The proverb "Teamwork makes the dream work" exists for a reason. In fact, nothing is more fitting to recall the Seoul Foreign School teams who competed in Padang, Singapore this mid-April. Upon their arrival back to our home country South Korea, the Crusaders (the rest of the SFS community) were surprised that these student-athletes were just of eight to fourteen (8-14) years of age.
The younger generation of soccer at SFS competed in an elite soccer tournament called JSSL International 7’s, an annual tournament held in Singapore. In a tournament accumulating over 260 teams from 14 nations worldwide, this year’s Seoul Foreign soccer teams set a school-wide record by means of success in their matches, drawing numerous wins from all teams to advance to the tournament from the league they participated in. A total of six teams competed in the competition, the boy’s teams in the U9, U11, U13 and U14 divisions and the girl’s teams in the U12 and U14 divisions.
Gabriel Myong (16), a former member of the Varsity Soccer team, dropped by the tournament to raise SFS spirits and watch the high level of competition in the area. “It was fun seeing my old school here and their level of play was honestly beyond what I thought it would be,” he mentioned, as he watched the game meticulously with his father, who was the former SFS head Varsity coach. “The future of SFS soccer looks extremely bright,” Gabriel added.
Bringing across a total number of 21 wins across the duration of three days, SFS players did not falter. The most remarkable team was the Boy’s U14 team, consisting of the most-experienced, star players in the middle school league. Their progress in the competition reflected their strong team play as they advanced to the tournament, where only the top two teams from each group advance to play for the champion title. Unfortunately, the team lost the round prior to the semi-finals before the boys’ could perfectly prove their skills. But the support of the parents and other SFS teams were there to cheer on the team, allowing the boys to walk out of the field with proud smiles on their face.
These students are part of the Seoul Foreign School’s new middle school program, “Elite Soccer”, that allow passionate soccer players to increase their contact with this sport. Being the participants of the middle school’s first year-round sports program, these students have strived for their ultimate goal: in hopes of victory at the annual JSSL (jssl-singapore7s.com) tournament. The performance brought forth and reflected the student-athletes’ hard work and passion, as they were pushed each and every practice, sometimes even having to do conditioning for hours straight. Moreover, most of these students are said to be competent in playing high-school level soccer, and a select few were given lifetime opportunities to train and play at the top-notch, high school Varsity friendly games with current high school Varsity members against other schools.
SFS’ involvement in JSSL International 7’s this year was its second official participation; the first being the previous year’s tournament, where only one team in the U12 division competed. Without a doubt, the soccer program here at SFS has evolved and this year’s advancements are evidence that the level of play at SFS will continue to be evolving exponentially. It is fitting to see the growth in our school’s sports involvement and allows myself to open my eyes to the “bright” future of SFS soccer. Watch out for these youngsters next year!
Seoul Foreign School
Rachel Kim firstname.lastname@example.org
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