White Swans appoint Yeo as Team Manager

It could go into the S.League history books. The appointment of Yeo Jun Xian as Team Manager of Albirex Niigata (S) Football Club will possibly see the S.League youngest ever Team Manager at any set up since the League’s inception in 1996. Many in the football fraternity will know Yeo, 25, as a young man who has consistently performed well in his duties and it is no surprise that the White Swans have decided on this appointment. After all the Jurong East set up is a place where opportunities are given to deserving candidates.

He revealed that working with officials within the Club gave him a huge culture shock initially. He couldn’t understand many things back then, but as he went along, it became clearer why things had to be done in certain ways. Yeo shared his learning experience and also revealed that it was a privilege to be learning from professionals from Japan.

“To be honest, it started off as a culture shock for me. As time went by, it became clear why things have to be done in a strict and orderly manner. That is because only then, will things get done efficiently and time wastage is significantly reduced,” Yeo told axrosstheline.com

“This will result in high performance from everybody in the club. It is a privilege that I am working in Albirex (S) as I can learn and feel for myself how football clubs are run in Japan. Indeed, I have learned much from working with my colleagues from day one. It simply boils down to learning from the best practices and how to apply them into my life daily,” he added.

Yeo, who celebrates his second year in Albirex (S) colours next month, has come a long way in securing his “dream” job. It was not easy for him initially but thankfully for the Club’s support, he was able to achieve this dream.

“It will be two years with the club come March this year. I have always been passionate about local football and wanted to work in a professional club since I was young. Since I was not cut out to be a professional player, I always looked to take part in the administration or management side,” said the avid S.League fan

“Hence, when I saw a job offer at Albirex (S) while I was doing my degree, I sent in my application. Till today, I am grateful that the club hired and allowed me to work on a temporary basis when I was still in school and employed me on a full-time basis when I graduated,” he added

In the coming season, Yeo will be handling something different and he has been tasked with team matters. It is going to be yet another challenge for the 25-year old. When asked, he revealed that he is ready for the challenge, and he hopes to help his team create awareness within the local football community.

“To fit in the club well, the basic thing is to first understand my role and responsibilities well. I need to also know what I should do and not try to create an imbalance within the club,” said Yeo who has a Degree in Business Management with Marketing major.

“One main challenge is to let fans know that while Albirex (S) may be a foreign club, we are very much part of the local community. This is our 11th year in Singapore and we have a good relationship with the people in our area (Yuhua SMC). We will continue to reach out to the community as much as possible and welcome all supporters from all walks of life to come to the stadium to support us and watch our game,” he added.

At the tender age of 25, Yeo has achieved much with Albirex (S). He was instrumental in implementing the idea of the S$1 donation for every one fan who attends their games at Jurong East Stadium. Yeo also holds the “C” License Coaching Certificate certified by the Japanese Football Association and he has been helping out regularly with the Yuhua Community by coaching kids at the Yuhua Football Clinic. All that are not enough and Yeo hopes to contribute even more to the setup.

“For now, it is to just stay within Albirex (S) setup and continue to contribute and help the club whichever ways that I can. I enjoy and look forward to coming to work everyday,” he said.

“For the future, I definitely hope to remain in the sports industry (not just football) and if opportunities do arise, would like to try out Sports Marketing, but that will be later on in the future,” he added.

Yeo will be with the team to take on Brunei DPMM in the S.League opener on 22 February 2014 at the Jurong East Stadium. Kick off is at 730pm.