National Team - Lionesses ● Jul 06, 2015

Lionesses To Test Their Mettle In Hong Kong Tournament

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SINGAPORE, 6 JULY 2015: It will be a milestone moment for the Women’s National Team, also known as the Lionesses, when they compete in the Luen Thai Cup tournament this week in Hong Kong.

Reason: the quadrangular will be the first international tournament that the team will be participating in since 2013.

Organised by the Chelsea Hong Kong Football School, and sanctioned by the Hong Kong Football Association, the tournament will see the Lionesses taking on Chelsea Hong Kong SC, Northern Mariana Islands and Guangdong Agriculture University Team.

According to Julie Teo, who is the General Manager for Grassroots and Women’s Football at the Football Association of Singapore, the team is made up of the best players from the recently concluded Women’s Premier League. It is coached by Chen Cai Ying.

“We feel that, in terms of playing standards, the teams in the Luen Thai Cup are not of too high a level for us, so I am confident we will be able to compete. It will also be an opportunity for us to guage where we stand,” said Teo.

“This is also the first time in over two years that we have taken part in an international event. Our main aim is to prepare a team for the 2017 South-east Asian Games in Malaysia.

“So this marks the start of our preparations for it, and we will continue providing competitive opportunities and exposure for our players in the form of friendly international matches, and regional competitions.”

Apart from the Luen Thai Cup, the Grassroots and Women’s Department has also been putting in place a developmental pipeline for the senior women’s team.

This year, it launched an all-girls training centre for girls aged between 7 and 12 years at Queensway Secondary School as part of its FAS Cubs programme, and held trials for the U-19 national team which drew 72 footballers. It is also reviving Women’s Premier Youth League, which will commence in August 2015 with 5 teams for a start.

“This league will provide a platform to develop young female footballers,” said Teo. “We used to have a vibrant youth league before 2012, with participation from the international schools such as the American¬† School, United World College, and the Overseas Family School which provided good competition for our local girls,” said Teo.

The FAS also sent a team to compete in the recent Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-14 Regional Girls’ Championship ASEAN 2015. It was only the second time that the team was competing in the tournament, and although the girls lost ¬†1-3 to Malaysia, and the Philippines and 1-6 to Vietnam, Teo was nevertheless heartened by the results.

“The team achieved this with only six months of preparation, and they have shown much potential to develop further,” she said, adding that there are also plans to send teams to take part in the AFC U-16 and U-19 Championship Qualifiers next year.

When asked what she is hoping for the team to achieve at the Luen Thai Cup, Teo said: “The more important thing is to see where we stand in terms of standard. But I do hope we can record some decent results too.”