Team Ng: Fresh perspectives needed to change local football
Ng and team want to change local football with fresh perspectives
Their team name alone paints a clear picture of what Bill Ng and Co want to achieve should they receive the mandate of the football fraternity at the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) election on April 29.
But, perhaps more importantly, Ng's Game Changers want a complete refashioning of thinking that they believe is a key reason that Singapore football is unable to keep up with the development of the sport worldwide.
One facet of that thinking is that those from outside football will not be able to take it forward.
"The perception that 'Only football people can serve football' is a relic," said Ng yesterday, in response to some factions pointing to two members in his team - Annabel Pennefather and Dr Teoh Chin Sim - who have little connection to local football.
"In today's modern sporting era, we need a combination of expertise, open minds, clear vision and communication to bring our beautiful game roaring into the new era," said Ng.
Pennefather comes with sports administration pedigree - she is a former Singapore Hockey Federation president who also sits on various committees on the International Association of Athletics Federations as well as the International Hockey Federation.
She strongly believes she brings more - in terms of experience in a national sports association (NSA) - to the table than any of the 34 candidates running for office.
"Overall, I see myself contributing especially in governance and compliance matters as I am very familiar with how NSAs are run and I shall bring my range of both international and local experience to support the Game Changers in all respects needed to run a successful and well-managed NSA," said the lawyer, who pointed to Fifa's appointment of United Nations (UN) official Fatma Samoura of Senegal as the first female secretary-general in Fifa's history in May last year.
"She will bring a fresh wind to Fifa, somebody from outside not somebody from inside, not somebody from the past. Somebody new, somebody who can help us do the right thing in the future," said Fifa president Gianni Infantino then.
Pennefather added: "That is exactly what I believe I can bring to the game. A fresh wind and new perspectives."
Dr Teoh is proving to be a different proposition - she brings her medical and sports science expertise to the table, after close contact with the sport over the years.
“In today’s modern sporting era, we need a combination of expertise, open minds, clear vision and communication to bring our beautiful game roaring into the new era.”Hougang United chairman Bill Ng, who is running for FAS presid
She provided medical coverage during the heady days of the Malaysia Cup, as well as at S.League matches later on.
She was also the Republic's chief medical officer at the 2015 South-east Asia Games.
"While I have no direct experience managing an NSA, I believe that being in touch with the ground is very important as a starting point. And this is where I hope to begin, given the opportunity," she said, pointing to her interactions with a broad spectrum of the football fraternity from club management individuals to medical staff, players and parents from both men's and women's teams.
Ng, a merger and acquisition specialist, believes that there is synergy in his team, one that can take football to a higher level - with expertise from beyond the sport.
"Change from within is sometimes too slow and eventually this is a common cause for downfall of modern companies, corporations and big giants," said Ng.
"This may be unorthodox, but we believe in bringing fresh perspectives, hearts, and minds, like Annabel and Dr Teoh, to the team.
"With both of them taking positions in the team, I am sure that they can contribute to Singapore football in an electrifying way.
"We, the Game Changers, recognise that a quick fix is not the solution here, and we had to think outside the box to look for the best qualified candidates."