Thursday, October 29, 2009

AFC announced teams for ACLQ 2010

AFC website report AFC has announced the names of eight clubs eligible to compete in the play-offs for the 2010 AFC Champions League.

However, participation in the play-offs is conditional on the teams fulfilling AFC criteria for professionalism, including clubs being registered as commercial entities.

Other requirements include having a minimum number of players under professional contracts, encouraging youth development and the use of a home stadium with a minimum capacity of 3,000 seats.

The final list is due to be released in November.

Teams eligible to compete in the AFC Champions League 2010 Play-Offs.

Al Karamah (Syria, AFC Cup winners/runners-up)
Kuwait SC (Kuwait, AFC Cup winners/runners-up)
Churchill Borthers SC (India, league champions)
Sriwijaya (Indonesia, knock-out champions)
Singapore Armed Forces (Singapore, league champions)
Muang Thong United (Thailand, league champions)
SHB Da Nang (Vietnam, league champions)
Al Wahda (United Arab Emirates, fourth place

Transfer - October

September Transfer News

Transfer - September

Local Oversea players stats - October

Indonesian Super Liga
  • Arema Malang
  1. Noh Alam Shah - Forward
  2. Ridhuan Muhammad - Midfelder
Arema Malang has played 4 matches and Noh Alam Shah and Ridhuan Muhammad has appeared from the start in all of them.

Noh Alam Shah was sub off twice while Ridhuan Muhammad was sub off once with Alam Shah having scored twice against Bontong PKT.

Arema Malang next game is on 28 November 2009 against Persitara Jakarta.
  • Persija Jakarta
  1. Baihakki Khaizan - defender
  2. Fahrudin Mustafic - Midfielder
Persija Jakarta has only played twice and both Baihakki Khaizan and Fahrudin Mustafic has appeared from the start in all of them.

Both have received 1 yellow card each with Fahrudin Mustafic sub off once.

Persija Jakarta next games is on 21 November 2009 against Persiba Balikpapan

List of Local Oversea Players

Indonesian Super Liga
  • Arema Malang
  1. Noh Alam Shah - Forward
  2. Ridhuan Muhammad - Midfielder
  • Persija Jakarta
  1. Baihakki Khaizan - defender
  2. Fahrudin Mustafic - Midfielder
  • Sriwijaya
  1. Precious Emuejeraye - defender (After November 18)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sriwijaya hit back at Duric

Copa Indonesia Champions Sriwijaya has blamed SAFFC and Singapore striker Aleksandar Duric 'greed' for the collapsed of the deal.

From articles circulating out of Indonesia, Sriwijaya first blamed the 39-year-old for 'talking to another club behind their back'and then, after that, followed it up with claims that Duric demands cost too much.

The demands included an international school for his children (One has to ask, is it any shock as one doubt anybody is interested to have their children study at a public school in Indonesia) and a (mere) US$9000 transfer fee for SAFFC.

They also expressed anger Duric 'only wanted' to stay at a 5-star-hotel in the city despite the club having prepared a 'mansion' for him.

Although, one may haveto take it with a pinch of salt as it may be meant to mask the real problem at Sriwijaya as reports claimed the club owned their players wages of up to two months already; thus explaining their lacked of results at the moment.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Shahdan Sulaiman picked by Peres to be player to watch from Home

While PN Sivaji’s S.League team are still waiting for their first piece of silverware since 2005, the youngsters have done well this season, winning the Prime League by a convincing margin.

Part of the credit goes to senior players like Peres de Oliveira and S.Subramani, who have imparted some of their experiences to the Prime League players whenever they have a chance to train with the seniors.

His new role of mentor, according to the 35-year-old Brazilian, is an important one in aiding the younger generation’s development process.

“In this time, players like Mani and myself have been guiding the younger players in our team,” he explained.

“We’ve got quite a few youth players, so seniors like us often do our best to encourage them to play. We want to give them the confidence so that they can play their game.

“Most of the younger players have played in the S.League already, even the League Cup and the Singapore Cup. That has made them feel more comfortable about their abilities.”

