The youth development system for football in Singapore is set for a radical change next year, and it could hit the size of the talent pool.
In a bid to improve the development of talent and align the style of play with national coach Bernd Stange's vision for the national team, the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has introduced stringent criteria for the Centres of Excellence (COE) programme run by S-League clubs from next season.
Eight clubs currently have COEs, but The New Paper understands that only three - Warriors FC, Home United and Balestier Khalsa - are set to apply to run them next year.
The rest will almost certainly cease operations because they cannot meet the requirements.
Speaking to TNP on condition of anonymity, one COE coach said: "In the current system, there are a total of 24 teams across the clubs' COEs, but the new one will see just 18 teams.
"We already have a small talent pool, and this will mean that six squads' worth of players will stop getting a proper football education - and this can't be good for Singapore football."