Football mania at the Padang

After two days, 142 teams and over 2,000 players from 13 countries, the third edition of Asia's largest youth football tournament came to a rousing end on Sunday in front of more than 15,000 spectators.

For the first time since its inception in 2013, seven different clubs emerged as champions in nine different age categories - six boys' and three girls' - at the JSSL Singapore International 7s, which was held at the Padang over the weekend.

Three new age groups featured in this year's tournament, bringing the number of teams up from 120 to 142.

Players ages ranged from 9 to 15, and just like they did last time out, JSSL Arsenal Singapore retained the Paul Parker Trophy to once again become the continent's top youth football club after they registered the most top-five placements across all the age groups.

That gave them a total of 54 points, comfortably clear of nearest challengers ANZA Singapore with 46 points.


Harvey Davis, managing director of organisers JSSL Arsenal Singapore, said: "It makes me really happy to see the tournament grow even bigger year after year. It was a fantastic weekend and I hope everyone had fun."

Davis wants to see the tournament grow even bigger, with an extra day of competition introduced in the future.

"I'm looking at expanding the tournament from a two-day event to a total of three days," he said.

"Demand has been growing tremendously and we hope to add even more teams to the roster, possibly from overseas.

"We're hoping to run the event into the evening as well, to let the kids play under floodlights.

"That would be cool."

This article was first published on March 17, 2015.
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