Replies to Media ● Nov 13, 2013

FAS’ reply to Media Queries on revamp of Centre of Excellence (COE)

The ‘Florence Nightingale’ of local football, Nurhafizah Abu Sujad broadens the reach of her quest to keep footballers in top condition, joining the Lion City Sailors while retaining her role as National Teams Head Physiotherapist.

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Youth development is a key priority for the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and we have, over the years, been committed to enhancing the players’ pathway, under which a young player will be groomed and developed systematically through the Junior Centre of Excellence (JCOE), Centre of Excellence (COE) and National Football Academy (NFA) systems before progressing to the Prime League, Courts Young Lions, S.League, LionsXII and the National Team.

 

In 2000, the FAS established the Club Centre of Excellence (COE), which is designed to enhance the tactical, technical, physical and mental capabilities of players who are below 18 years of age and who are groomed by the local clubs in the S.League. The COE programme commenced with the Under-18 and Under-16 teams before it was expanded to include the Under-14 teams in 2012.

 

Over the years, the Club COEs have played a key role in complementing the youth development programmes at the National level which comprises of Junior COEs which cater to the Under-6 to Under-8, Under-10 and Under-12 age-groups and the NFA which today commences from the Under-13 and progresses up to the Under-18 age-group. Players such as Faris Ramli and Sahil Suhaimi were graduates of the respective Club COE programmes before progressing through the National Football Academy teams, and later the National Team.

 

Under the current phase of the Club COE programmes, FAS has worked closely with the clubs to raise the level of capabilities in terms of coaching as well as player development. For instance, we introduced the Coaches’ Morning Sessions for all Club COE coaches in 2009 and the National Football Syllabus in 2010. FAS also conducted regular technical courses for club COE coaches and officials, including a talent identification seminar in 2011 and a match analysis seminar in 2010. In addition, we have also increased funding support for the clubs to operate the COE programmes in recent years.

 

Like any forward-looking organization, we are always looking to further enhance our systems and bring our programmes to the next level.

 

FAS has been studying various possibilities relating to the enhancement of our current COE structure for the past one year, and we have since decided on one model which will be introduced under the next phase of our strategy aimed at enhancing the development of our young players. Details have been shared with the club chairmen and we are pleased that they have expressed their support for the new concept under which we will increase the number of age groups from three ‚Äì at the Under-14, Under-16 and Under-18 levels ‚Äì to six: Under-13, Under-14, Under-15, Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18. The new COE Structure will also feature full time specialist coaches, i.e full time fitness coach, sports trainer and goalkeeper coach, thus enhancing both the quality of training our players receive, and the players themselves.

 

 More resources, both on and off-the-pitch, will be channeled to the new model. Other details pertaining to the new model will be announced after they have been finalized by FAS and the clubs.  Ultimately, the key objective of the new model is to enhance the technical, tactical, mental and physical capabilities of our elite young players under the COE programme ‚Äì a key objective spelt out in the FAS Strategic Plan.

 

Key Benefits of new COE Model:

More age-group teams
Increased resources (e.g. specialist coaches)
Expanded pool of technical experts (including specialist coaches/ assessors)
Enhanced capabilities of coaches
More intense competitions
Enhanced sports science and medicine support
Increased quality of teams
Enhanced tactical, technical, mental and physical capabilities of players
Increased quality of team per age group
Added savings from a reduced number of teams can be invested in other key result areas, including Sports Science Medicine and technical support
Increased competitiveness from the new combined league
Better quality control of players and coaches in accordance to National Syllabus
Increaseed Sports Science Medicine & Technical  support for players and team
Mentoring of coaching and playing philosophy from the technical assessors.