They say do not mess with a winning formula but Etoile FC chairman chairman Johan Gouttefangeas believes his team will be the better for it.
The reigning Great Eastern-Yeo’s S-League champions is a much changed side from the team that became the first foreign side to lift the title.
There are 15 new faces on the playing roster of the French club and coach Guglielmo Arena the first Italian that will feature in the S-League.
“I brought in new players who are hungrier and want to be part of the club,” said Gouttefangeas, who revealed a number of players from last season’s squad were no longer keen to play here and had other plans. “They are very talented and come from everywhere. That is why it took me so long to get the whole team together."
Gouttefangeas also believes he has found an even better striker than Frederic Mendy, last season’s top scorer who left to join Home United.
Said the Etoile chief: “I know everyone is waiting for a new Mendy, so I have someone better than him now, Jonathan Justin. He is only 19 but for me he is better and more complete than Mendy in every aspect.”
Gouttefangeas is confident his newlook team will challenge for the title again.
“If you know me, you will know what I am here for. The reason why I brought in new players for this season is to make sure they are hungry,” he said.
“It is the same like last year, when they were eager to prove that even though they came from a lower division, they had what it takes to become good professionals in Asia.”