Football: Lion City Sailors' $10m training facility to be ready in April 2022, will also serve as community hub

(From left) FAS president Lim Kia Tong, Lion City Sailors chief executive Chew Chun-Liang, MacPherson MP Tin Pei Ling and Sport Singapore chief executive Lim Teck Yin. ST PHOTO: MOHD KHALID BABA

SINGAPORE - The Lion City Sailors' $10 million training facility that will be home to both the Singapore Premier League club and its football academy will also serve the residents in the community.

The facility is projected to be completed in April 2022.

Details of the state-of-the-art set-up - Singapore's first fully-integrated football training centre - were unveiled at its groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday (April 24) at 8 Mattar Road, with Member of Parliament for MacPherson Tin Pei Ling, Sport Singapore chief executive Lim Teck Yin and Football Association of Singapore president Lim Kia Tong in attendance.

There will be five pitches - two 11-a-side and three seven-a-side fields, changing rooms, a gym, and facilities for sports science and medicine, video analytics, as well as study rooms for academy scholars in its elite development programme.

The centre will also include a viewing area for the public, a cafe, as well as community-friendly spaces, where grassroots activities for residents, such as health screenings, community talks, and exercises classes can be held.

Sailors chief executive Chew Chun-Liang said: "Mattar Road will become the new home of the Sailors, where our young talents hone their craft, and elite seniors drive to win trophies.

"I'm also excited about opening our doors to the football community programmes through ActiveSG efforts.

"This facility is aimed at driving not just LCS efforts in youth development and on-field success, but also to help lift the football community in our country. We are determined to make sure this project not only gets off the ground, but can fly."

Excited about the club's new home, Sailors attacker Gabriel Quak added: "It definitely helps to have a training ground we can call our own. It's essential to have a place that we look forward to go to, train and hang out.

"On top of enjoying good facilities, the attachment will only help the team develop a stronger bond."

The facility is also expected to play an integral role in further developing the larger Singapore football ecosystem and supporting the Unleash the Roar national project, which has the aim of seeing the Lions qualify for the 2034 World Cup.

It will provide a place for young Singaporeans to undergo sustained and structured high-quality football training, with talent pathways for those who wish to play professionally.

Last year, the Sailors committed $1 million to revamp its academy, which was later given a one-star rating by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), the first in Singapore to achieve the feat.

The regional body has a maximum rating of three stars, and being a one-star academy means that the Sailors' outfit has the fundamentals required for an elite youth academy.

Kia Tong said: "We are extremely impressed with the uncompromising approach to excellence that LCS is bringing to Singapore football as well as the club's drive for youth development which can help push the sport to greater heights,"

Teck Yin added: "Private football academies like Lion City Sailors catalyse excellence in our local football ecosystem.

"Our goal towards building world-class national teams at all age groups require the commitment and will of partners like LCS."

(From left) Sport SG chief executive Lim Teck Kim, MacPherson MP Tin Pei Ling, Lion City Sailors chief executive Chew Chun-Liang and FAS president Lim Kia Tong. ST PHOTO: MOHD KHALID BABA

Meanwhile, the Sailors will also explore collaborations with the MacPherson Youth Network through a joint mentorship programme, youth activation and engagement sessions, and knowledge sharing on training methodologies to collectively build a stronger football community in MacPherson.

They will also look to engage existing community partners such as Salim Mattar Mosque, Darul Ihsan Orphanage and Grace Baptist Church.

Ms Tin said: "I am heartened by the Sailors' commitment in providing access to the facility and organising activities for our MacPherson community.

"I look forward to the Sailors and LCS Football Academy working closely with our residents and community partners to cultivate aspiring MacPherson youths and local sports talents."

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