FAS' reply to ST Forum Page: Youth development a key objective of footballing plans
FAS: Youth development a key objective of footballing plans
We thank Mr George Quek and Mr Ng Qi Siang for their letters, “LionsXII deserve respect for working hard despite constraints” (ST Online, Feb 7) and “LionsXII: One step forward, two steps back?” (ST Online, Feb 5) respectively.
As Mr Quek rightly noted, the participation of the LionsXII in the Malaysian Super League was one of the initiatives spelt out in the footballing agreement between the Football Associations of Singapore and Malaysia, under which youth development is a key objective.
We appreciate the acknowledgment by both writers that the participation of the LionsXII in the Malaysian competitions has played a role in the development of several young players, including Safuwan Baharudin and Shakir Hamzah, who are now part of the national team.
In line with our focus on youth development, coupled with our on-going preparations for the SEA Games later this year, we decided to register more young players below the age of 23 in the LionsXII squad this season.
We are deeply thankful to our fans for their support and presence at the LionsXII’s matches and our young team is determined to put up a good performance in the league and cup matches. While the team has played just five games so far, we are encouraged to note that several observers and coaches have already singled out some of the young players, including Gabriel Quak, Hafiz Abu Sujad and Faritz Hameed, as having the potential to progress far in their footballing career.
Youth development is a key objective spelt out in the FAS Strategic Plan and we remain committed to securing, and providing, the best level of support for our teams, whenever possible.
While we are encouraged by Fifa’s assessment and comments that we have progressed well in the implementation of the Strategic Plan, including youth development, there remains much hard work ahead. At the same time, we also acknowledge that there is room for further improvement in various aspects – both on and off-the-pitch.
Going forward, FAS will continue to persevere and work around the constraints as we strive towards our key objectives and also to strengthen community and social bonding through football. We look forward to the continued support of our stakeholders, including the fans, which is key to our success.