Oliveira has certainly had an excellent group of youngsters to work with, as players like Firdaus Idros, Siddiq Durimi and Azhar Sairudin all enjoyed sizeable amounts of game time this term.

But the pick of the bunch, according to the midfield maestro, is 21-year-old Shahdan Sulaiman, who currently plays for the Protectors while doing his National Service.

The two had previously been teammates at Tampines, where Shahdan had already been tipped for great things by former Malaysia Cup hero Rafi Ali.

It was a verdict Oliveira was clearly happy to agree with, pointing to the young midfielder’s visionary thinking as the one defining feature he was most excited with.

“The best has got to be Shahdan,” he said as he assessed young trainees at Home.

“There are many other good players at this club, but to me, he is the one that stands out. I like watching him play, because he has that extra quality.

“He has a very good football brain. Once you pass the ball to him, you can see he has already thought about who he’s going to pass to next.

“That is something most other players don’t have, and that makes him special. I think he should be developed more, and he will be in the national team one day.”

Peres is staying

S-league website is reporting Home United player Peres de Oliveira has openly expressed his desire to remain at the Bishan club (temporary staying at Clementi) even if it is only going to be for just one more season.

The revelation comes just weeks before his current two-year deal with the Protectors, which he had signed in 2008, is due to run out.

And the midfielder is hopeful about getting a new deal from the Protectors management even though he is turning 35 in November.

“If I get an offer from Home, I will be here to do my best for them, of course,” he told

“I’ve been getting two-year contracts in the past few years, but even if I can only get one year for my new contract, it’s okay with me too. One year is one season of football, and you’ve got a lot of things to compete for and many chances to do something for the team.

“I may be turning 35, but I still feel young in my heart. I still can run, I think my fitness is there, and as long as I am playing, I think I can help the team.

“The other thing is that, after nine years here, I’ve come to like Singapore so much. If I’ve got a chance to stay here again with my family, I will love to stay here and be with everyone.”

Oliveira’s declaration may have marked a U-turn in the player’s thinking, after word of his intention to retire had surfaced earlier this season.

An interview with Brazilian media quoted the Minas Gerais native as saying that 2009 would be his final season in Singapore, after his second spell at Home had been riddled with injuries.

Nonetheless, he has managed 34 appearances in all competitions this season, a number that could rise to 35 if he features in the club’s final league match against the Super Reds.

And despite signs of a gradual decline in his game, the playmaker insisted that he still can be of value to his team, pointing to the example of SAFFC skipper Aleksandar Duric.

“I must have said that when I was injured for one or two weeks!” he said with a laugh, referring to the retirement talk.

“Sometimes when we are injured and we are doing treatment, we talk about things like that and we joke that maybe we are getting old! Sometimes we even say something like ‘I don’t know, I think I might want to stop next year!’

“But when you are not injured, and when you are in the field playing, you feel as if you are ten years younger. I feel like that now; I don’t feel my age, I can still run, and I can help the team with my passing and even scoring.

“If you look at Duric, he is a good example of an old player who can still help his team and be a good example to his teammates. If he is 39 and still scoring goals, then I’ve got at least two or three more years to help my team.”

Tampines could lose Benoit Croissant

If rumors are to be believed, Tampines Rovers is set to lose their French defender Benoit Croissant as he is believed to be seeking a move to the A-league in Australia.

While some may mourn the loss of a big-name player from Europe, who has won a MVP in the Dutch Second Division as well, the truth is
Benoit Croissant has been a disappointment for the Stags.

His performances in the S-league can only be rated as poor to average, despite the fact he came with a good resume, as he was even at times dropped to the bench; which is big deal in the S-league as foreigners cost lot of money and they are usually fielded in as many games as possible.

Therefore, the loss will not be too badly felt by the Stags; who can surely replaced him with a better player next season.

Albirex Niigata (S) to lose Adachihara and Uchida

Albirex Niigata (S) will lose top scorer Kenji Adachihara along with captain cum defender Takotoshi Uchida when the season end next week.

Both are moving to Indonesia to play in the Indonesia Super Liga with
Kenji Adachihara joining Bontang while Takotoshi Uchida is joining Persebaya.

The clubs certainly need their new reinforcement as both ISL teams are still seeking their first win in the league campaign.

