Celebrating it’s 40th Birthday, Courts Singapore played host to Paul Scholes, Manchester United Legend, in Singapore. The Red Devil took the time to meet fans and sign some memorabilia to make it an unforgettable experience.Before meeting the fans, Scholes met the media to answer some questions on youth development, the world cup and the future of Manchester United. The normally media-shy Scholes was quite candid and honest in his opinions. Here’s what he had to say:
How important is youth development in any football setup? What advice would you give to the youth?
Youth development is important in any sport. I grew up with 5 or 6 lads of the same age who were desperate to be footballers…. you have to listen to your coach. They have the experience and you’ll benefit from that when you become senior footballers.
Coming through the Class of ’92, how important was it to have experienced players around you?
That was a major part of how we came through. Bryan Robson, Steve Bruce, Steve Irwin, Peter Schemeichel, Mark Hughes, Lee Sharpe… they welcomed us in and talked to us. They were really the ones who set up the era of success and got the monkey off our back. It was up to us to carry on the hard work they had begun.
How do you think England will fare in the World Cup… and who’s your pick?
It’s very difficult weather wise. I think we should go there with a lot of youth. Sturridge and Sterling from Liverpool. Chamberlain from Arsenal and Ross Barkley from Everton. But, I don’t really see anyone beating Brazil.
What do you think about the current English midfield?
Steven Gerrard is still going strong. Jack Wilshere… but he hasn’t progressed as we would have liked. Maybe it’s the injuries…. and you have Carrick from my club.
Have you decided the kind of coaching role you’re looking for in the future?
No not really. I’m doing the badges but I’m not really looking at something specific… the right thing needs to come along.
What do you think Manchester United is lacking this season…other than the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson?
I think injuries have taken their toll… I know the manager hasn’t complained but we’ve lost key players throughout the season. RVP and Carrick have been out with injuries…… Michael (Carrick) plays a very important role in the team.
The back 4 have been unsettled as well…all season. Rio and Vidic with their injury players. Smalling and Phil Jones, young players, but they just can’t seem to keep fit. They need to improve with their injury records. Look at Chelsea with Cahill and Terry… they’ve had a settled back 4. (Manchester) City with Kompany and Liverpool last week with Skrtel and Agger… top defensive display. Arsenal have Mertersacker and Koscielny…. but you really don’t have control over injuries.
We need to build the foundation with a settled defence and prepare for next season.
With Robin Van Persie out for the next 6 weeks, who’ll need to step up?
Not just one player…. it’s a collective effort. We still have plenty of goals in the team. Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata can now play in his favoured role in the middle. Danny Welbeck has goals in him and on the bench we have Chicharito.
Missing out on the Champions League is starting to look like a real possibility. We’ve all seen what happened to Liverpool and how they declined. Will Man Utd be able to attract the right players to help the club get back on top?
That’s the big question. It looking like the only way is if we actually win the tournament. I think it will be difficult. But we have to remember the size of Manchester United. It’s a massive club… it’s probably the biggest club in the world. We have to tell players it’s only a year where we’re out and we can bring players in who have the quality and want to help us get back to where we should be.
But I do agree, it can be difficult to sign players. The top players around Europe all want to play in the Champion’s League.
Besides pulling out all the stops to bring top quality football personalities (such as Scholes, John Barnes and Dietmar Hamann) and attractive deals to its loyal customers, Courts is also giving back to the local community in a big way.
“For the past 40 years, Courts has grown together with Singapore. In the 70s and 80s, alongside the development of HDB and New Towns, Courts extended its presence from Bukit Timah into the heartlands. As Singapore flourished and progressed through the years, Courts grew its business from strength to strength until it was recognised as the number one electronics & furniture retailer.” Mr Terry O’Connor, Group CEO of Courts Asia
In it’s efforts to give back to the community, Courts has embarked on a year-long Corporate Social Responsibility programme to give back to Singapore. This includes a 40-week partnership with Dignity Kitchen, helping 40 needy homes in Courts Charity House Makeover, donating 40 pints of blood to Singapore Red Cross, fulfilling the dreams of 40 Singaporeans, supporting youth entrepreneurship as well as its annual charity golf tournament and charity party.
In addition, Courts renewed its sponsorship of the Young Lions in the S.League for the fourth consecutive year, showing its support for the development of local football.