Sporting Lisbon’s Abel Ferreira Speaks Youth Football
Capped 234 times for Sporting Lisbon at the top division before he retired in 2011. Current Sporting Lisbon U-19 head coach Abel Ferreira is in town, leading his team in the inaugural NexLions Cup 2012.
Capped 234 times for Sporting Lisbon at the top division before he retired in 2011. Current Sporting Lisbon U-19 head coach Abel Ferreira is in town, leading his team in the inaugural NexLions Cup 2012. Junpiter Futbol manage to catch up with the Portuguese coach after a training session with Singapore’s National Football Academy (NFA) young players.
JPF: Sporting Lisbon will be facing fellow European teams, Manchester United and Liverpool in this NexLions Cup, what do you think of these two clubs compared to Sporting Lisbon?
AF: Both Manchester United and Liverpool are very good clubs in Europe. And financially, these two clubs are very healthy where they can possibly get any good players in Europe. Unfortunately, this is not the kind of luxury which Sporting can enjoy. We will have to work hard and develop our young players from the academy.
JPF: Majority of the media’s attention is on Manchester United and Liverpool in this NexLions Cup, what do you think of that?
AF: I know that. I know everybody wants a Manchester United-Liverpool final, I told my players the same thing too. Well, Sporting is not here for vacation. We agreed to join this tournament because this is a good challenge for my boys. Be it training or game, every minute and every second, Sporting will do its best to win.
JPF: What do you think of Singapore’s football and how can we improve further?
AF: Especially after today’s training session with the NFA players, I feel that Singapore’s football is not that bad. I can see some good players around. It will be fantastic if we can open a Sporting Lisbon academy here in Singapore. We can share Sporting’s football philosophy to young Singaporean players too. And also, there’s no other way than to keep training hard. Most of the young players are glued to playstation these days but we must let them know that improvement only comes from actual training. In Sporting academy, sometimes we train up to twice a day.
JPF: Any advice for our readers who aspire to be a professional footballer?
AF: Train more and train well. Remember, it is not about the quantity but focus on quality. Stay focus on your training, slowly move up the rank, be patient and you will be there.