After almost a year of having to train via video conferencing sessions and subsequently in limited group numbers, the Singapore Women’s National ‘A’ Team can finally look forward to resuming full training from 2 June 2021.
This positive development came after permission was obtained by the FA of Singapore (FAS) to have our Lionesses take one step closer to football normalcy once more.
The 40 players will begin their training sessions after undergoing weekly polymerase chain reaction (PCR) swab tests, the first of which starts on 30 May 2021.
The cost of the tests will be borne by the FAS as the team looks to begin their preparations for upcoming international competitions towards the end of the year.
Women’s national team senior player, Ho Hui Xin, added, “To be able to resume full team training after almost one year is a fantastic feeling. It is the culmination of the hard work put in by the officials, coaches and the players as we stayed disciplined to keep up with training while adhering to the guidelines set by the government.
The team’s focus hasn’t changed – that is to represent Singapore on the international stage. As we prepare for the upcoming SEA Games, getting back to full team training is a much-needed boost and we will cherish this opportunity.”
This also spells good news for newly appointed coach Stephen Ng as the resumption of full team training would aid in his plans to prepare the team adequately.
At this present time, the Women’s National ‘A’ Team will be vying to be in contention to represent the nation at the upcoming Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in November, subject to government regulations in light of the Covid-19 situation.
Covid-19 measures have largely hampered the activities on the women’s front since the start of 2020.
Competitions such as the AFF U18 Women’s Championship, AFF U15 Girls’ Championship and AFF Women’s Championship had to be cancelled, with the FAS also downscaling the annual AFC Women’s Football Day.
However, the organisation rallied together and initiated the Women’s Panna Challenge last year – a tournament involving a 1 v 1 format which was in accordance with the restrictions set in place, to ensure football activities continue to be rolled out in innovative ways.
Whilst the pandemic has impacted the football scene over the last year, the FAS’ investment in women football saw a threefold increase over a four-year period since 2017, with events such as the AFC Women’s Football Day, FAS Girl Cubs Centres and FAS U12 Girls’ Festival becoming mainstays in the footballing calendar.
The FAS, with the aid of the FIFA Covid-19 Relief Grant specifically mandated for Women’s football, aims to further invest in our women’s game and women footballers in the coming years, details of which will be announced in due course.
On the latest progress, FAS General Secretary Yazeen Buhari said, “On this note, we are grateful to have gotten the necessary approvals from the authorities to have our women’s senior team to resume full training, so as to allow Head Coach Stephen to execute his session plans since coming onboard in March 2021. Women’s football is an integral part of our footballing ecosystem, hence boosting the investment, development and growth of the women’s game are fundamental and will continue to be key commitments of the FAS.” – www.fas.org.sg