The significance of grassroots development in football can never be understated. All successful countries have excellent grassroots development systems with competent football academies to spot a precocious talent early and nurture and guide them so that their talent does not go to waste.
Singapore's F-17 Academy has been making some waves in this department with their dedicated work in giving young kids the opportunity to showcase their skills and realise their dreams. Started by local legend Fandi Ahmad, F-17 now has over 500 kids training with them across 3 centres under the watchful eyes of over 30 qualified coaches.
The latest star to have lit up the academy is young Maximus Tan, who has been brilliant in the Under-10 category of late.
Maximus already has a keen eye for goal and demonstrated it during the prestigious 2017 Gothia Cup China, an international youth tournament which was named 'World Youth Cup' by FIFA in 2007.
He scored several eye-catching goals in the tournament and has got his coaches excited when they talk about him. He's got oodles of pace in him and can run rings around defenders tasked with marking him. He also possessed a very good right foot which has already started banging goals in.
Young Maximus has already shown that he has plenty of composure in him despite him being very young. He doesn't panic when faced with one-on-one situations and more often than not, goes on to score a goal in such situations.
Maximus Tan is also a big fan of the way he is coached at F-17 and highlights the innovative methods the coaches use to keep the kids interested in the game, like football homework.
F-17 Academy has produced several notable talents recently like Marc Ryan Tan, Mohammad Izwan Chik (both playing for Singapore U15s) and Muhammad Zamani Bin Muhammad Zamri (Singapore U16s) and Maximus Tan looks to have a bright future ahead of him, provided that he maintains his focus and works hard.