collaboration between the Eagles and sponsor Epson Singapore.

He said: "One of our key missions is to develop and spot budding talents from a young age for the national football team and the SPL and we are doing our part through this Epson Youth Challenge.

"We are glad the finals drew a large crowd, and helped to promote community bonding. We hope to be back stronger next year."

GIFC adviser and Member of Parliament Tin Pei Ling, who helped to present prizes at the event, added: "I have been following this tournament for the past few years and I must say it is professionally done. It has been growing and it is something GIFC can be very proud of.

"Going to different parts of Singapore is a good idea and in line with making sports accessible."