They're the envy of friends

They're the envy of friends
Cheng Wee Yan and Lim Jun Sheng escorting Nicholas Leandro Velez and Shakir Hamzah.

Not everyone was able to watch the Singapore Selection taking on Italian football club Juventus FC at the Sports Hub last month.

Even fewer people were given the chance to speak to or go near their football heroes.

But Lim Jun Sheng, 11, and Cheng Wee Yan, 10, had arguably two of the best roles that a die-hard football fan of either team would want to be in: They were the escorts for the Singapore Team.

Jun Sheng escorted Singapore Selection player Nicholas Leandro Velez from Warriors FC and Wee Yan went onto the pitch with Lions XII player Shakir Hamzah.

The two boys were among 20 children aged 12 to 14 who were picked by Lakeside Children's Home, a beneficiary of Seiko Epson Corporation.

Lakeside Children's Home is a day-care centre that supervises primary schoolchildren, especially those from single-parent and low-income families.

Both were surprised at being picked.

"I was surprised that they picked me, but I had never been to a football stadium before and this was a great chance," said Wee Yan. Jun Sheng had also attended the Juventus Football Club Asia Pacific Tour 2014 Singapore Junior Football Clinic the day before the match.

"I was super nervous about escorting the players out before the entire match began," he said, adding that his jitters came from the fact that he was going to be on television.

But Wee Yan was unaffected and said he had been on a YouTube video and felt confident about escorting the players.

Both were the envy of their friends when the news that they were going to be the escorts broke in school.

Jun Sheng said: "One of my friends was, like, 'Oh my gosh, you got to go!?'"

Both boys were proud to have represented the Singapore Team.

"I felt very proud when I stood there on the field with the players," said Jun Sheng.

This article was first published on Sep 1, 2014.
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