A Possible Futsal Dream for Singapore
Although futsal is relatively a popular sport here in Singapore, most or if not, all Singaporeans in Singapore do not play on hard court, they play on artificial turf. However, there is one passionate futsal
Although futsal is relatively a popular sport here in Singapore, most or if not, all Singaporeans in Singapore do not play on hard court, they play on artificial turf. However, there is one passionate futsal lover in Singapore who plays it the authentic way, the professional way.
An avid street soccer player since young, 36 years old Jasper Richard Thomas grew up playing for various well-known amateur futsal teams. One of the futsal teams he represented was Dorset Boys, a strong amateur futsal team that won various national futsal tournaments & leagues from 2010 to 2015.
As his undying passion for the less popular 5-aside sport continues to grow, Jasper went for his AFC Futsal Level-1 Coaching Certification in Malaysia under the recommendation of Football Association of Singapore (FAS)’s Head of Coaching Development, Jita Singh in 2014. The former futsal’s anchorman did not disappoint anyone as he emerged as one of the top students in his class.
Upon returning to Singapore as the first professionally certified futsal coach, Jasper was quickly offered his first coaching job by Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT) futsal club. Concurrently, he continued to lead the Air Force futsal team to back-to-back championship victories in the Inter-Formation Chevrons 5-aside futsal tournament from 2014 – 2015 which he first won in year 2013 with the team. And this year, he led Singapore’s AIA Futsal Team to the third placing in the AIA Regional Championship in Hong Kong.
One of his key assignments after he had acquired his coaching license was the called up by FAS to be a futsal scout in 2016 as the team prepared to participate in the 2016 AFF Futsal Championship. The tournament was eventually postponed to January 2017 and Singapore pulled out of the tournament citing internal reason.
“It is a pity that futsal has never been part of the development plans under FAS. It is unknown to me as in why futsal has never been part of the development plans but take a look at the team that we had put together in less than 2 months for the AFF Futsal Championship 2015. The team did fairly well considering the limited preparation time they had. Now that the new committee has been formed, I know that futsal is going to be one of the key areas that they will look into developing. I seriously hope that the 5-aside game will kick off here in Singapore soon,” said Jasper.
In the meantime, while waiting for the futsal development plan to be launched, Jasper wasted no time as he went into professional futsal coaching – the first ever Singaporean futsal coach to be coaching overseas.
Currently on a 6 months contract, Jasper is overseeing the futsal training and development of the Under-8 to Under-16 of Sekolah Sepak Bola Bermuda (SSBB), also known as Bermuda FC in Batam, Indonesia. In fact, this overseas coaching stint was not the first for the outspoken coach. Prior to this, he was already coaching SMK Kartini High School in Indonesia.
So for a futsal coach working hard both domestically and overseas, what’s the next step for Singapore’s futsal?
“Honestly, I’m glad that more and more people are starting to be aware of the real (hard court) futsal now. We just need to get our act together. I know ActiveSG is working on something and FAS could work hand in hand with them. Shortage of facilities is never a concern as we have plenty of Sports Halls where indoor courts are available. I am also aware that a couple more qualified coaches had acquired their futsal coaching licenses after me too. That means some of us here are qualified enough to lead the new era. It is time for us to contribute to the development of futsal here which is known to have developed many good players around the world,” added Jasper.
So how about the next step for himself? The man said, “I have received an offer from a professional futsal club in Malaysia and currently in the midst of discussion with them. Till then, I will continue to work and learn whatever I can. So when opportunity comes, I will be ready not just for the futsal club, but also ready for my country as well.”