CCA Previews ’22: Soccer (Girls)

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By: Tan Shian En (22S03K), Captain and Meghana Neogi (22S06Q), Vice-Captain 

One thing you must know about soccer, is that contrary to popular belief, it’s not just about twenty sweaty players chasing after a ball. It’s twenty two.

But wait! Before you look away not knowing what to do with that seemingly redundant piece of information, let us convince you that soccer is not just a CCA filled with exhausting training sessions, balls flying wildly everywhere, and bruises in the most random of places. Well, actually, it is all that – especially the bruises in random places. But most importantly, Raffles Soccer Girls is also about a family. A family of vastly different individuals who have come together as one team, with the common goal of learning to play the beautiful game. 

We train three times a week, with physical training sessions on Mondays (4.30-6.30pm), and field training on Tuesdays and Fridays (4.30-7.30pm). This includes training during the holidays, although there are brief stand-down periods during CTs and Promos. Three times a week may seem like a lot, but we can assure you that time flies when you’re training alongside your fellow highlighter batchmates. In fact, we have so much fun playing a 4-a-side game every last hour of training that our coach, Mr Leong, has to be the one to chase us off the field. Even the gruelling PT sessions are manageable when you have your batch running alongside you to the beat of Waka Waka Eh Eh!

All still alive and well after online PT (due to Covid-19 Heightened Alert).

That being said, if the only thing stopping you from joining us are your worries about your lack of fitness or experience in football, fret not. As a developmental CCA in RI, we are all about learning along the way. Most of our members have no prior experience in soccer, or even a sports CCA, so we invite you to join us for trials regardless of your background! 

Trials consist of simple skills such as passing, dribbling and shooting, as well as a short five-a-side game to test your game sense and awareness. However, the most important quality of a Soccer Girl is the commitment to improve and the willingness to learn. Some of us came into the CCA barely knowing how to kick a ball straight or struggling to complete the dreaded 4K PT runs, but driven by our motto “Desire, Hard Work, Belief”, we have all progressed by leaps and bounds. 

It may seem intimidating to join a new sport, but under the patient guidance of our coach and the encouragement of your teammates, we’re sure you will be able to hone your skills and develop a passion for the game.

Ball mastery practice during field training. *Picture taken in accordance with SMMs during the prior phase of Covid-19 measures.

The end goal we are training towards is the National School Games (NSG), which usually takes place in May every year. In preparation for the NSG, we typically have friendly games and even an end-of-year carnival where we have the opportunity to play against teams from different schools. Due to Covid-19 disruptions, our batch has yet to experience such friendly matches – though we are hopeful that there will be NSG next year!

For us, Raffles Soccer Girls is more than a CCA. Whether it’s rushing homework together before training, the chaotic mass pumping of soccer balls for field training, cursing at the lightning alert, lying on the pitch together to look at the sky, the post-training toilet selfies and MRT trips, or the batch birthday celebrations, our time spent together goes beyond CCA hours; and the bonds forged are far beyond simply that of batchmates.

Sky gazing during training breaks. *Picture taken in accordance with SMMs during the prior phase of Covid-19 measures.

The tiring training sessions all become worth it when we look back at how far we have come, both as individual players and as a team. So, as long as you come in with an open mind and a willingness to work hard, we’re sure you’ll love and thrive in Soccer Girls. So what are you waiting for? Pick up a ball, lace up your boots and come join us!

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