Monday, May 6, 2013

Home to set up academy

Home United announced  plans to set up an academy after the Bishan club won the bid to secure a 2.5ha plot of land at  Mattar Road.

The S-League club beat five other parties and will pay the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) a whopping monthly rent of S$31,900.

Their offer was the second-highest submitted to the authorities and almost twice the guiding bid price.

According to the SLA document, the site’s tenure is for “3 years + 3 + 2 or less”. It is next to MacPherson Primary School and adjacent to the Downtown Line’s Mattar MRT Station.

This makes the 1999 and 2003 league champions, who are currently fourth in the S-League, the first local professional club to have a property they can develop freely for their own use.

In a statement released, Home United said the club will develop the site for “its own centralised professional training facility for its S-League, Prime League and Centre of Excellence age-group teams”.

The rented property will not be entirely closed to the public as the club plan to generate income from the futsal pitches they will be installing there.

But the youth football academy — which will be called the HUFC Youth Football Academy (HYFA) — is expected to be the key attraction and HUFC hope it will help nurture budding young talents for a career in professional football, and to guide “youths to be upright, law-abiding and responsible persons”.

The club added that the academy will have an accredited and certified football programme.

“HYFA will design and implement a syllabus where students are professionally coached and follow a structured, coordinated and progressive philosophy, and where academic pursuits will always be of paramount importance,” said the statement.

“It will also be a platform to encourage youths, especially youths-in-need, back to the classroom in order to excel in a sport that is most widely played in Singapore.”

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