Singapore is a great nation that stands toe to toe with most, if not all, European countries regarding economic stability and providing a sustainable environment to its citizens and visitors alike. However, when the focus shifts to sports, especially football, Singapore doesn’t rank anywhere near the top.
Taking a look at the Singapore League, it cannot be compared with the British Premier League let alone Britain’s Sunday League Football. Football fans have aired their dissatisfaction on the state of football in Singapore. This has come about mainly when their national team and local clubs perform poorly in international competitions.
So, what needs to be done to take Singapore back to its footballing glory days?
Better Pay for Local Players at Clubs in the S-League.
Local Singaporean football players turning out for the clubs participating in the S-League complain of inadequate wages. A Singaporean native may receive a paltry SGD 2,000 a month compared to the high salaries foreign players in the same league receive. Foreign players are seeking the services of visa experts such as Visa Express Singapore to ply their trade in Singapore. They do this in the hope that they may become naturalized after some years and turn out for the national team as well.
This move by foreign players in addition to the lack of money paid to local players has killed the football spirit in Singapore.
Increased pay for footballers along with bonuses will motivate the players and make them train better and harder. This will translate to better football with the players aiming at showcasing their talents on the field on match days.
Adapting to the Modern Style of Play
Whenever accusatory fingers are pointed at Singapore’s national football for failing to perform well in the World Cup or Continental, people compare it to the team of previous years. It is an undeniable fact that Singapore’s football team played well in the pre-2000 years.
However, soccer fans fail to notice that the style of play has changed over the years. Nowadays, football is more demanding with the focus switching to playing at a high tempo and pressing the pitch to allow the opponent less time on the ball.
Lightning quick counter-attacks have replaced the traditional long ball as the most sought way of scoring goals. Compared to other football giants, Singapore has not yet fully adapted to this modern style of play.
Nevertheless, the Football Association of Singapore is taking steps to improve the current state of its national team by developing local talent with an option of naturalizing a limited number of distinct talent from abroad.
Setting Up Training Facilities with Professional Personnel
The primary ingredient in developing young talent is the availability of state-of-the-art training grounds. The presence of coaches who are familiar with the modern style of play to train the kids in things like ball control within small areas of space and in short and quick passes is essential.
Development of Young Talent
With the issues of lousy pay staining Singapore’s football industry, parents would not want their children to choose a career in football. Job security also is not assured.
Less than 5% of school-going boys take part in football while only a meager 1% of girls do. A look at other nations that perform well in football like Brazil where almost all the kids play soccer across the country still leaves a lot to be wished for.
Singapore needs to encourage its population of children to play soccer.