JUNIOR Soccer School League (JSSL) Singapore wrested the overall Datuk Chu Ah Nge International Football Challenge Cup for the fourth consecutive year at the Royal Selangor Club Sports Annexe grounds at Bukit Kiara.
JSSL wrested the Dato’ Chu Ah Nge challenge trophy as overall champions by winning two titles in the Cup category (Under-14 and Under-16), qualifying for three finals and losing out in two more in the semifinals and bagging eight individual titles.
They fielded two teams in each of the age group categories - Under-8, Under-10, Under-12, Under-14 and Under-16.
The trophy is presented to the team with the highest cumulative points at the end of the tournament, whereby teams collect points for their finishing in each age-group category.
The rules for this grassroots tournament require participating teams, clubs and football academies to compete in all age-group levels.
JSSL also won individual titles for Top Scorer in Under-8, Under-10 and Under-16 categories, two Best Player awards in the Under-12 and Under-16, Man of the Match in Under-14 and Best Goalkeeper in the Under-12 and Under-14 segments.
Bintang Biru from Penang carried the local challenge but had to settle to play second fiddle to JSSL in the challenge for the overall trophy.
Bintang Biru, who were the 2013 overall champions, emerged champion in the Under-10 category and lost in the Under-14 final to JSSL. They won four individual titles for Best Goalkeeper in the Under-10 category, Man of the Match in Under-10 final, Tournament Best Goalkeeper in Under-10 and Tournament Best Player in Under-14.
JSSL managing director Harvey Davis was elated with his side’s good showing.
“Winning the overall title for four years in a row is indeed sweet. Winning the title is sweet, but defending it thrice speaks volumes of the character of the players and coaches and their commitment.
“We intend to return next year and make it five times in-a-row,” said Harvey.
Subang Jaya Community Sports Club (SJCSC), a local community-based club run by parents and volunteers, had a proud outing as they stood toe-to-toe with more illustrious academies as the remained unbeaten without conceding a goal in the preliminary and second round.
They even managed to beat favourites and eventual finalist KLYS 1-0 before meeting their more superior Singapore counterparts in the semifinals and losing.
FA of Malaysia secretary-general Stuart Ramalingam, who was present to give away the prizes to the winning teams, said he was impressed with the organisation and the quality of the tournament.
“FA of Malaysia sanctioned the tournament this year after being satisfied with the quality and professionalism of the tournament.
“FA of Malaysia now plans to ask all football academies to register with us to ensure these development programmes are run professionally and meet the standards to ensure that we start on the right foot with our development programmes.
“With them registering with us, we can also assist the coaches to attend refresher coaches and upgrade their coaching certificates.
“We want to ensure that all football coaching academies have qualified coaches and proper training facilities. We are happy that these academies exist and are doing development work, but we need to ensure high standards are maintained and our young children get the best.”
A total of 32 teams and 960 players competed in the two-day tournament in the various age groups with teams coming from Singapore, Maldives, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan and Malaysia.
The Raja Muda of Selangor Tengku Amir Shah, who is also president of the Football Association of Selangor, officially declared the tournament at the opening ceremony of the tournament.
Several ex-internationals were present to lend support and motivate the young players, among them included Datuk Santokh Singh, Datuk N Thanabalan, Datuk K. Rajagopal, Datuk Chen Wooi Hwa, V, Kalimutu, Ho Hon Seong, Kamarulzaman Yusoff, Vincent Thambirajah, P. Umparam, Lim Hong Guan and Thomas Samuel. The tournament could well create history in next year’s 15th edition when plans are underway to have an all-girls category.
Organising committee chairman Datuk Gerald Rakish Kumar said with the growing interest of all girls’ teams and teams fielding girls in the boys’ teams, he will be recommending for the tournament to include a girls category next year.
The FA of Malaysia have also thrown in their support to officially sanction the junior tournament.
Third placing: JSSL FC
Champion: Bintang Baru
Third placing: JSSL FC
Champion: Sea Hawk
Runners-Up: JSSL FC
Third placing: Bintang Biru
Under 14 (Cup)
Champion: JSSL FC
Runners-Up: Bintang Biru
Third placing: Global Football Academy
Top Scorer: Hasegawa Yuta – Nine goals (Global FA)
Man of the Match (Final): Max McCoy (JSSL FC)
Best Goalkeeper: Ethan Endacott (JSSL FC)
Under 16 (Cup)Champion: JSSL FC
Third placing: SJCSC
Top Scorer: Joe Blowers (JSSL FC)
Man of the Match (Final): Tejas Sarana (JSSL FC)
Best Goalkeeper: Johnny English (KLYS)