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Tue, Jun 01, 2010
The New Paper
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Let your kids get their kicks
by Joanne Soh

YOUR kid could be the next Wayne Rooney.

Well, maybe.

Four coaches from Manchester United will be in Singapore next week to teach children aged seven to 18 how to play football the Manchester United way.

Called the Live, Train & Play The United Way, this five-day football camp is jointly organised by the Manchester United Soccer Schools (MUSS) and Geylang Serai Constituency Sports Club.

Mrs Theresa Madlangbayan McBean chanced upon the football clinic while surfing the People’s Association website looking for children’s holiday programmes, and immediately registered her seven-year-old son Dylan for the clinic.

“Dylan really enjoys playing football. He’s interested in other sports too, but he chooses to play football as it’s the most accessible to him,” said the 42-year-old mother of two.

The Filipino-born Canadian moved to Singapore four months ago, after living in Shanghai for five years.

“Dylan was enrolled in this programme called Active Kidz in Shanghai where he played in a soccer team called Manchester United,” she said.

“Not because they are huge fans of the club, but because each team is named after a team from Europe.”

Mr and Mrs McBean do not play football, but are “very sporty” people, and have always encouraged their kids to try out different sports.

“Dylan has tried out golf, wushu, gymnastics, ice-skating, but he says it’s football that he wants to pursue.”

Mrs McBean also plans to enrol Dylan in the Yew Tee Children’s Football League since they live in the Choa Chu Kang area.

“Football is all about having fun,” she said.

“Signing Dylan up for the football clinic is not so much about mastering skills. I want him to learn about camaraderie, discipline and sportsmanship.”

Improve his skills

However, for Mr Khusi Man Thapa who has enrolled his son Dilrup, 13, in the same football clinic, the objective is help his son improve his football skills.

“Dilrup is very interested in football. He wants to become a very good player,” said Mr Thapa, a British national.

The 36-year-old technical adviser signed Dilrup up for the Live, Train & Play The United Way programme because they are both “Man U fans and coaches from the UK will be here to train the children”.

Both father and son play football every Sunday, and Dilrup is part of the Kovan Community Centre Little League.

“I hope Dilrup can pick up some good football skills and techniques at the soccer clinic,” said Mr Thapa.

“When I was a boy, I didn’t have the chance to learn to play football properly. Now I want to give him the opportunity to be exposed to these football courses.”

MUSS Singapore started in December 2008. Courses usually take place during the school holidays.

It is currently into its fifth course.

Mr Abdur Raheem, the representative of MUSS South East Asia, hopes to make Singapore the base for MUSS in the region.

The soccer camp, which will run from June 1 to 5 at Tanjong Katong Secondary School, will focus on techniques such as dribbling, turning, short passing, receiving and control, finishing, defending and football fitness.

“The syllabus comes from Manchester United Football Club itself,” said Mr Raheem.

Premium price

But at $498, the football camp is rather pricey compared with other football clinics that are available during the June school holidays.

Mr Raheem admitted that while the price is slightly on the high side, one has to “take into consideration we’re flying down four coaches from Man U”.

“As you know, Man U is a premium brand. And this is an authentic course.”

For more information on Live, Train & Play The United Way football clinic, visit, or register at Geylang Serai CC.


This article was first published in The New Paper.

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