If your child is dreaming about becoming a professional football player, look no further than the new French Football Academy in Singapore (FFA)! We spoke to the FFA Director, Steeve Cupaiolo, and Patrick Vallee, Technical Director to find out more about their training program.
Hi Steeve, thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. Can you tell us about yourself and give us an overview of the FFA?
Hello! I am the CEO of the Silk Road Sports Consulting and the Director of the FFA. FFA is a unique project. The Academy offers a unique sports pathway focusing on athletic development and academic study. Our training is underpinned by world-class technical excellence, making the French Football Federation (FFF) the first football federation in the world to open this kind of innovative structure. The objective of the FFF is to showcase the French know-how in terms of training. They are the best in the world when it comes to youth-level training, and they are also the main provider of players for the top leagues in Europe.
What sets FFA apart from other football clubs and academies?
FFA is not your basic “Club Franchise”. The FFF is fully involved in the project. It oversees our training programs and outcomes. Our international experience, modern training techniques, and expert coaches set FFA apart from any other football club/academy. Jean Claude Lafargue, the main supervisor of Clairefontaine (The FFF - National Team Headquarters), will be coming down to Singapore to oversee our operations, organise workshops and masterclasses for our coaches and the kids. Patrick Vallee, our Technical Director, will lead all training sessions. Patrick holds UEFA Diplomas and has more than 30 years of experience in football coaching.
Who is eligible to join?
The program is designed for boys and girls aged 6-17 years old. From beginner to advanced, everyone is welcome! We are also considering opening an U21 section with an elite program.
Hi Patrick, it is a pleasure to meet you. Why have you decided to join FFA?
When Steeve called me to speak about the Academy and his objectives, he showed me the real desire and ambition. His vision and passion have given me the ultimate desire to join this project. It was also a proud feeling to have the opportunity to work with the FFF, the World Cup Winners, and to be involved in their international program.
What is your training philosophy?
We focus on the development of a player’s mindset, technical skills, game intelligence, physique, and communication skills. We believe that together we can achieve more, and everyone’s role in a team is important. We invest a lot of time in the development of our team and building strong connections. We expect every player to commit to the best behaviour on and off the field by providing the best example of the game. We encourage every player to train and develop their skills for competition by playing in the best leagues and tournaments in and out of Singapore.
How do you think your professional experience will help young players?
With 35 years of coaching experience, 32 of which being in the professional setting in youth development and handling professional teams, I know which attributes are required for a successful football career. I strongly believe that my experience and passion for football will help young athletes to achieve their goals.
Does it prepare players for a professional football career?
We aim to develop our players in many ways. Firstly, we have the recreational aspect of the Academy. Secondly, we have the competitive element of the Academy. We will compete in the local leagues, as well as our own internal league, to help players achieve their respective goals. As the Academy is for kids between the ages of 6-17, we will also be looking to create a pathway for kids who are looking to turn professional. We will be building an U21 team to help these players facilitate their dreams. At the same time, this will help our local professional teams in terms of recruitment of young, talented footballers.
Why was GEMS World Academy chosen as one of the main training grounds in Singapore?
We have been given firm guidelines from the FFF to ensure the quality of our infrastructure. The quality of the pitch is extremely important, and it is not easy to find a venue with world-class facilities like GEMS.
Why will aspiring players have the best chance of a successful football career with FFA?
With the methodology of the World Cup Champions, our payers will have the tools to help them achieve a successful football career.
Are you planning any football camps during the winter holidays?
Yes! We are planning to host a Christmas Camp from 21 to 31 December. We are offering a unique program with exciting workshops (Strikers, Goalkeeper), an internal Friendly league, and of course, some fun challenges. The most important objective for us is to see the kids enjoying the camp and have a lot of fun! Don't miss the opportunity? Sign up today!