The School Football Academies (SFAs) are an integral part of the Unleash The Roar! national football project.
Officially launched in July 2022, the pilot project involves 10 secondary schools: Montfort, Sengkang, Singapore Sports School, Anglo-Chinese (Barker), Queensway, Serangoon Garden, Meridian, St Patrick's, Assumption English and Jurongville.
The SFAs serve as a key pipeline to produce young players with sound technical ability. Young footballers at the SFA get an unrivalled training experience:
training up to four times a week, up from the usual two
extensive use of sports science to get the best training outcomes
increased competition both locally and internationally
opportunities to be sent for overseas attachments
all within the confines of a Ministry of Education school where equally important emphasis will also be placed on academics
Student footballers will be drilled in a modern approach to the game in accordance with the National Football Curriculum. Under the National Football Philosophy, the plan is to develop a Singapore style of play - one that is possession-based, high-tempo and will allow future Singapore national players and teams to compete better in the international arena.
The SFAs will be helmed by coaches from Spain, through a partnership with Spanish top-tier league LaLiga and Singapore.
Let’s meet the coaches who will help Unleash The Roar! for Singapore football.
Angel Toledano Flores, Head Coach
Angel has been developing talents in the elite football scene for more than 10 years and boasts an impressive resume. He had stints at FC Barcelona’s academy in Spain, Singapore, San Diego and New York where he held roles such as Head Coach and Technical Director. He was most recently in China where he was assistant coach for China’s national Under-16 team. He was also the assistant coach for Tianjin Tianhai FC in the Chinese Super League where he coached former wonderkid Alexandre Pato.
Jaime Serra, Head Coach
Jaime Serra boasts a wealth of experience coaching at both the senior and youth levels. His most recent stint was as assistant manager for the Real Madrid C.F. women’s team, where they secured a dramatic comeback victory to achieve Champions League qualification. He holds several qualifications including a UEFA PRO License and a PhD in Sport and Health Sciences. He was also the assistant coach of the Chinese U-15 National team in 2018 and the head coach for La Liga’s international projects in 2017.
Javier Munoz, Head Coach
Javier Munoz holding a Uefa Pro license and a Bachelor in Sports Science, focuses on high performance and youth development and has worked with football teams in Spain, China and many other countries. Most notably, he served as coach of Atletico de Madrid’s Under-14 and Under-18 teams. He is familiar with guiding Asian players, having previously been technical director of the Tianjin Football Association and head coach of the Qingdao Red Lions in China. Javier was also technical director and coach of La Liga Academy Indonesia, working with players from 8 to 16 years old.
Luis Martinez, Head Coach
Luis Martinez has vast experience coaching youth across several age groups both in Spain and South Africa. He played a key role in not only managing his teams, but also developing training methodologies. With a Masters degree in sports science and a specialisation in football, Luis is also well-equipped to design and implement training programmes that aim to help youth achieve their full potential as athletes.
Ruben Gomez, Head Coach
Despite football being one of his greatest passions, Ruben Gomez started his working career in banking, then teaching before his love for football finally brought to the beautiful game. He has worked as the head coach of a number of Spanish youth teams, including Real Racing Club, where he was their Under-11 head coach for the last two years.
Nasaruddin Bin Abdul Jalil, Head Coach
A former national footballer Nasaruddin Abdul Jalil has been coaching for over 20 years and earned an AFC Professional Coaching Diploma. Before joining the SFA, he was Head of Youth at Balestier Khalsa FC. He was also a Asian Football Confederation Development Officer, focusing on youth development in the Asean region. Nasaruddin was also an associate lecturer at Ngee Ann Polytechnic for the Sports and Wellness module on football from 2005 - 2021. He also worked with ITE College Central on its Football for Fitness programme.
Toni Alvarez, Head Coach
In addition to being accredited with a UEFA PRO Licence, Toni Alvarez has also held coaching and leadership roles in football in several countries including Spain, England, the United States, China and Thailand. His practical and theoretical knowledge of coaching youth football stems from responsibilities such as leading coaching seminars, football camps and scouting programmes. He was RCD Mallorca’s Under-19 head coach as well as an International Academy Coach for LaLiga.
Teng Wei Ken, Head Coach
Ken has been the Head Coach at Singapore Sports School since its inception in 2004. Transited to full-time football coaching from a Physical Education and Sports Science background. Has worked for decades in the area of elite youth development.
Shahrin Shari , Senior Coach
Shahrin Shari holds an AFC 'A' Licence and has been at the Singapore Sports School for over 15 years. A former teacher, he has been involved in elite youth development coaching for over 20 years, in schools, clubs and national youth teams.
Isa Halim, Coach
Isa Halim needs no introduction. A former International with 64 caps for Singapore, captain of the LionXII and SEA Games team, Isa was a mainstay in some of the more successful years in Singapore football. He now wears the hat of coach at the Singapore Sports School.
Miur Rafik Taha, Coach
A former elite youth player, Miur Rafik Taha has been coaching with various Singapore Premier League clubs for over 10 years. Has also been an assistant coach with the national age-group teams.
Han Yiguang, Assistant Coach
A former footballer in Singapore’s professional league, Han Yiguang is an experienced youth coach, having coached elite youth squads at several Singapore Premier League clubs for over a decade. Prior to joining the SFA coaching team, he was the Head of Youth Development at Hougang United Football Club. He holds a Bachelor of Sports and Physical Education with a Minor in Psychology.