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.
Mohamed Afiq Mohamed Yahya, Assistant Coach
A former national Under-21 winger Mohamed Afiq Mohamed Yahya has been involved in the sport since he was a child, representing clubs at from the Under-16 to the Under-21 levels. He has nearly a decade of coaching experience, including leading the Chelsea FC International Development Centre Singapore and was Head Coach of JSSL’s Elite U7-U14 teams. Prior to joining the SFA coaching team, he was at Tampines Rovers Football Club where he guided the Under-18 Centre of Excellence (COE) team to the Football Association of Singapore COE Under-18 league title in 2019.
Joseph Ng Yew Meng, Assistant Coach
Joseph Ng has spent his coaching career in the local scene with Singapore’s National Under-15s team as a match analyst in 2019, before becoming head coach for the Under-15s at Tampines Rovers Football Club in 2020. He graduated from Nanyang Technological University with a degree in sport science and management. Prior to joining the UTR! SFA coaching team, he also played the role of Opposition Analyst for the Singapore National Team at the AFF Suzuki Cup 2021, led by Coach Tatsuma Yoshida.
Ismail Bin Yunos, Assistant Coach
A former international defender, Ismail Yunos is best remembered for winning the AFF Championship with Singapore and being crowned S-League Young Player of The Year in 2008. But the former Home United and Tampines Rovers Football Club player is just as accomplished off the field. Since his retirement, he has been nurturing the next generation of footballers, starting at the JSSL Academy as Head Coach of the Elite Under-10s and Under-13s Elite and most recently at the ActiveSG Development Centre.
Nazir Abdul Hamid, Assistant Coach
Nazir Abdul Hamid is a familiar face in the local football community, having been heavily involved in several key developments in football coaching over the past decade. He played a key role in launching the FAS/AFC Professional Diploma Coaching Course in 2021 and developed content for coaching courses to align with the National Football Philosophy as part of the Unleash The Roar! national project. Nazir holds a Master of Science (Exercise and Sport Studies) and was Head Coach of the Barca Academy Singapore. He has also coached football and taught Physical Education at local schools.
Mohamed Dawood Anuar, Assistant Coach
Mohamed Dawood Anuar is an experienced coach who has guided players aged 4 to 19 when he was Head Coach of Little League Soccer Pte Ltd and the Darren Stewart Academy. He also played an active role in grassroots football, as part of SportSG’s SportCares team and as an ActiveSG Football Academy football coach. He was also the assistant coach of the Singapore Arm Forces Sports Association.
Shaiful Nizam Mohamad Sinna, Assistant Coach
Shaiful Nizam Mohamad Sinna has been a football coach for close to a decade with stints at the Football Association of Singapore and Star Soccer Network. He also spent time at the Institute of Technical Education as a mentoring coach to the youths. Most recently, he was a coach at Fcbescola Singapore, FC Barcelona’s flagship school for football where he was in charge of coaching their foundation team.
John Wayne Berry , Assistant Coach
After 10 years in the military, John Wayne Berry transitioned to football coaching and was the Head Coach and Academy Manager for the Saint Michael Soccer Academy overseeing training sessions with over 14 coaches for over 300 players. He moved on to Sporting CP Soccer Academy Singapore as the Academy General Manager, Head of Partnerships and Head Coach before deciding to join the Unleash The Roar! national project.
Muhammad Firdaus Mohamed, Assistant Coach
Muhammad Firdaus Mohamed is a well-known coach in the youth development circles. He has been the Head Coach at numerous Primary Schools across the island and also at the Future Soccer School Singapore. He was also Head Coach of Admiralty FC when the club was playing in the National Football League.
Andres Pedrejon, Fitness Coach
Previously based in Shanghai, Spanish-born fitness coach Andres Pedrejon has worked with both Chinese and Spanish teams such as Real Valladolid S.A.D and Taizhou Yuanda FC. He was also Head Coach at LaLiga’s Shanghai Academy. Andres graduated in Sciences of Physical Activity and Sport and holds a Masters Degree in Football Physical Training accredited by the Spanish Football Federation. He also possesses an UEFA A Licence.
Loh Jin Wen, Kenny, GK Coach
Kenny Loh started his coaching journey in 2015 at the First Kick Academy. He then progressed to coaching at primary and secondary schools before joining the ActiveSG Football Academy. He worked with the National Women's 'A' Team and Goalkeeper Academy of Singapore (GAS) as a goalkeeper coach. As a goalkeeper, he has played for teams including Tampines Rovers Football Club and the National Football Academy’s Under-17 and Under-18 teams.
Yeo Jun Guang, GK Coach
A familiar face among the goalkeeping community in Singapore, Yeo Jun Guang boasts an extensive portfolio having previously worked with organisations such as the Football Association of Singapore and Barca Academy Singapore. Prior to joining the UTR! SFA coaching team, he was the Goalkeeper Coach for the Lion City Sailor’s Under-21 team.
Kevin Wee, Zone Manager
Kevin Wee has a comprehensive portfolio in the operations sector. As a former football coach with several S-League clubs, he has a good eye in identifying players’ potential, an area which falls under his purview as the Zone Manager for the National Youth Sports Institute. He is also in charge of daily operations and event planning at the organisation.
Herwandy Hamid, Zone Manager
Herwandy Hamid was previously Head of Football and the Team Manager at Singapore Premier League club Lion City Sailors and oversaw the Junior Centre of Excellence (JCOE) program managing eight centres island wide during his time with the Football Association of Singapore. His previous stint as a teacher with the Ministry of Education equips him with an intimate understanding of the education ecosystem.
Razali Saad, SFA Programme Director
Razali Saad led the Singapore football team as its captain from 1986 and 1988, and his involvement with local football continues through his position as SFA Programme Director. With 53 international caps racked up from a career spanning 1984 to 1993, Razali is no stranger to the intensity of training, discipline and support needed to compete at higher levels of the sport. Coupled with his coaching experience and reputation among junior coaches as a nurturing mentor, Razali plays a pivotal role in the Unleash the Roar! project.