JSSL International Soccer 7’s returns to Singapore
- 260 teams from 14 countries set the region’s largest youth football tournament
- Professional Academy 7’s added, a first in Asia
SINGAPORE, 15 March 2017: The JSSL International 7s, the region’s largest youth football tournament is set to return to Singapore in April with confirmed participation from 260 teams from 14 nations from 29 April to 1 May.
What’s more, the 2017 edition of the competition will also see an added tournament with the Professional Academies 7s, which will feature players from Fulham from England, Perth Glory from Australia, Sporting Lisbon from Portugal, Bangkok United from Thailand, Penang FA from Malaysia and a Singapore team from JSSL FC.
The Guest of Honour for the event this year is former England international striker Emile Heskey who has 62 international caps, and who will be on hand during the competition to inspire the players.
Said JSSL Singapore Managing Director Harvey Davis, organisers of the JSSL International 7s 2017: “The development of football among the youth is critical for the future of the game. Children need to have the right fundamental skills and the appropriate environment to grow and love the game.”
He added, “Thanks to our partners and sponsors, we have been able to create a great atmosphere for the children and their parents, and we are glad that we have been able to keep growing the tournament year on year to where it is today. Our goal is to ensure every player, parent and spectator has that unique and special experience that makes them want to come back to Singapore and the JSSL 7s each year. We are always trying to push the envelope and go one step further. The addition of the Professional Academy 7s really does this for us in 2017 and for the 3000-over young competitors whose dream is to become a professional player!”
Continuing on the point about the importance of youth development, former England international Heskey, who had 62 caps for England, said: “Youth development at the community clubs and academies are an important part of the football eco-system.
“The key is for children to get the right training from a very young age, and this can only come if they get their skills honed at academies which are professionally run and with the right expertise. The JSSL International 7s is a good way for the kids to play together, to have fun, and also to learn from each other. At the same time they get a chance to see young professional players on the cusp of their first professional contract through the Professional 7s.”
The format of the tournament, where participants will be able to play at least seven matches during the event will also be an opportunity for players to gain exposure by testing their skills against different teams from throughout the region, Australia and Japan.
Said Dan Rice, Fulham Football Club’s Academy Player Recruitment Manager, “Youth players need to have as much exposure as possible against very different teams. The JSSL International 7s allows players that opportunity, as the format is friendly and gives players lots of playing time. This is essential in development. Our Academy boys are really looking forward to the trip and to experiencing a tournament in Asia.”
2017 Tournament Ambassador Paul Parker can attest to the increasing popularity of the JSSL 7s since its inception in 2013.
Said the former Manchester United defender: “This year’s tournament has gotten even better than last year’s and each year it seems to grow from strength to strength. What is more important is what the children get out of participation, and to have them back again for the tournament next year. Kudos to JSSL Singapore for growing the event, and for adding more countries and clubs to the schedule and to now brining in that unique and special Professional Academy element.”
With the new addition of the Professional Academy 7s the organisers have also opened up 10 additional slots in the Boys 16s category, six of which have been allocated to the S.League COE teams in support of developing and revolutionizing youth football in Singapore.
The team that wins the Boys 16’s category and the runner up will automatically get a buy into the quarter-finals of the Professionals 7s, with the chance of playing against the Professional Academy teams. All semi-finals and finals will be played at the Padang with all Professional Academy 7s games played at the Padang at the prestigious Singapore Cricket Club pitches.
Said Davis, “It is our intent to have Singapore’s S.League teams participate and pit themselves against the teams from the Professional Academies. This will give them good competition against formidable teams in front of their home fans.”
Also significant towards the success of the tournament is the generous support of sponsors and partners.
Said Ms Jean Ng, Director (Sports) Singapore Tourism Board: “We are pleased to support the JSSL International 7s as an exciting addition to Singapore’s calendar of sports events for all ages. As a multi-faceted city with a myriad of family-friendly attractions, I am sure Singapore will offer a memorable weekend for the travelling players and their accompanying families.”
Media Contact: Jose Raymond, SPIN (M: 91478040) E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Event: JSSL Singapore International Soccer 7’s 2017 Organizer: JSSL Singapore Events Pte Ltd
Dates: 29 April to 1 May 2017
Venues: The Padang, Turf City, HQ The Arena, UWC East and Stamford American International School
Event Discipline: 7 a-side soccer tournament Total no of teams: 260 teams from 14 nations
Total no of players: 3640 players and coaches