Monday, September 17, 2012

Change the Setup

Recently, Singapore national coach Radojko Avramovic publicly criticized the state of Singapore football. Most stingingly, he complained that the local S-League clubs had failed to produce enough young talent for the Singapore national team.

Since then, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) had step up to deflect, defend and “clarify” the statements of the national coach. There’s only one problem with that; most Singaporeans agree with Avramovic.

The S-League has been poor in recent years and there isn’t enough young talent being produced for the Singapore national team. I too agree with Avramovic but the thing is I won’t blame the clubs for the lack of talent coming through.

The problem I see is that in the S-League, there is the Young Lions (the national youth team), Home United and SAFRA (uniform groups) all playing in it. Anytime the clubs produced a good young player, the player will either be called up to play for the Young Lions or will have to play for Home United or SAFRA once they enter national service.

I can fully understand where the clubs are coming from. The clubs in the S-League has no reason to produce young talent for the future. In fact, in the current setup, they have a reason NOT to produce young talent for the future. Why should they spend time, money and effort to produce these young players if they can’t use the players themselves? Not only that, these players would be playing against the clubs in the S-League!

So what the FAS need to do now is to worry less about Avramovic’s statement and more about how to change the current S-League setup. As it is now, unless you give incentives to the clubs to produce young players, things are just not going to change. 

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