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Sun, Moon And Stars Align For Footballers

Singapore Sports School-Omiya Ardija MOU

Posted: 30 November 2015

Omiya Ardija is a professional football team that shows top-class performance in bringing up youths in the Land of the Rising Sun. Singapore Sports School hopes that the partnership with Omiya will help to take the Football Academy to the next level.

Sports School Principal, Mr Tan Teck Hock, and Football Academy Covering General Manager and Coach, Mr Donald Wan, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the recently-promoted J.League club on 22 November 2015 in Saitama, Japan. Omiya’s professional team won the J2 League title on 23 November and earned promotion back into the J1 League.

The partnership, which begins on 1 January 2016 for two years, will involve training exchanges once a year, with opportunities for friendly games organised by the host. Four Sports School footballers will have the chance to train and compete with Omiya’s team for a month each year, while Omiya will host one Sports School team annually, allowing Sports School use of its facilities and providing opportunities for friendly games. Coaches will benefit from sharing coaching methodologies, ideas and experiences. Omiya will also help to review and improve the quality of the Sports School’s Football Academy’s training programme.

Omiya, which has a strong commitment in regional contribution and grassroots movements, is keen on making a presence in the football scene in Singapore. Sports School will assist Omiya in piloting a football outreach programme in Singapore.

On 17 November, four boys – Joel Chew Joon Herng, Jordan Nicholas Vestering (U15), Mohamad Hamizan Mohamad Hisham and Muhamad Firas Muhamad Irwan (U14) – started their training stint with Omiya. They were joined by 14 Sports School players in the U14 and U15 teams on 27 November and stay until 7 December 2015.

However, this is not the first time Sports School’s Football Academy is training with the Omiya team. In 2010, friendly games between both teams were organised and in 2013, four footballers had an opportunity for a training attachment with Omiya before they were joined by a Sports School team for friendly matches organised by Omiya.

This recent partnership is a follow up of the strategic review recommendations to expose Sports School student-athletes to top-notch coaching and training programmes. The Sports School has several formal partnerships and many informal ones to develop and expose our student-athletes to a higher level of sport. However, following the Sports School Review, the School has a greater commitment to provide opportunities which will facilitate our student-athletes’ sport development.

The Football Academy has an existing partnership with Home United Football Club to pave the way for long-term athlete development. The agreement provides opportunities for Sports School footballers to join the Home United Youth Football Academy, HUFC’s youth wing, after they graduate. HYFA also supports Sports School’s Football Academy in the planning, development and execution of its football programmes. HUFC and HYFA coaches also contribute their expertise during Sports School’s selection trials, to select and identify youth footballers with potential.

The Sports School’s first sport partnership in 2006 was a training exchange for the Football and Track and Field academies with Qatar’s Aspire Academy.

On 16 July 2014, the Sports School inked an agreement with Ulsan Sports Science Secondary School for a four-year exchange programme. During which, the Sports School and USSS, which officially opened on 22 April 2015, will share teaching and coaching methodologies, latest research and developments sport science and tips on student-athlete education and career guidance. Twenty student-athletes from each school will have the opportunity to train and engage in friendly competition each year. This year, student-athletes from the Shooting, Swimming and Track and Field academies immersed themselves in the Korean culture, while training and learning from their Korean counterparts during their week-long September break.

While the Sports School, as the pipeline to the national team, hopes to create more opportunities for the development of sport champions, the School continues to strive towards its mission of nurturing Learned Champions With Character through the improvement of programmes offered to student-athletes.

“The level of football development in Japan is high, and Omiya Ardija has a high quality youth football programme that will complement the Sports School's focus on long-term athlete development. Omiya Ardija is a compatible and long-term partner for Singapore Sports School, and I am excited about the opportunities this partnership will bring for the Sports School.

“This exchange programme is treasured and will allow our players to be exposed to the high level of play that Omiya brings.

“On 27 November, a Sports School team began their training with Omiya. I'm confident the players will benefit much from this opportunity. We very much look forward to welcoming Omiya Ardija when they come to Singapore next year, and will do our utmost to support them.”
Tan Teck Hock, Principal, Singapore Sports School

“I believe that the partnership with Omiya Ardija will help take Sports School’s Football Academy to a new level. Omiya Ardija will provide us with a training base in Japan that will benefit our footballers tremendously, and the level of training and competition will also be higher. Selected Sports School footballers will be exposed to Omiya’s style of play, which emphasises higher levels of teamwork, fitness, discipline, speed and technical skills. Our coaches will also benefit from sharing best practices with our Japanese counterparts who excel in the area of youth coaching.

“We know that the experiences and exposure gained by our footballers from this exchange programme will raise the quality of football in Sports School and Singapore. The partnership with Omiya Ardija will also open up more opportunities for Sports School footballers to pursue a professional career in the J.League.”
Teng Wei Ken, Head Coach, Singapore Sports School Football Academy