S'pore's best football talenst for Clairefontaine

S'pore's best football talenst for Clairefontaine
From left, FAS general secretary Winston Lee, FAS president Zainudin Nordin, FFF vice-president Bernard Desumer and FFF head of international relations Alain Casteran exchange jerseys after their MOU signing ceremony. The partnership will be for four years.

The likes of Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka and Louis Saha honed their talents at France's top football academy Clairefontaine and young Singaporeans could soon be headed there for training too.

This option has opened up after the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) and French Football Federation (FFF) signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday.

Under the four-year agreement, they will organise regular exchanges involving coaches, referees, officials and youth players.

These will centre on youth development, coaches' education, referees' training and tapping on FFF's expertise in administration.

FAS president Zainudin Nordin, who was appointed to a third two-year term as the supremo last week, said work is under way to identify youngsters to be sent to France.

"This partnership will see to provide opportunities for our talented young players to train at Clairefontaine, which has produced great footballing legends.

"Youth development is one of the key areas we have pinned down and we will ensure that it will happen."

FAS general secretary Winston Lee said youngsters under consideration include Mahathir Azeman, currently with Brazilian club Boavista, and the two oldest sons of Singapore football great Fandi Ahmad - Irfan and Ikhsan.

"This is not a paper exercise," Zainudin emphasised. "There will be solid activity between the FAS and FFF."

FFF vice-president Bernard Desumer, on his part, is convinced they have a good partnership. "It will be alive with sharing and exchanges between the two associations. In football, we call that the 'one-two'.

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