Singapore teens earn Valencia stint
Christmas came early for 17 young footballers and four coaches yesterday, as they left for a week-long Singapore Olympic Foundation-Peter Lim Amunt Valencia Football Camp in Spain.
Nine of the students, aged 14 and 15, who hail from Crest Secondary School, are recipients of the Singapore Olympic Foundation-Peter Lim Scholarship, and are accompanied by two school coaches.
They were part of the Crest football team that finished second in the 2014 National Schools 'C' Division Championship.
The other eight student-athletes and two coaches come from Northlight School and St Joseph's Institution (International).
"I am very excited to participate in the camp. I can't wait to train under the Valencia coaches, and I hope that I will be able to improve my football skills after this experience," said Muhd Zamanuriki Mohd Zamnuri, 15, of Crest.
"I am very grateful to the Singapore Olympic Foundation, Mr Peter Lim and Valencia CF for this special opportunity.
"I would also like to thank my school principal, my football CCA teachers and teammates for their support."
Valencia, who recently appointed former Manchester United and England star Gary Neville as manager, are currently eighth in the La Liga standings.
The training camp, from today to Dec 21, will be held at the GloVal Academy at the Valencia CF Sports City.
Other than training, participants will also play a friendly match against Monte Gion Football Club, go on a stadium tour, and watch the La Liga match between Neville's Los Che and Getafe at the Mestalla on Saturday.
Valencia were bought over by Singapore billionaire Lim in August last year and the team finished fourth last season to qualify for the Champions League this term.
They were knocked out of Europe's elite club competition last week and dropped into the Europa League.
SOF chairman Ng Ser Miang said: "We are very pleased that our scholarship recipients have the opportunity to participate in the football camp."
"We hope this experience will encourage them to aspire to greater heights in sports and we hope they will enjoy the Valencian hospitality and culture," added Ng, who is also the Valencia CF Foundation president and a director at the Spanish club.