Duric heads new ActiveSG Football Academy To Develop Young Players and Promote Football

Singapore , 30 Jan 2016

Sport Singapore (SportSG) announced today the appointment of Aleksandar Duric as Head of a new ActiveSG Football Academy that would be launched in the coming months.  The Academy would be designed to provide greater access and opportunities for Singaporean boys and girls to enrol in an affordable and good quality football programme.  The programme would not only develop fundamental football knowledge and skills, but would be age appropriate and designed to nurture valuable life skills.

Welcoming Duric on-board, Mr Lim Teck Yin, Chief Executive Officer of SportSG said, “Duric epitomises the ethos of the ActiveSG Football Academy. He is a living testament and role model for the values and belief in the purposefulness of sport for the development of our youth.  His long term involvement in elite sport testifies to the indomitable spirit that has enabled him to sustain himself and succeed, and he is the best person to share and pass down his experience and commitment to Singapore through the “beautiful game.”  He has joined us because he wants to give back to this country and Singapore football.”

Aleksandar Duric will commence work as the principal of the Academy from 01 February 2016. In his role, Duric will be in charge of assembling and managing a team of partners and coaches for delivering the Academy’s programmes, as well as shaping its culture and characteristics.

Relishing the challenge, Mr Duric says, “I am truly honoured and humbled to be given this opportunity to serve Singapore through what I love most – football. I am looking forward to working with the ActiveSG team to create an academy where every Singaporean child, regardless of ability or background, will be given the opportunity to learn how to play football and to develop and sustain their passion for football throughout their youth. Additionally, the target of the academy is to also contribute to increasing the local talent pool of footballers in the country and to give our local football scene the boost it needs.”

Mr Lim believes that the new academy will not only complement, but further enhance the existing youth football development programmes in the country. 

“We have studied the national football landscape. Through our discussions with stakeholders, we recognise that there is a large potential to increase the number of children and youth playing the sport. We are basically ensuring that anyone who wants to learn, play and develop through football would have access and opportunity to do so through a well-designed and progressive programme.  The introduction of the ActiveSG Football Academy will serve to bridge gaps in the market, expand the participation base and contribute to growing the ecosystem of players, coaches, officials, volunteers, spectators and fans of the sport,” Mr Lim added.

The ActiveSG Football Academy will work with different stakeholders including the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and schools to build alignment across the entire youth development pathway for “recreational-competitive” and elite athletes.

Mr Michel Sablon, FAS Technical Director, who was involved in the discussions on the Academy agrees that it is a positive move for the future of Singapore football. 

Mr Sablon said, “Developing and raising the profile of football at a young age requires collective and sustained effort from all partners. We are very happy to collaborate with ActiveSG to create more opportunities for our young people to play football. ActiveSG Football Academy definitely supports our vision and ongoing efforts in widening our reach to our children and youths. We are pleased to support and work with them on this important project.”

The Academy will be adopting the FAS Grassroots Manual, conceived by Sablon, as its core syllabus and subscribe to FAS’ coach education system as part of its coach development pathway. The Academy will also be built on SportSG’s expertise in the area of leadership and character development through sport to underscore the importance of athletes being leaders and team players on and off the field.  

“When it comes to age-group football, it is not enough to just focus on the technical aspect of the training. Here at the ActiveSG Football Academy, we also intend to instill important values such as discipline, respect and teamwork in our trainees, as well as equip them with life skills such as communication and problem-solving skills. This philosophy will also come into play when we search for suitable coaches for the academy,” said Mr Duric.

The ActiveSG Football Academy will be the first of many initiatives in 2016 under the Vision 2030 master plan to get Singaporeans to live better through sport.  More information will be released in due course about the programmes that will be available island wide.

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