Duric not going to Indonesia Super Liga

SAFFC and Singapore striker Aleksandar Duric, 39, is not playing in the Indonesia Super Liga (ISL) next year after all.

Copa Indonesia Champions Sriwijaya has re-written the terms of Duric contract without informing Duric and is demanding the player take a 20% cut in his salary along with his children school fees and Housing allowances.

The 39-year-old was not willing to accept Sriwijaya new terms and has called off the deal.

For me, I am not surprised Duric is unwilling to accept the new terms as he is not on low salary at SAFFC (Believed to be above S$8000 and not adding in bonuses which can take it up to five figures) anyway with the S-league champions having an option to sign him for another year and he will not have problems with his children education and the housing as they are well-settled in Singapore already.

In the end, after his cut in salary, children education and housing allowances, he may not earn that much more anyway so the hassle of moving to a new country for just 1 year is just not attractive enough.

S-league Double LIVE to mark S-league finish

There is a S-league double LIVE this week on MediaCorp as S-league 2009 season end after this week.

Matches to be Shown LIVE

SAFFC vs Tampines Rovers

Young Lions vs Sengkang Pungglo

To be honest, I hope MediaCorp had done this at the start at the season when S-league need the hype - with more LIVE matches & a Preview show - rather than at the end now; which is kind of endless to expose S-league now when the season end next week after the S'pore Cup Final.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Singapore wins Ho Chi Minh International Tournament

A 2-2 draw with hosts and Asean champions Vietnam was enough for Singapore to emerge victorious in the Ho Chi Minh International Tournament.

Shahril Ishak captained the country for the first time on his 71st appearance in the absence of the suspended Noh Rahman. With two wins under the Lions' belts, they only needed a draw to win the tournament outright following Vietnam's 2-0 defeat to the Korean University Selection Team on Matchday 2.

The hosts were to draw first blood after 18 minutes when Nguyen Quang Hai was put through and he confidently lifted his effort beyond Lionel Lewis.

The lead was to last barely eight minutes. Aleksandar Duric's scored his third goal of the tournament when he reacted fastest to Rosman Sulaiman's low hard cross into the box to toe-poke home from close range. It was his eighth goal for the Lions in 18 appearances.

Duric should have made it 2-1 seconds after the break but he sent substitute Fazrul Nawaz's tentalising centre over the bar from just in front of goal.

Five minutes later, Fazrul would then capitalise on a good spell for Singapore to give the Lions the lead when he reacted fastest to smash the ball into the far corner from outside the box with his weaker left foot.

Just when it seemed Singapore would cruise to victory, that was denied when goalkeeper Lionel Lewis conceded a penalty six minutes from time.

Vu Nhu Thanh smashed home the spot kick and despite some frantic pressure from the home side, Singapore were well worth the point, the US$20,000 prize and another piece of silverware for the trophy cabinet.

Duric was also named the Man-of-the-Match and Player of the Tournament.

Ho Chi Minh City International Tournament
Singapore 2-2 Vietnam

Scorer - Aleksandar Duric 26’, Fazrul Nawaz 51'

Singapore: Lionel Lewis (gk), Rosman Sulaiman, Precious Emeujeraye, Daniel Bennett, Shaiful Esah (Juma'at Jantan 69'), Itimi Dickson (Fazrul Nawaz 18'), Hariss Harun, John Wilkinson, Shahril Ishak (captain)(Isa Halim 86'), Khairul Amri (Tengku Mushadad 75') and Aleksandar Duric

Saturday, October 24, 2009

S'pore U23 to play in SmartDoor Cup (Vietnam)

S'pore U23 will be playing in the VFF Smartdoor Cup 2009 along with Thailand U23, China U23 and the host, Vietnam U23.

The winners will receive $25,000 with the second and the third teams earning $10,000 and $5,000 respetively.

The Vietnam Football Federation’s Secretary General Tran Quoc Tuan said that three guest teams had agreed to join the tournament and field their best players.

VFF Smartdoor Cup 2009 will take place on three days, November 5, 7 and 9 at the My Dinh Stadium, Hanoi.

