Did FAS shot themselves in their foot with the organizing of the NexLions Cup? It may seemed like a U19 tournament for the players, but it don’t seemed like a proper tournament with only 4 teams and playing knockout format. They got 3 teams to fly from Europe and just play for 2 matches over a weekend, which just seemed so ridiculous. I think the turnout for the matches were also up to FAS’s expectation.
With Manchester United, Liverpool and Sporting Lisbon participating, FAS is trying to draw on the marketing value of Man Utd and Liverpool to draw in the crowds, especially if both the teams make the final. But who would expect Sporting Lisbon to play the party pooper by trouncing Man Utd and beating Liverpool in the final. If this is considered a development tournament, the Singapore team that was gathered at a last minute notice, pulling players from different NFA age groups doesn’t seem so developmental at all. Even coach Aide Iskander admitted that the team had only 3 weeks to prepare. So what will be next?
If the organizers decide to do a 2nd NexLions Cup next year, are they going to bring back the defending champions? Or will they keep on with the bigger club names of Man Utd and Liverpool? Will there be a significant marketing value if Man Utd and Liverpool are not here? These will definitely be the questions asked if they decide on a 2nd installment.
If FAS is keen on development, then they have to start reviewing their current policies. Look at what Malaysia has achieved in the past few years. We can do it if FAS pay attention to the needs of the potential young players. Just look at the talent during the YOG, comparing to now, how many of them have been wasted? Everybody loves successes, but how many people actually take care of what is happening at the foundation of the success? A tree may be big and beautiful with lush leaves, but it will be nothing if the roots are not even strong to hold them up.