Sablon wants a S'pore style of play
At a briefing session yesterday on the FAS Cubs Programme that will be launched tomorrow, FAS technical director Michel Sablon conceded that there is no distinct style of play here.
He also felt that local players still had to improve on coordination and technical ability.
Bearing that in mind, he unveiled the 187-page FAS grassroots manual, which contains the Belgian's philosophy and vision of the kind of football coaching for children from six years old.
The manual is intended to help youngsters enjoy learning to play football, and pick up the basic technical skills, while also highlighting running, climbing and general basic coordination, along with social values.
Key to the success is the launch of the People Association (PA) Children's Football Programme, which aims to add 28 venues in Community Sports Clubs and five grassroots centres islandwide by this year to get more youngsters to play the game.
Sablon revealed that the FAS will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the PA by the end of this month to facilitate the arrangement, which targets at least 2,000 kids per week playing football in two 90-minute sessions on weekends.
The FAS also aims to have two coaches attending to each group of 30 kids per session, and a head coach to oversee operations for each centre. These coaches are required to have a Grassroots Certificate and some of the current coaches have just completed the AFC "C" Coaching Certificate courses.
The 68-year-old Belgian said: "We have a vision to prepare the next generation of Singapore football.
"In a few years, I hope we will be able to play a Singaporean style of football, based on the quality and availability of players.
"It will be an offensive type of football with a positive mindset where the players go on to the pitch with confidence and try to win games.
"The main thing is to build from behind, good passing football and create our own Singaporean style of play. In order to achieve this, we have to start from the base, and the base is the grassroots."
The manual comprises the first of the three pillars - grassroots, elite youth and coach education - of the new FAS youth development plan; starting with children aged six to nine, and moving up to what Sablon says is the golden age of 10 to 13.
Sablon is all for innovation, like introducing kick-ins instead of throw-ins that are not properly executed or received during training.
He added: "For the golden age, the technical training sessions are most important. We have to start with coordination. We see today that some players are still missing this coordination... and they lose time, energy and technical vision.
"This is a very crucial period for technical abilities, and (with the implementation of this manual), we hope to see the weaknesses disappear in the 15- and 16-year-olds over the next few years."