By Shirley Wu
Teams from AKSIL (Active Kidz Shanghai International League) were hugely successful in the Shanghai International Youth Soccer League (SIYSL) 2014/15, picking up the championship prizes in the Division 1 competition for years U10, U12 and U14. AKSIL teams were also runners up for U10, U12 and U17, while AKSIL teams also won the Division 2 competition in U10 and U12 categories.
Competing against over 70 teams made up of local players and foreigner players from 11 different Shanghai-based clubs, AKSIL Head Coach Radfan Mahyoub expressed pleasure at the overall performance of all AKSIL teams who competed in the year-long SIYSL competition.
“AKSIL has played in the SIYSL league since the beginning in 2006. It’s the most important youth soccer tournament in Shanghai and for us to have gained 5 Championships plus numerous second and third places, is a huge victory for all the entire ASKSIL family.” Coach Radfan, who also coached the successful U12 PX AKSIL team, said: “As a Head Coach of AKSIL, I’m proud to see the success we have achieved in the league, which in addition to winning tournaments in Shanghai, Beijing, Singapore and Thailand has made for another successful year for AKSIL. I am looking forward for next season and continuing this success.”
A proud AKSIL PX U10 championship winning coach Amine Hammadi stressed that while winning the SYISL league with a 13 wins, 1 lose record, and scoring 120 goals in the process, was very satisfying, it was the way his team played that made him most pleased. “What's most important was the quick adaptation of the modern football style by a group of 10 years old boys who have been practicing together for the past three years on the AKSIL training field. I think everyone who watched them play admired the way they played especially for 10 year olds.”
Coach Hammadi commented that the SYISL league gave his team an opportunity to play on a top quality pitch where they could practice a short and quick style of passing game. He also looked forward to more future competition and hoped more competitive local teams would join the league which would help AKSIL and all teams improve and also to give chance to local Chinese players to gain more experience playing European and western kids.
A strong focus on specialized trainings involving special drills for coordination, passing, shooting, dribbling as well as conditioning and team building were key reasons for the success of U12 PU, who came 2nd in the U12 D1, according to Coach Pawan Awan Singh. “We run different types of games focusing on individual players as well as teamwork. Our team was new, made up of players from different teams, backgrounds and nationalities. It took some time for the players to know each other but by the end of the season we were a strong team will good bonding between players and coach. Our achievements this year were outstanding.”
AKSIL also entered younger aged teams into the SIYSL league to prepare them for the next year. Coach Isaac Asare of AKSIL PX U9, who finished U10 D2 champions was pleased with his teams 12 wins, 1 tie and 1 lose record. “Such an amazing performance was as a result of effective training drills, passion and determination from the players, strong commitment from both players and parents and support from parents on and off the field. In the coming year and the years ahead, it is my aim to train and develop these new young soccer players and together win trophies in SIYSL as well as other competitions”, said Coach Issac.
Manager of the AKSIL PD U14 team, Kate Zak said that her two kids joined AKSIL two seasons ago when they moved to Shanghai in the 2013-2014 season. “It has been an amazing season for players, Coaches and families. Playing with AKSIL requires tremendous commitment, effort and focus. The reward is the sense of satisfaction the teams have after each match played well. The year end results speak for themselves as all AKSIL teams finished strongly. The development of the individual players and growth as a team are impressive accomplishments - all involved should feel proud”, said Ms Zak.
After four years as part of the AKSIL family, manager of U14 PX team Christian Kuhne will be returning to Germany this summer. He said that over his four years he was most pleased to have seen the improvements in skill and teamwork that the AKSIL players had established, and being part of AKSIL and playing in the SIYSL was a very worthwhile experience. “I am very thankful for having had the opportunity to be the manager of my son’s team, as I got the chance interact with new people and was able to support the team with a strong team-spirit! Parents supporting the players and coach have been major reasons for their success”, said Manager Kuhne.
AKSIL was started by AKS (Active Kidz Shanghai) 12 years ago as a competitive soccer team and seeks to further nurture the development on children who have a passion, commitment and talent for soccer. Now with 16 teams spread over 5 different age groups, all competing in the SIYSL league, we are thrilled with the progress, achievements and results all teams have made. With 22 championships this past year, AKSIL has continued to grow and proven itself within youth soccer in Shanghai and Asia regionally” stated Miia Kauppila, AKS General Manager.
For more about AKS see: www.activekidz.org
For more about SIYSL see: www.siyslchina.org