SINGAPORE - A record 120 teams turned up for the Junior Football School & League (JSSL) Singapore International Football 7s last year.
But this time round, organisers JSSL-Arsenal are set to eclipse that figure with a bountiful 142 teams from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and eight other Asian countries.
JSSL-Arsenal have also expanded the number of participating age groups, from seven to nine for the annual seven-a-side youth football tournament at the Padang on Saturday and Sunday.
The boys' competition will feature six age groups, Under-9, U-10, U-12, U-13 and U-15, while the girls will have three age groups, U-11, U-13 and U-15.
JSSL-Arsenal's general manager Harvey Davis said yesterday: "Demand for this competition has been steadily growing year on year.
"We're in our third year now and, each time, the feedback has been very good. So we're more than happy to give the public what they want, and also to rope in new fans."
The JSSL Singapore International 7's is Asia's largest youth football tournament, with up to 15,000 people expected to be in attendance this weekend.
Using a global city like Singapore as their hub, the impressive growth in numbers hasn't surprised the organisers.
"We have the quality and level of professionalism to make something like this work," said Davis.
"It takes dedicated people to run something like this and our philosophy is to develop children to grow and perform to the best of their abilities."
The group stages will be played tomorrow with the knockout rounds and finals on Sunday.
Interested parties can visit www.jssl-singapore7s.com for more information
This article was first published on March 13, 2015.
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