Contributed by Anil. Photos by Norfi Diana and Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports
There was no other way to put it.
The Millennia Institute (MI) Ladies Football team was, for the first time in the school’s history, through to the next round of the National A Division Girls’ Football Championship. But they didn’t just scrape through; they did it the proper way. They finished on top of their group without a single loss in regulation time, conceding just one goal in the group stages.
I use the word ‘Ladies’ because just as the way boys grow to become men, these girls have grown to become ladies. They made it through to the semi-finals of the competition by topping Group B with 13 points and a record of 4 wins and 1 draw. Their matches included a 11-0 demolition of National Junior College, a 5-0 victory over Jurong JC and a 2-0 win over rivals Meridian JC.
In the semi-finals, Raffles Institution managed to hold them to a 0-0 draw in a match that was dominated by MI. They unfortunately lost the fixture to the eventual champions in a penalty shoot-out.
In the 3rd/4th placing match, MI faced four-time defending champions VJC and managed to battle it out to a 3-3 draw after a late equaliser by the team. After a goalless extra-time, they were edged out by VJC in a penalty shoot-out which saw them finish third runners-up.
For a school which has no external coaches but is instead coached and managed by two Physical Education teachers, this result is certainly not too shabby. Mr Jonathan Ram and Mr Gabriel Choong are the team’s coaches, physiotherapists, managers, caretakers and certainly the two biggest fans of the team.
Being a student of MI, it has been a pleasure to see the team develop over the years. From a team whose biggest fans were the Boys’ team to one that has become the sweetheart of the school, this wasn’t accomplished overnight. The team worked day and night and sacrificed their weekends to train. Though the team is set to lose some of its best players when they graduate, the new players are certainly more than capable of filling the gaps left behind.
MI have now become serious contenders for the biggest prize in the coming years, and it remains to see how high and how far the MI Football Ladies can go in the years to come.
The MI team huddle together before the start of the 3rd/4th placing match against Victoria JC. (Photo 2 © Lai Jun Wei/Red Sports)
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