Malacca: In concerted efforts to enhance competitive spirit, sportsmanship and mould young ambassadors of the game, Singapore’s St.Michael Soccer Academy SMSA) and the Malacca Club joined hands to organise an inaugural 7-a-side football carnival for under 12 -players.
Held at the scenic Malacca Club Rotunda Sports Complex fronted by the Straits of Malacca in Tanjong, a dozen invited teams from Selangor,
Kuala Lumpur, Klang, Malacca and SMSA (A and B teams) participated in the day-long event where two challenge trophies were at stake.
According to SMSA president Colin Braberry, the academy nurtures and develop young talents to ensure they reach their full playing potential. This is done through a systematic all year training and coaching programme run by veteran players and qualified coaches.
“However, we have added several new dimensions into our set-up initiated by former Singapore stalwart Leong Kok Fann in 2007.
“We promote the competitive spirit by organising and participating in regular mini competitions and at the same time develop friendships among players, coaches, parents and supporters.
SMSA currently boast an 80-strong talent base comprising mainly of St. Michael School’s former students, teachers and staff as well as potentials from neighbouring international schools. With a S$50 (RM115) monthly fee charged per player, the academy raises funds for its running through donations, sponsorships and regular contributions courtesy of the school’s alumni.
“In this respect, parents have come forward enthusiastically with wholehearted support and indirect involvement. When going outstation for friendly matches or competitions, they usually come along and take the tour as a much needed break and holiday while supporting their children’s performances on the pitch of play”, he added
Malacca Club organising committee spokesperson Melvin Tan expressed delight with the tie-up with SMSA.
“Hopefully, we can have a much longer tournament duration from next year onwards. Maybe a whole weekend with invitations sent out to at least 24 teams. We have had requests from at least eight other teams from the state and from outstation interested to take part in next year’s edition” he added.
Meanwhile, in the just concluded tourney, the teams were first divided into four groups of three teams each for the preliminary round of matches.
Following the preliminary round group stage, the top two teams from each group who made the winners pool play-offs were the SMSA Challenge Cup was up for grabs while the third placed teams of all four group competed in the losers’ pool where the Friendship Challenge Cup was for the taking.
In the winners’ pool semifinals, Kiddo Kickers impressed by notching a 4-0 win over United Kids Recreation Club while SMSA (A) edged Malacca TNB Soccer Kids 1-0 to make the final.
In the title deciding play-off, Kiddo Kickers and the Singapore outfit played out a scoreless draw after regulation time and Kiddo Kickers went on to clinch an exciting 7-6 win in the ensuing penalty shoot-out.
The Hulu Klang outfit defeated TNB Soccer Kids 2-1 on penalties following a scoreless draw in regulation time, to finish third.
In the losers’ pool, Batu Caves Premier Football Kids Academy scored a resounding 3-0 victory over SMSA (B) in the final, with ten-year-old Iessa Hatem netting a hattrick. Iessa along with Malacca’s nine year old Derrick Chua and Mohd Raimi Shamsul aged 10, were unofficially voted as the carnival’s best players by the organisers.