The inaugural Epson Singapore Cup, a grassroots football competition for the Under-15 age group, took place over two weekends on the 3rd and 10th September 2016 at SAFRA Tampines. The U-15 preliminary matches took place on the 3rd September 2016 and the quarter finals, semi finals and final took place on the 10th September 2016. Due to insufficient qualified entries, the proposed U-17 preliminary matches that were supposed to be played on 4th September 2016 were cancelled.

b47x4225

Football is not just a sport that I played when I was growing up as a young kid, playing under the common corridor ground floor of the HDB block, basketball courts, schools and fields, football meant a lot to me, as a fan and supporter of this sport. When I knew about Epson organising the inaugural Singapore Cup, bringing grassroots football back to the community as part of their corporate service responsibility (CSR) initiatives, I was happy to hear about what they were planning to do for the youth and the football community in Singapore.

b47x4206

I went down on 3rd September, covering and photographing the preliminary matches by the U-15 teams. The Epson Singapore Cup in 2016 was their maiden debut , there were 10 U-15 teams playing it out for the knock out rounds next week on the 10th September. Although there were not too many football teams participating, it was still a good competition whereby the boys had fun and enjoyed themselves on the football fields.

b47x4500

When I was watching the boys playing football on the football pitches, it brought me back to my school days, when I just loved playing football after school and even during recess time (primary school days). This was also the time when I really enjoyed playing football, fun and carefree.

b47x4519

Due to a clash of events and a photography assignment on 10th September, I wasn’t able to come down to watch, document and photograph the knock out matches. I would share some photographs and updates provided by Epson Singapore and Asia PR Werkz for the coverage on 10th September.

How did the knock out matches leading to the final turned out on 10th September? Let me share with you some of the key points –

The morning started with a briefing from Head Coach of Geylang International FC (GIFC) Hasrin Jailani, who advised them to watch the shape and formation of their teams as they play, balance between playing as a team and showcasing their individual skills, and display good sportsmanship. GIFC players Isa Halim and Mark Hartmann spoke to the teams, encouraging them to go the extra mile to push themselves to win, respect the officials and other teams, and enjoy the game. Teams who made it to the quarter finals were subsequently briefed by local football legends Lionel Lewis and S Subramani, to better prepare them for the matches. Team “Valentia C.F” emerged the winner after a nail-biting battle with hot favourites “Team Alpha” tied at 0:0, and a penalty shootout of 3:2 ensued.

epson-sg-cup-match-shots-2 Photo courtesy of Epson Singapore

Title Sponsor Epson Singapore was encouraged by the results of the tournament. “As our first Epson Singapore Cup, we are encouraged and impressed by the mettle, skills and sportsmanship the teams have shown on the field. For our young champion, I wish them all the best and may the training stint bring them a step closer towards excellence in football. For the rest of the participants, I believe their dedication will not go unnoticed, and continue to pursue their passion and dreams in football,” said Ms. Tan May Lin, Epson Singapore’s General Manager (Sales, Marketing & Customer Service Division).

Source: Epson Singapore press release

epson-sg-cup-photo-2

Photo courtesy of Epson Singapore

The organisers will be reviewing the tournament and will announce subsequently if they will continue with this competition for next year. On a personal note, I really hope they will continue with the Epson Singapore Cup for year 2017. I support this grassroots level football competition, it’s an excellent initiative to grow our local football scene, and we need the changes to our local Singapore football scene. Starting from the grassroots, the foundation and base of the Singapore society, this is where we should and we must start from.

epson-sg-cup-photo-7

Photo courtesy of Epson Singapore

Oh yes, I would to congratulate Team Valentia C.F for winning the inaugural Epson Singapore Cup! Have a fun learning and training stint experience at the prestigious Valencia C.F Soccer School in Singapore.