Press Releases ● Jan 28, 2013
Courts Renews Partnership with Young Lions for 2013 S.League Season
SINGAPORE, 28 JANUARY 2013: The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) is pleased to announce that leading electrical products, IT and furniture retailer Courts has renewed its sponsorship of the Young Lions team competing in the S.League. At a press conference earlier today, FAS and Courts also unveiled the new home and away kits for the 2013 Courts Young Lions squad, which comprises several players who are likely to be involved in the South-East Asian (SEA) Games in Myanmar later this year. Keeping with tradition, the Home kit will be red and the Away kit, dark blue.
Mr Zainudin Nordin, FAS President, said: “The Courts Young Lions forms a key component of our comprehensive youth development structure which has been singled out for praise by leading football officials. We are confident that the appointment of former national skipper Aide Iskandar as the new coach will have a positive influence on the Courts Young Lions players, many of whom have the potential to be called up to the national team within the next few years. Moving forward, FAS will continue to provide the best level of support to the team, whenever possible, and we will work closely with Aide as we strive towards achieving our footballing objectives including youth development, as stated in the FAS Strategic Plan.
“We are especially delighted and grateful to Courts and all our sponsors for their generous support over the years and we look forward to collaborating with them over a long-term period and towards achieving mutually benefitting outcomes for both parties. We hope more corporations will step forward and join us in this journey as we strive to fulfil our goals in the various aspects,” added Mr Zainudin.
Coach Aide, who has won honours as a player at both club and international levels, said: “The participation of the Young Lions in the S.League has significantly enhanced youth development in Singapore during the past decade. Many of the players who had represented the team during the early stage of their professional career have since progressed to the National Team and have represented the country in tournaments such as FIFA World Cup qualifiers and AFF Suzuki Cup.
“We have a younger Courts Young Lions squad this year, as compared to previous seasons. In my view, this represents an invaluable opportunity for our young players to step up and boost their chances of being called up to the SEA Games squad later this year. Apart from the SEA Games, I also hope that more players from the Courts Young Lions will be called up to the National Team sometime soon.”
He added: “All the clubs have strengthened their squads for the upcoming season and I believe this will enhance the competitiveness and quality of the league this season. The Courts Young Lions are among the best-supported clubs in the S.League in recent years, and I hope that more fans will turn up to support our youth players who will strive to put up a good performance in the league.”
Mr Terry O’Connor, CEO, Courts Asia Limited said: “We are proud to support the Courts Young Lion team for three years running. We have seen the club strengthen and progress over the past two years. In that time, six Courts Young Lions players went on to be a part of the national squad in the Lions’ triumphant 2012 Suzuki Cup campaign.
“As we extend the sponsorship for another year, we will continue to play an active role in the improvement and development of Singapore football,” added Mr O’Connor.
The Courts Young Lions players will also serve as mentors and engage the youths playing in the Delta League. Organised by Clementi Police Division, the League aims to keep at-risk youths meaningfully occupied during the school holidays, and raising their awareness of the consequences of being involved in crime. In addition, all youths playing in the League will also be eligible for a complimentary Courts Young Lions membership card that will allow them to gain free entry to all the Courts Young Lions’ home matches at the Jalan Besar Stadium and the club’s activities.
Going forward, FAS will also be working with the SportCares Foundation Movement and Foundation – the first recommendation launched by Singapore Sports Council under Vision 2030: Live Better Through Sports. SportCares currently has several programmes in development, and FAS and the Courts Young Lions are committed to helping SportCares provide opportunities for everyone to grow through the sport of football.
“We are delighted to receive this commitment of support from FAS and the Young Lions to help others live better through sports,” said Richard Seow, Chairman of Singapore Sports Council. “SportCares was set up to use sport as a force for social good in Singapore, and the message is clearly connecting with people. Not only do the Young Lions represent our hopes for the future of Singapore football, they also speak to our willingness to empower the more vulnerable segments of our society. I am looking forward to seeing our young footballers on the pitch at Jalan Besar and at upcoming SportCares programmes.”