Singapore, 3rd June 2012 – 5 young football-enthusiast have been given Chance in a lifetime to represent Singapore in the global football competition spearheaded by Nike. Called “The Chance”, it will eventually see 100 players from 55 countries around the world traveling to FC Barcelona’s famed youth academy and undergo evaluation by a world-class team of coaches and scouts. The best 16 footballers from the global finals will be chosen by Nike to experience the ultimate training tour as their reward; facing some of the most renowned academy teams in world football – including Manchester United and a U.S. Youth National Team during a once-in-a-lifetime four week tour!
The 5 boys that made it through to the Regional Finals are: Muhammad Afiq Bin Mat Noor (19 years old), Muhammad Al Nazirul Islam Bin Abdul Razak (20 years old), Muhammad Faris Bin Ramli (19 years old), Randy Pay Zhan Hao (21 years old) and Sim Li Ming (23 years old).
However, the journey for these 5 are far from over as they would have to battle it out for the Top 4 places in the Regional Finals. Competing against 15 other selected players from Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, the boys would certainly have to shine, deliver and just do it if they are ever going to impress the coaches and scouts. Because only the top 4 would proceed on to the global finals in Spain.
Are Singaporeans good enough?
Competitions like these would have most of us asking – “Can our Singapore boys REALLY stand out and deliver in this global competition?”. Perhaps against the likes of our South East Asian neighbours, they might, if they do not buckle under the pressure AND have a tremendous amount of fitness. I mean, these boys will be training in Indonesia and definitely, the weather there would affect their performances. The only way to combat that is to always have high-level of fitness so that they can adapt quickly in most conditions.
However, judging from their built and size, should they proceed on to the global stage, this factor could go against their favour. Although there have been small built players who have excelled in the sport (think Lionel Messi), I doubt we would ever have our very own Singapore “Messi”. With the way our education-system is run, Singaporeans are more likely to pursue a career in a more “stable and recognizable field” besides sports. Not many people get much out of chasing their dreams or passion in playing sports. Some quit half way. Some get injured. Some grow a little too old too fast (like you and me) to get a chance at stardom. 😛
But hey, I guess that is what Nike “The Chance” is all about. Giving our HOMEGROWN talents that one opportunity to beat the odds and chase their dream in football. For what is worth, that is what I would like to see more in the future. Now that they have been selected, seems like these 5 boys would have to go out there and well….JUST DO IT. 😉
P.S, the boys get to train in Nike’s latest range of boots – the Nike Mercurial Vapor VIII. Sadly, I cant say much about the feel and performance of the boots except that it does look rather nice on Cristiano Ronaldo’s feet. Would look nicer on mine I’d say. Haha.