By Edmund Zhang (19S06S), Quarter Master
While the football boys aren’t exactly known to have the sharpest minds out there, don’t let the cheery, happy-go-lucky exterior fool you. Trainings are intense and serious, with the basic expectation that everyone puts in their 100% and pushes themselves. Don’t be surprised to see the footballers putting in the extra work, be it with self-trainings or going for runs. With our motto “Belief, Desire, Teamwork”, all footballers are expected to put in their all in trainings and matches to bring out the best in themselves and their teammates.
While training sessions are long and we spend relatively sickening amounts of time in one another’s company, footballers are always together outside training. We eat, study, watch matches, and even engage in bowel movements together. It’s more of a close-knit family that supports one another when the going gets rough. Be it failing to score either on or off the pitch, you can always count on your teammates to be there for you.
Another added perk of being in football would be that you’ll never be taunted for “skipping leg day”, as we can guarantee that the regular 2.4km timed tests, PTs and trainings will leave your lower body disproportionately larger than your physique. However, we cannot promise you an equally impressive upper half (evident by the chopstick-like arms of both our Vice Captains and their feeble attempts to use the dumbbells in the gym).
Don’t be afraid if you haven’t had any prior experience playing football competitively! As a developmental sport, we pride ourselves on being able to transform hopelessly uncoordinated individuals to fully-functioning players on the pitch. We have players coming from different backgrounds and various levels of experience, so fret not, as no matter how skillful or experienced you are, you still have to go through the 2.4km tests and pushups. Many of our alumni have gone on to play in the National Football League and form teams to win other local leagues. In addition, the regular video-analysis sessions will get you up to speed with the strategic aspects of the game. In these sessions, previous matches would be analysed to improve our positioning and movement and to iron out any mistakes (often through the meting out of 20 pushups to offenders).
The team enjoys a great relationship with the coach (Mr Iqbal), who is very much like a father-figure to us. Think strict, kind, a magnificent-looking beard, and a touch of narcissism (he insists that #IQBOYS be printed on the sleeve of all our jerseys), and you have Mr Iqbal. Don’t be surprised to see him joining the footballers in futsal sessions or challenging players to 1-on-1 situations. Thanks to Mr Iqbal, injury rates are fairly low despite the haphazard tackles that happen occasionally. As an expert on physiology, he frequently shares his expertise on shin splints, muscle injury treatment (ask him about the hot towel and cold towel method!), and a more-than-vivid description on how one can tear his ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) during a tackle. However, as an avid fanatic of Liverpool Football Club, do expect gloating when the team wins a game and the constant belief held among most fans of the club: that next year will be their year and the front 3 can do no wrong.
Expect training sessions to include drills like possession, high press, crossing, and practising the D (our signature move). Expect wearing GPS trackers in specialised sports bras to track how much and how fast we run (one can clock up to as much as 10km in one game). Expect trainings to end fairly late and constant muscle cramps. But expect a team of brothers to bond with, form memories with, and make questionable life decisions with, being right by you and cramping together with you.
If you are interested in joining us and love football, do come down for the trials! Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our friendly neighbourhood chopstick-arms Vice Captains Ryan (9227 9714) and Ethan (9091 6035) or message our captain Haaroon (9018 2612).
We hope to see you at the trials and all the best to your journey in Raffles!