While players often take a while to settle down in a foreign country and at a different club, it's clear that - 14 games into life at the Bishan Stadium and with six goals to his name already - 35-year-old Korean international Lee Kwan-woo is enjoying life in his new home.
Granted, it has not been the best of seasons so far for the
Protectors as they are currently fourth on the table.
Still, with over half of the regular campaign gone, there have been many positives to take for Home.
one, the defence which had been so vulnerable last term has looked
steady with the arrivals of new captain Noh Rahman and Sirina Camara,
while consistent displays from the likes of Nor Azli and Masrezwan
Masturi has justified the club's decision to retain them.
established defenders Juma'at Jantan and Sevki Sha'ban still finding
fitness after injury layoffs, one expects the Protectors backline can
only get stronger in the coming weeks.
Further up the field, old
boys like Indra Sahdan Daud and Firdaus Idros have combined well with
new signings Jordan Webb and Hafiz Rahim to add a new level of potency
to their side's attack, but there's no denying the star of the show at
the Bishan Stadium so far has been Lee.
Although he has made a
name for himself as a playmaker over a decade a playing in the K-League,
the Seoul native has been deployed as a striker to good effect and is
currently the league's joint fourth-highest scorer.
Lee, who is said to enjoy a good relationship with all of his
team-mates, insists his main focus remains on the team's performance,
rather than individual accolades.
"As an attacker, I've managed to get amongst the goals but that's not my main focus. Home United have not been [S.League]
champions for a long time and I want to continue working towards that.
lot of players were changed from last season and it takes time to get
to know one another. That's why it took us awhile to get going in the
first three to four games.
"But we haven't had a game where we were beaten convincingly, which is why I'm very confident about our level of performance.
are currently fourth but I'm not going to lose my target [of winning
the title]. We will try our best and I remain very confident."
Home have been victorious every time Lee has scored so far this season
and some of them have been convincing wins over Balestier Khalsa,
Tanjong Pagar United and Woodlands Wellington.
But when asked
which game has particularly stood out for him this season, he curiously
picked out the 2-1 defeat to Albirex Niigata (S) in the second week,
much to the bemusement of his coach Lee Lim-saeng, who was acting as
translator for the interview.
"The most memorable game so far for
me was the loss to Albirex," Lee explained. "I feel that it's very
difficult to play against them.
"We had drawn [0-0] against DPMM
FC in the first game and in the second game against Albirex, I think it
was my best performance.
"Also, if we had won that game, I think
we would be in a much better position and the team would be higher in
morale. That's why that's the game that stands out."
field, the Home No. 13 also expressed satisfaction at how he's adjusted
to life in Singapore and revealed he's already developed a bit of a
hobby since moving over.
"I've done a few things in my spare
time," he added. "I've met with the people from the people from the
Korean Association [in Singapore] and I've been watching plenty of
European football on the television.
"I've been trying to find
good local food. I like yong tau foo [stuffed beancurd], I went to
Geylang to eat frog once and I've been going back since because I like
"Plus, I also like durian."
While the significant
number of Koreans in Singapore has clearly helped Lee settle in
Singapore, his presence has also afforded his fellow countrymen the
chance to watch one of their heroes in action on a weekly basis.
the former Suwon Bluewings captain is appreciative of the support they
have given him, with the stands regularly littered with dozens of Korean
fans whenever he takes to the field.
"When I played in the
K-League, there were so many local fans watching the games," Lee
revealed. "This is the first time I've seen Koreans overseas.
a different feeling and I appreciate their support. Hopefully, they
will continue to support the team throughout the season."
13 caps for South Korea throughout his career and was named in the
K-League Best XI on three occasions before deciding to join Home.
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