After three days of action-packed football, the JSSL Singapore Professional Academy 7s has ended with 33 champions from 6 different countries walking away with trophies in their respective categories, ranging from (U-6 to Pro-16). In the Pro-16 category, Tottenham Hotspur FC claimed the title after a 1-0 win against Valencia CF. JSSL FC also won the Paul Parker Trophy after accumulating the most points from their top-placed teams.
Held at Our Tampines Hub, the tournament saw participation from more than 250 teams from 12 countries. Professional clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur FC, Valencia CF, JSSL FC, Bangkok United, Melbourne City FC and Johor Darul Ta’zim FC also featured in the tournament.
Day 1 of the JSSL Singapore Professional Academy 7s kicked off with JSSL FC facing Tottenham Hotspur FC in a game which saw the latter claim a decisive 3-0 victory. Led by Barcelona and Manchester City legend Yaya Toure, the Spurs Pro 16’s showed real intent right from the get-go starting the tournament in style. They finished off the day with another two wins against Bangkok United and Melbourne City FC winning 3-1 and 1-0 respectively. Day 2 saw a different story as they ended their day with a loss to Valencia CF (0-2) and a draw against Johor Darul Ta’zim FC (1-1).
The script was reversed for Valencia CF with the Spanish club recording stalemates against Melbourne City FC (0-0) and Johor Darul Ta’zim FC (0-0) on the first day before a five-star performance on Day 2 with two convincing wins against Tottenham Hotspur FC (2-0) and Bangkok United (5-0).
Both clubs carried their strong form into the last day with high-scoring Quarter-Finals against the winner and the runner-up of the Boys’ 16 category; Valencia CF – Lion City Sailors B (7-0); and Tottenham Hotspur FC – Vachiralai (5-0). The semi-finals were fought out between the pro clubs and both Valencia CF and Tottenham Hotspur FC progressed through to the final with 1-0 wins against Melbourne City Boys and Bangkok United Boys respectively.
The final kept the crowd on the edge of their seats with both teams displaying attractive attacking football before Timileyin Adekunle of Tottenham Hotspur FC broke the deadlock with his goal late into the match. It proved to be the winning goal for the North London club and he said, “Winning the competition feels surreal, that’s the only way to describe it to be honest. I just cut in, hit with my left foot, hoped for the best then all glory to God for letting it in. We had a little bump when we played against Valencia the last time we were here. Actually they beat us 2-0 in the group stages. But we took that as motivation, used it and you can see the result when we used it.”
This year’s Guest-of-Honour Michael Carrick was full of praise for the youth players, “The JSSL Singapore Professional Academy 7s is a great event for the sport. It has all the right elements to bring out the best in the footballing youth. Over three days of competition, I’ve seen the passion and the drive from the teams to go out there and do their best. Competitions and opportunities like these provide them with the best platform to learn and improve their footballing ability, and most importantly to enjoy the beautiful game.”
Harvey Davis, Owner and Founder of JSSL commented, “After a hiatus of three years, it is great to see the teams back on the pitch and the crowds in the stands. Our mission is to get as many children who love the sport to play football in an environment that encourages personal growth and friendly competition. We have more than 250 teams from 12 countries playing high quality football and learning from some of the best professional teams in the world. We hope this experience will inspire the youth footballing community to dream bigger, play harder and fall deeper in love with this beautiful sport.”
The JSSL Singapore Professional Academy 7s will make a return in 7 – 9 April 2023 with participation from even more teams and countries.
For more information about the tournament, click here.