Sunday, May 14, 2017

Diaries from the Past - RI Soccer 1978

It is nearly 40 years now!!!!! Looking back at my past diaries which documented events happening day to day, I decided to relive the days, as soccer master, when the game was revived, though for a short period in Raffles Institution ie 1978 to 1982. The journeys with the boys were largely fulfilling as their commitment and perseverance while wearing that Gryphon jersey were always evident, win or lose. This Rafflesian Spirit was never lost during training or competition and was strongly imbued into the players through the coaches who were old boys of the school eg Azlan, the late Suhaimi, Au-yeong, Ling Beng Huat, etc
In RI, Rugby was the King of sports. The moment the boys stepped into the school, they have been identified and then drafted into the rugby team. Their coaches would go around the classes choosing the 'right size' boys to be trained for the school team, Other sports would have to make do with those boys who were not chosen. This was one great downer as a RI soccer master (1978 - 1986) as the game could also lose the boys to rugby completely from Sec 2 onwards especially those with kicking and running abilities.

was considered a red letter year for RI soccer after 6 long barren years. As the competition progresses, the school realised that we have a winnable team, anchored by striker Au-yeong Pak Kuan, who later captained the National team.

In March, the assembled team played a couple of friendlies.

6 March  RI vs SC (National Service)     1-0
10 March  RI vs Bukit Merah V I            1-3

During the March holidays a 3-day (15 to 17 March) soccer camp was organised to select the final team players. Besides the normal soccer drills and tactics, the boys included a bare-foot morning run at East Coast Park.

The official tournament started after the school term 1 holidays.

27 March    vs Temasek J C         2-0
3 April        vs Bukit Merah VI      1-0
5 April        vs Boys Town VI        0-0
7 April        vs St Patrick              1-0
10 April      vs Bartley                  7-0
19 April      vs Singapore VI        1-1
24 April      vs Outram Sec          1-0

Qualified for the semi-finals (see Straits Times report 25 April 1978 below)

26 April     vs Geylang Serai VI  3-0 (Straits Times Report below)

4 May  Semi-final  vs Boys Town VI  2-0 (Au yeong scored two goals)

10 May 1978 (Wednesday) Soccer final at the National Stadium

Straits Times Report 11 May 1978

The U14 and U16 teams did not perform quite as well. The latter qualified for the second round,

U14 results
15 Feb     vs Monk's Hill      3-3
17 Feb     vs Thomson Sec  0-1
20 Feb     vs Rangoon Sec  0-1

U16 Results
13 Feb     vs Catholic High   2-1
15 Feb     vs Beatty Sec       4-0
22 Feb     vs East Payoh      1-1
24 Feb     vs Rangoon Sec   0-1  
Qualified for 2nd Round
23 Mar    vs UST                 2-3
28 Mar    vs Siglap              0-2

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