Two young footballers earn training trip to QPR
Nuruddin and Effan earn week-long stint to Championship side in March
The overcast sky and rain was reminiscent of gloomy London weather, but it did nothing to dampen the spirits of 60 young local football talents from SportCares at the Jalan Besar Stadium yesterday.
Into its third year, the AirAsia-QPR Coaching Clinic Tour is back to inspire and unearth Asian football talent at the grassroots level and give back to the community.
In a partnership with the Football Association of Singapore, the youngsters aged between 14 and 17 trained under the watchful eyes of Queens Park Rangers coaches as they enhanced their skills and competency on the pitch by honing their ball manipulation, passing and shooting techniques.
In the end, Nuruddin Irsyad Samion and Effan Putra Ibrahim, both 15, were declared the best players of the clinic and won a week-long stint to the Championship club in Loftus Road.
In March in London, they will meet the QPR first team and train with their academy.
Nuruddin, a central midfielder from Crest Secondary School, said: "Today's clinic was a lot of fun and we picked up quite a few skills.
"I didn't expect to be selected as one of the two players to train with QPR, but I will make use of the opportunity to learn as much as possible and work towards my dream of becoming a national footballer."
Effan, a striker from Kranji Secondary School, added: "It was a shock to get this award because there were many good players today.
"I want to continue to improve my game, so to be able to train with the QPR coaches in London will be very good exposure. I'm looking forward to visiting the club, training with the academy and meeting the first team."
Community Trust's camp director Marton Chevannes was pleased with the potential he witnessed in Singapore.
He said: "We saw a lot of talented players on show. Our objective is to find these talents in Asia and unearth a star who can hopefully represent the QPR academy or the first team in time to come.
"This programme is into its third year as we have an ongoing relationship with AirAsia - a long-term commitment and strategy to give opportunities to young Asian footballers.
"Unfortunately, due to the bad weather, we had just a four-hour session today where we had a look at the players technical ability, attitude, levels of concentration, and whether they could play as a team.
"The players we have selected displayed qualities in these areas throughout today's clinic."
AirAsia is a subsidiary of Tune Group which owns QPR.
Loganathan Velaitham, CEO of AirAsia Singapore, said he hopes the AirAsia-QPR Coaching Clinic series, which also takes place in Thailand, Malaysia and China this month, will "continue to encourage and inspire the young talents to maximise their potential in the sport".
He added: "We are proud to once again collaborate with QPR in the Community Trust, to inspire young football talents in our region by providing them with the right platform, exposure and opportunity to showcase their skills."