News • April 23, 2018

B Div Boys schools enjoy enhanced match-day experience as Sports School triumphs again


All four teams on the final day of this year’s School Premier League 1 tournament were given the full suite of features that professional teams encounter in their matches 

Singapore Sports School triumphed against Meridian Secondary School once again.

SINGAPORE, 23 APRIL 2018 – The 2018 Singapore School Sports Council (SSSC) Football School Premier League (SPL) 1 Finals ‘B’ Division Boys tournament drew to a thrilling conclusion on Monday evening, as the Singapore Sports School were crowned champions for a second year running.

The Sports School edged Meridian Secondary School 2-0 at Our Tampines Hub (OTH) to win the title, with the match preceded by the third/fourth-placing game between Jurongville Secondary School and St. Patrick’s School, which the latter won 1-0.

Both matches were supported by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS), which provided the four teams and their supporters the full experience of a professional football match.

This included marching out to the FIFA Fair Play flag and FIFA match anthem, having a DJ and match emcee, as well as engaging the fans via a LED scoreboard.

The initiative is in line with the FAS’ desire to create greater affinity between the Singapore Premier League and schools for the overall development of football in Singapore.

The set-up proved to be a treat for all involved and Meridian’s Teacher-in-Charge, Mr. Muhammad Faisal, praised the initiative as a “good start” and hopes it will continue.

“I think it gives a sense of professionalism (to proceedings) and makes the boys feel good, because it’s as good as being at a real professional game (in Singapore),” he told FAS.

“I think it does wonders to the confidence level and it’s a good thing to be implemented. I think this year’s set-up is quite wonderful and if we have more of this (in future), it’s not only good for the boys, but also for the supporters to have the whole feel of a real game.”

Sports School Principal Mr. Tan Teck Hock concurred, noting that the crowd of over a thousand relished the final, which was also broadcast “live” on Mediacorp’s Toggle platform.

“I think the atmosphere is fantastic,” he told FAS. “I’m certain the match experience has been enhanced many times… I’ve enjoyed myself and I think everyone enjoyed themselves, so kudos to FAS for making this decision.

“You (FAS) can’t go wrong about connecting with the schools and grassroots because there are thousands of boys and girls out there who want to play. I think all we need to do is to be patient and be positive… focus on the student-athletes and players and we’ll see significant improvements (in future).”

The Meridian Secondary School supporters never stopped cheering their team on.

The intensity of play on the pitch certainly added to the fervent atmosphere in OTH, with all four schools playing their hearts out.

St Patrick’s, who finished third last year after beating Serangoon Garden Secondary, repeated the feat courtesy of Ryan Praveen Tamil Selven’s winner. The 16-year-old came on at half-time and stepped up to calmly fire in a penalty on 53 minutes for the only goal of the game.

In the final, which was a repeat of last year’s contest, Meridian failed to get the better of Sports School again despite dominating the first 20 minutes.

Sports School staged a late comeback to draw 2-2 and prevail 4-2 on penalties last year, but it was more straightforward this time after they weathered the early storm.

A precise lofted pass from Fathullah Rahmat set up Marc Ryan Tan to slot in the opener on 38 minutes, before Fathullah made sure of victory on 69 minutes with a superb solo run across half the pitch that was capped by a composed finish.

“It was a great ball from Fathullah, I made the run and the ball was just nice and everything was perfect,” Marc, 16, recalled.

“I had to score the goal; everyone was nervous and I think that calmed everyone down. I was ecstatic and over the moon.

“Everyone was so hyped in the dressing room, I think everyone played as a team; if you made a mistake, someone would cover up after you.”

Sports School Assistant Coach Shahrin Sharin paid tribute to his side for a hard-fought victory.

“Credit to Meridian, they did give us some anxious moments,” the 50-year-old said. “They were pushing us all the way to the very end, but we were able to get the goals that mattered at the right time.”

Sports School: Oliver Sim (GK), Brant Tan, Andrew Aw (C), Nur Adam Abdullah, Aniq Raushan, Iman Hakim Ibrahim, Abdul Rasaq, Sham Syed Mohamed (Aqil Dany Ruzzman 47′), Fathullah Rahmat, Ong Yu En, Marc Ryan Tan (Glenn Ong 80′).
Unused subs: Danial Iliya Khairuddin, Syarf Haqqani, Imran Zakariah, Christian Chiang, Ian Faris Shahrin, Hafizzuan Riduan.

Meridian: Khalis Aiman (GK), Raul Azfar (Abu Bakar Norhan 55′ (Danial Irhaz Ismadi 68′)), Ilhan Noor, Danial Azman, Lai Jia Jie, Afif Fikri, Danish Qayyum (C), Haziq Rosni, Haziq Kamarudin, Abdul Rauf (Zakaria Syari 61′), Izz Mohamed Hilqim.
Unused subs: Daniel Hidayat, Tan Yee Kern, Ezrafil Iman, Lutfi Haidi, Khairul Amirin, Kurniawan Eirwani.

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