Having won the SEASAC Division 2 Championship in Kuala Lumpur in late 2014, the UWCSEA East team were promoted to Division 1 Football for the 2015/2016 academic year. Losing a few key players from last year's winning side, it was clear from the start that the Dragons would have to look to younger players to step up and take the lead in the 2015 division 1 tournament in Bangkok, Thailand.
Returning from a gruelling four days in the blazing Bangkok sun, division 1 football was nothing short of intense. Playing a total of 7 games across the Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the UWCSEA dragons placed fourth out of six teams; a fantastic performance having been promoted 12 short months ago.
The tournament opening Friday saw East face up against three opponents. Opening the competition with a game against sister school UWCSEA Dover, the dragons were given their first taste of div 1. Edging a 3-2 win against Dover, the tournament was off to a fantastic start, the three points vital to hopes of a semi-final. The second game of the day was against the Bangkok Patana School (BPS). Looking dominant in the first 20 minute half, the dragons put two past the tall BPS keeper, but a spell of un-coordination and lacking communication saw them finish by a deficit of a single goal, losing 2-3. Hoping to secure another win, the last game of the day pitted East against host's New International School of Thailand (NIST), whereby the Dragons put in an impressive performance to overcome their opponents 3-1.
Day 2 brought about a new layer of heat to the astroturf surface of NIST school, with two games left to see out the group stage of the tournament. Facing Tanglin in the second game of the day, East were faced with their toughest competitors yet, losing out to the eventual victors 1-4. With teams prepping for the final group game, and in most cases the decider, UWCSEA East needed a draw against BISJ to see them through to the final 4. Up 7-1 at half time, there was no doubt that East had earned their ticket into the knockout stages finishing with 3 wins and 2 losses. The final game of the day pitted East against Tanglin, a matchup which the dragons knew would be their toughest yet. Off to a bad start, they were down 3-0 in the first 5 minutes, with the humiliation continuing throughout the remainder of the game, the game finishing at 7-0.
The tournament's final day included but a single game for each team, with East in the third/fourth playoff versus rivals UWCSEA Dover. As intense and heated as the first matchup on opening day, the dragons went down 2-0 going into the end of the first half. Valiantly narrowing the deficit to 2 all, they were unlucky to concede a final goal in the dying minutes to seal victory for Dover and the fourth place finish for UWC East. Back to the drawing board for now, the dragons hope to return to division one new and improved, with the team confident in their title hopes next year!