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One for the future
Stanley Ho
Fri, Mar 27, 2009
The New Paper

HE IS just 17, but already he has all the basic tricks of the trade to become a top professional footballer.

Stanely (spelt this way) Ng Yong Woo is by no means the finished article, but he is getting close.

Last Friday, the ITE Clementi student beat 79 other youths at the Marina Bay Floating Platform to win the Nike Ignite Challenge.

Stanely, a Singapore Sports School graduate and a member of the Singapore national under-17 squad, was rated 'the most complete player' at the event.

The challenge pits participants against one another in four skills station - Speed, Touch, Control and Precision.

'I am quite surprised that I won,' said the young winger.

'I saw several good players at the event and just thought that I'll have a good go at the skills stations.

'I wasn't expecting anything. I just wanted to know where I stood among the best.'

Stanely more than gave it a good go.

He came up tops in the Speed station, and was among the top three in the other categories.

Former Singapore international Abdullah Noor, the head coach presiding over the Challenge, was impressed.

'Overall, Stanely has all the attributes to be a very good player. He is definitely one to watch for the future,' said Noor, who had coached Stanely at the Singapore Sports School.

'He is a very good dribbler, very fast and has lots of tricks with his feet.

'His first touch is good and he has a sound reading of the game - rare for a boy his age.

'If you give him the opportunity to play at a higher level, he will improve even further.

'Given the right guidance, Stanely will have a good career in professional football and the national team.'

Not that Stanely was thinking so far ahead when he first joined the Challenge.

'I just tried my best,' said the teenager, who honed his skills from countless hours of street soccer when he was a boy.

'Of course, at the back of my mind, I was hoping to win some Nike prizes as my boots were torn.'

That part of his dream did come true.

New boots

For winning the Speed station, Stanely won himself a gleaming pair of Nike Mercurial Vapors soccer boots.

And for winning the overall challenge, Stanely went home with the grand prize - $1,000 worth of Nike products.

'Wow, that's enough to last me for a long time,' said the shy boy, whose favourite player is Liverpool star Fernando Torres.

His peers did not go home empty-handed as well, as they each received goodie bags worth $50.

What was even more valuable was the coaching tips and advice from national footballers like Indra Sahdan, John Wilkinson and Daniel Bennett.

The Lions stars were at the event to share their experience with the boys.

'It was great learning from these national players on how to hone our basic skills,' said Woodlands Wellington youngster Rhaimy Rosli, 17.

'It was also good to find out which areas of my game that I need to improve on.'

For Stanely, his triumph at the Ignite Challenge has further fuelled his dream of pursuing a career in football.

'Playing in the S-League with the Young Lions team. And playing for the national team,' said the teenager as he listed his targets.

With all the skills he possesses, Stanely is more than likely to meet them.

THE WINNERS

  • SPEED

    Stanely Ng Yong Woo, 17

  • TOUCH

    Muhd Rozaime, 16

  • CONTROL

    Mohd Fadlib Kamis, 17

  • ACCURACY

    Syafiq Hadi, 16

  • OVERALL

    Stanely Ng Yong Woo

     

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