Dubbed the World Youth Cup, the Gothia Cup is an annual tournament held in Gothenburg, Sweden. In this year's installment, youth teams from local soccer schools, JSSL Arsenal and ISA participated in this prestigious event.
"It's a very different experience for the boys," said Harvey Davis from JSSL Arsenal, "it's very difficult to describe."
"Over a thousand enthusiastic young players converge on Gothenburg, and the atmosphere is just incredible"
JSSL Arsenal were represented by three teams, from the U11, U12, and U15 categories.
The U11 team also progressed to the cup competition, after winning all their group stage games, but lost out in the round of 16 to a Croatian team. The U15 team made it to the plate competition, where they were knocked out in the round of 32.
Of the three, the U12 showed the most promise, bowing out controversially at the quarter-finals of the cup competition.
The youngsters lost 2-1 to a swedish outfit, after being denied a stonewall penalty.
"It was very obvious, even the Swedish coach apologised to us after the game," said Davis, "but I'm happy with the team, they've improved in the last year."
The coach explained that the team had some difficulty competing with the bigger lads in the tournament last year, but showed no such problem this year. The promising team has already won other competitions within Asia this year.
"We've got a very talented core group of players, whom we believe, with the proper training, can go on to be professional players," said the coach, "Four of them will be going to Singapore Sports School, the rest will continue playing with their schools and our league."
"This experience that they get is invaluable, the exposure to european and world football will boost their development," said Davis, who is already looking forward to next year's tournament.
"We're looking to send more teams next year, with a girls' team as well."