Got kids that love football? There are lots of great kids’ football schools and clubs in Singapore where children of all ages and levels can hone their skills and techniques – and even progress to playing professionally. Besides making new friends and staying active, children will receive training by top soccer coaches and have the opportunity to take part in competitions. Not sure where to get your little one playing football in Singapore? Here are some of the best football schools and soccer clubs to bookmark.
Chelsea FC IDC Singapore
Welcoming girls and boys aged four to 18, Chelsea FC IDC Singapore is a not-for-profit football development programme at UWC South East Asia (East). Teams are managed and trained by full-time Chelsea FC Foundation coaches living in Singapore and sessions are delivered using the same standards and syllabus taught back in London. Beginners can take part in the community programmes, while there are team training sessions for experienced players who take part in local and international fixtures, leagues and tournaments. Tuesday and Thursday evenings are set aside for competition team training and community groups meet on Saturday mornings. The fun and interactive training sessions take place on the school’s FIFA Quality Pro standard field. Each year, the season runs for three 13-week terms from August to June.
Besides regular training sessions, there are holiday camps held during international school breaks. Kids can look forward to meeting new friends, honing skills and taking part in friendly competitions. In addition, there’s a yearly high-performance training camp for elite players at the Cobham training facility in London! Chosen players have the opportunity to take part in training sessions, play matches against the foundation’s UK teams and sit in personal development workshops. Chelsea FC IDC Singapore also holds programmes and events for less fortunate groups in the community, including children from low-income families.
Turf City FC
Turf City FC offers a wide range of training options to players aged six to 17. With roots tracing back to 1999, the football club provides professional training two to five times a week for top youth players. This includes instruction on fitness, stretching, nutrition, breathing and other relevant aspects. The club is also a great place for budding players to work on their game and learn at their own pace. For younger ones aged six to 11, single session options are available. Players are taught by Turf City’s experienced coaching staff, which is made up of ex-professional players and coaches. Sessions are held at Rainforest, Centaurs, Cage and Merlion at Turf City (plus an upcoming pitch near Stamford American International School).
Kids have opportunities to take part in professional matches organised by the club’s large network of footballing contacts. Players regularly head to Europe for trials and summer experiences at professional clubs, as well as travelling around the region for tours and tournaments. Turf City FC has groomed various professional players – these include Levi Skyum who currently plays for Feyenoord Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
BARÇA Academy Singapore
At BARÇA Academy Singapore, boys and girls from age five to 16 will have the chance to train under the same methodology used by FC Barcelona. They’ll pick up a special style of play that incorporates quick passing, good movement and a smart maintaining of possession. Catering to all skill levels, the academy’s training sessions are held at St Patrick’s School and Montfort Secondary School. The programmes are overseen by the FC Barcelona technical director who leads a team of qualified BARÇA coaches.
This is one of the few football academies in Singapore to have its own league, the Barça Academy Singapore League (BASGL). Held every two weeks on Sundays, the competitive matches involve over 400 players and complement the training they receive during the week. Players who join the club also have the opportunity to take part in yearly overseas tournaments such as the BARÇA Academy World Cup in Spain, which brings together over 50 clubs from around the world.
Cosmo United Football Academy (CUFA)
The best way to pick up the game of football is to start at an early age. Cosmo United Football Academy (CUFA) provides training from toddler ages of under three to teens under 16. It has a professional and dedicated coaching team that includes many active and former S-league players as well as national team players. The academy participates in two youth football leagues – Unity Football League and JSSL Singapore National Youth Leagues – and players have the opportunity to take part in matches and tournaments. CUFA also organises football and multi-sport camps during school holidays. Training sessions are held from Mondays to Saturdays across four locations: Premier pitch and Rainforest pitch at Turf City, Bukit Timah pitch and the Swiss Club Singapore pitch.
The academy aims to teach, educate and develop psychomotor and football skills in a professional, individualised, fun and stress-free environment. With the right approach, children will gain confidence and develop the pride, attitude, mental and physical fitness of a sportsperson.
British Football Academy (BFA)
Catering to children aged two to 12 years, the British Football Academy Singapore (BFA) is a great place to pick up football from a young age. Kids are taught by British coaches Dave Phelps and Andy Gillespie, who have many years of experience in professional football in England. Training sessions are held at Dulwich College (Singapore) and also at SkyPark Arena @ Holland. All players have the opportunity to play in a team that competes in the JSSL National Youth Football League. They’re also able to participate in international tournaments. Young ones aged two to four can join the Little Lions programme, which is perfect for learning fundamental skills.
The club’s teaching style offers a good balance between fun and discipline. They ensure that each child can learn to play without feeling pressure. They also strive to instil values such as hard work, respect and other interpersonal skills. The club also places a focus on community. They aim to get to know not only the children but their families too. So, you can expect a host of social events to take part in, including five-a-side football matches and quiz nights.
JSSL is a vibrant youth football community of over 1,000 kids, catering to all abilities and ages. It has an elite academy of 300 players and a girls programme with more than 100 players. There are four venues islandwide: JSSL HQ Arena, Tanglin Trust International School, Stamford American International School and SAFRA Tampines. The dedicated team of coaches includes former national team players and highly qualified international coaches. The programme aims to offer a fun and unique footballing experience as well as develop the character of each player.
Players have the option to participate in the JSSL National Youth Leagues, annual international tournaments in Bangkok, Malaysia and Sweden, and the JSSL International 7s. Partnerships are maintained with local clubs like Tampines Rovers RC as well as professional overseas clubs such as Arsenal FC, to provide a pathway to professional play. Each year, players from JSSL are selected by these clubs to join them for trials and selection. They’re proud to have produced professional players locally and in top European leagues.
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