Youngsters vie for Asia Tour Cup in Singapore

Young footballers from Chelsea FC Soccer Schools across Asia descended on eastern Singapore on Friday to pit their skill against each other in the Chelsea Foundation’s Asia Tour Cup 2017.

The one-day tournament at United World College East (UWC East) brought together players from our soccer schools in Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore, as well as guest teams from local school and football academies for a day of good competition and camaraderie.

There was a festive feel to the occasion which was highlighted by the appearance of the Premier League trophy, which was accompanied onto the UWC East pitch by our club mascots Stamford and Bridget.

While the youngsters showed their delight as they eagerly lined up for their opportunity to have their photos taken with trophy and our mascots, they also displayed plenty of intensity on the field as they battled hard to lift some silverware of their own.

The U11 tournament featured seven teams and came down to an exciting final between a combined team from our Bangkok and Tokyo soccer schools and the Singapore soccer school’s Team Hazard.

The Thai-Japanese side showed excellent cohesion and twice took the lead, only to be pegged back on each occasion by the Singaporean side, who grabbed a late winner to triumph 3-2.

Meanwhile, the three-team U-13 tournament was conducted as a round-robin league with Pasir Ris Secondary School edging the team from ActiveSG Sportscares on goal difference for the title.

The Asia Tour Cup 2017 was the culmination of the Chelsea Foundation’s fortnight of activities in Singapore which involved engagement with our soccer schools and other football development initiatives in the Lion City.

David Monk, Chelsea Foundation international development officer, said: ‘This is a fantastic moment for the club, the Chelsea Foundation and all of the players and coaches involved in the various Chelsea programmes across Asia.

‘Our coaches have been here for the past two weeks but we’ve been building up to this, not just over the past couple of weeks but over the past six years to showcase the Here to Play, Here to Stay initiative in its full capacity.

‘We’ve got 10 teams here today, representing local schools, a local academy and ActiveSG Sportscares which is a programme run by the government as part of its sports initiative. On top of that, for the wider Chelsea family in Asia, we have players from our schools in Thailand, Japan, Indonesia, Hong Kong and Singapore here.

‘For us, all of the work that we’ve put into building these relationships across Asia comes together here. Most importantly, for all of these youngsters here, bringing them together here makes them feel part of a wider network in Asia and that’s key for us.

‘We’ve created a really memorable experience for all of these youngsters, especially bringing down the Premier League trophy and our mascots so they have an opportunity to have their picture taken with them.’

Ian Woodroffe, Chelsea Foundation international development manager, praised the job done by his team in putting together the event and their other outreach activities over the past fortnight.

‘Our six coaches here and the four in China have done a fantastic job,’ he said.

‘Obviously, a lot of work and planning has gone into bringing these events together, not just in the last few weeks but over the past seven years as we have developed a network, built relationships and brought people and teams together for tournaments and on tour.

‘This is a real high point as we build a connection to the club and the guys have done a fantastic job and worked really hard on this.

‘What we do is all about connecting communities through sports and bringing people together. So it’s great to see people engaging with the club in a positive manner.’