Milan open door for kids

Milan open door for kids

Singapore is set to become the fifth location in East Asia for a Milan Football School (MSS) - an extension of the training academy of Italian giants AC Milan.

The school will begin operations at the Rainforest Sports Hub located at Turf City on Jan 18.

The Serie A giants are so serious that a club technical director will posted to the school while the latest sports science equipment will be shipped in to monitor player development.

The data collected will be sent back to the club's Milanello training grounds, allowing Milan to keep a watchful eye on local youngsters from Italy.

Apart from having opportunities to be selected for Milan Junior activities abroad, the technical director will handpick outstanding individuals who will receive training stints with Milan's academy players in Italy.

Aside from scouting young talent in Singapore and South-east Asia and helping them realise their football potential, the Rossoneri want to have a hand in developing their young charges as people.

Speaking at the school's soft launch at the Ristorante Da Valentino at Turf City yesterday, MSS's global project manager Silvio Broli said: "We choose partners only when they match our philosophy and methodology.

"Only one child out of 400,000 will arrive at a top club in Europe and, while we can develop very good football players with our programme, we want them first and foremost to be very good men.

"We want them to learn sports culture through football, which is just a piece of life."

As with previous launches of MSS branches, Milan fans can expect to see Milan legends like Franco Baresi here for the school's grand opening soon after Jan 18.

Basic school fees are expected to start from $200 a month with a full intake of around 250 students.

Aside from improving players, MSS also intends to work with local coaches to improve standards.

The school has plans to double its current training staff, which consists of five full trainers - including freestyle footballer Terry Lee of the Urban Street Team and former national women's player Nur Azureen Abdul Rahman - and two assistants.

CHALLENGES

The MSS will be looking to tackle some of the unique challenges faced by young Singaporean footballers.

Joe Keiser, who will oversee MSS operations here, said: "We have to try and give the Singapore children as strong a developmental foundation as we can within the limited amount of time that they have.

"This means an increase in intensity and upgrading to modern techniques and philosophies that are available in the European environment or places where football is a big part of life.

"In Singapore, football is a big part of life also, but everything else is also a big part of life, so this is where AC Milan fits in."


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