The birth of champions – the Victoria Junior College football girls’ story (Part 1)

By Jolyn Ang/Red Sports

vjc soccer

“For you coach.” Captain of the 2009 side, Wan Xin embraces Azrul. (Photo 1 © Jolyn Ang/Red Sports)

When the final whistle sounded at this year's A Division Girls' Football Championship final, Azrulnizam Shah was coach of the first junior college side to retain the title since the tournament's inception. He was also the architect of three gold medals and one silver since the start of his tenure in 2005. His teams have time and again chalked up impressive goal differences during the group stages, always qualifying convincingly for the knockout stages.

Few know however, of the effort it took to transform a side that had once languished at the bottom of the league in 2005 into a consistent title challenger.

Great moments are born from great opportunity. When Azrul began his journey with the Victoria Junior College girls' soccer team, he inherited a team that was recovering from a nightmarish game - the 0-8 haunting loss to eventual champions Saint Andrews Junior College, one that he would have to work hard to exorcise.

When asked about the expectations that he held when he first joined the team late in the 2005 season, he said, "I just wanted to create a competent team, one that is able to compete, infused with the values I believe in - disciplined, humble and hardworking."

With the implementation of a structured programme that highlighted physical, technical and mental core competencies, the new VJC side started to learn how to win, but more importantly, they started to believe.

The 2006 team opened their campaign with an 8-0 trouncing of Nanyang Junior College which raised eyebrows. But it was not until they beat a technically superior Saint Andrews Junior College side 1-0 that Azrul, and indeed the team, "firmly believed we can".

The 2006 team went on to make history in a fairytale season as they beat Temasek Junior College 2-0 in the final to become champions, not just in name, but in spirit. "We were not the best team around, but we believed, and it was a massive achievement. 2006 was all about revolution and change."

Stay tuned for more!

vjc soccer

Assistant coach Lim Wei Quan claims “belief” to be Azrul’s greatest contribution to the team. (Photo 2 © Jolyn Ang/Red Sports)

Related posts:
The birth of champions – the Victoria Junior College football girls' story (Part 2)
The birth of champions - the Victoria Junior College football girls' story (Part 3)

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13 comments

  1. Pingback: The birth of champions — the Victoria Junior College football girls’ story (Part 3) « Red Sports. Always Game.

  2. jan

    “why does redsports seemed to be co-owned by VJC?” – because there are VJC students like Jolyn who takes ownership of her school’s sports’ scene sharing it with the world on an open platform like Red Sports.

    So dear confused, I’m also confused why do students choose to complain so much instead of just taking ownership of their own school’s sports scene? The space here is free for all schools, all sports. : )

  3. chowe

    Les, That’s a fair comment and response.

    To the confused,
    see beyond the colours of yellow or red or blue and see beneath the shallow surface. learn from the article why and how vjgs has achieved what they have today. perhaps, like what Les has mentioned, you could also write about the inspirational stories in the sports fratenity in your school.

    But, if you are still confused and adamant about this so-called “biasness” in your eyes, perhaps, you should reconsider whether to come into the site at all.

    I am not from vj but as a fellow educator and sportsman, i drew alot of inspiration and motivation from this article (and many other articles).

    Keep up the good articles, redsports and jolyn.

    1. Les

      Thanks for speaking up for our contributors, chowe.

      I had to delete another sniping comment about this story the other day.

      It makes a lot of difference to the volunteers and contributors when encouraging folks like you speak up.

      We will accept criticism of any story we post because people have the right to speak their mind but if it gets personal and nasty, we will defend the writers vigorously.

    1. Les

      Since you are confused, which happens, let’s clear the cobwebs in your head.

      This is a reader-generated, volunteer-driven site. So readers and volunteers send what they like, whenever they like.

      If you are asking an honest question, fine. If you are asking a sarcastic question, then, it’s not appreciated.

      Considering that you have written “might as well call this site yellowsports.com”, I think you’re being sarcastic.

      Many are the people who will write a couple lines of sarcasm, few are the people who bother to write a story to support their own school and teammates.

      The writer above has bothered to do so and kudos to her. We can all do with friends and teammates like that.

      If your school team doesn’t get that kind of support, no need to come and take it out on another junior college.

      At Red Sports, our policy is:

      You send it, we post it.

  4. xxx

    Azrul is a really inspiring coach and he should get credit for bringing the best out of VJSG..
    Azrul’s fav phrases:
    1.KONFIDENT
    2.CHEH CHEH CHEH
    3.WHAT THE BLEH

    HAHAHAHAHA

    `vjsb 09/10

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