The schedule for VFF Smartdoor Cup 2009:

November 5
4.40pm: U23 Thailand v.s U23 China
8pm: U23 Vietnam v.s U23 Singapore

November 7
5.50pm: U23 Singapore v.s U23 Thailand
8pm: U23 China v.s U23 Vietnam

November 9
5.50pm: U23 Singapore v.s U23 China
8pm: U23 Vietnam v.s U23 Thailand

All times are in Vietnam local time

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Singapore beat Turkmenistan 4-2

Singapore made it two wins out of two at the Ho Chi Minh City International Tournament when they beat Turkmenistan 4-2 at the Thong Nhat Stadium. A first half double by Aleksandar Duric and second half strikes by Masrezwan Masturi and Khairul Amri sealed a comfortable win for the Lions in a match they largely dominated from start to finish.

Ho Chi Minh City International Tournament
Singapore 4-2 Turkmenistan

Scorer - Aleksandar Duric 9’, 38’, Masrezwan Masturi 60', Khairul Amri 77'’

Singapore: Hassan Sunny, Noh Rahman (C) (Rosman Sulaiman 46’), Daniel Bennett (Sevki Sha'ban 68’), Precious Emuejeraye, Shaiful Esah, Shahril Ishak, Isa Halim, Hariss Harun, Fazrul Nawaz (Masrezwan Masturi 46’(Juma'at Jantan 68’)), Aleksandar Duric (Khairul Amri’), Agu Casmir (John Wilkinson 80’)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Shahril - Warrior of the Year

SAFFC website have announced Warriors goalkeeper Shahril Jantan as the winner of the Warriors' Player of the Year.

The 29-year-old received the award from SAFFC chairman BG Tung Yui Fai at the Warriors Nite 2009 held at SAFRA Mount Faber on 19 Oct.

Lions defeat Korea University 1-0

A superb John Wilkinson header midway through the first half sealed a 1-0 win for Singapore over the Korea University Selection Team in the opening match of the Ho Chi Minh City International Tournament at the Thong Nhat Stadium.

Ho Chi Minh City International Tournament

Scorer - John Wilkinson 25’

Singapore: Lionel Lewis(gk) (Hassan Sunny 46’), Noh Rahman, Precious Emeujeraye, Daniel Bennett, Shaiful Esah (Sevki Sha’ban 78’), Masrezwan Masturi (Itimi Dickson 46’), Tengku Mushadad (Hariss Harun 75’), John Wilkinson, Shahril Ishak (Juma’at Jantan 78’), Khairul Amri (Agu Casmir 60’) and Aleksandar Duric

NFL champions win FA Cup

NFL Division 1 champions SSC have won the Singapore Pools FA Cup to add to the NFL crown they won.

They defeated Balestier Khalsa Prime League team 3-2 in the Final at Jalan Besar.

They are the Double Champions of amateur football while Balestier Khalsa continue to wait for their first trophy in the professional era.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Singapore vs Indonesia on Nov 2

Indonesian (And ASEAN as well) football blog Jakarta Casual has indicated Indonesian media is reporting Indonesian vs Iran friendly has been cancelled and the Indonesian National team will be flying to S'pore to play a friendly on November 2 to prepare for the Asian Cup Qualifier.

SAFFC eye Sengkang duo

With the title wrap up, it is believed Champions SAFFC are already rebuilding for next season campaign as rumors surfaced that they are looking at Sengkang Punggol stiker Indra Sahdan and defender cum midfielder Noh Rahman

With SAFFC striker Aleksandar Duric having signed for Indonesian Super League (ISL) and Copa Indonesian champions Sriwijaya, the Choa Chu Kang club is on the lookout for a local striker who know where the back of the net is and Indra is such a striker having scored 191 goals in the domestic game.

As for Noh Rahman, SAFFC had wanted to sign the national player at the start of the season after he announced he was leaving Geylang United but, surprising, the 29-year-old opted for Sengkang Punggol over the Champions.

Both have endured a tough time at Hougang as Indra have no service to speak of from his midfield while Noh Rahman is the only decent midfielder at the club and both would be glad to go to another club that can restart their career in the S-league.

Balestier battle SCC in FA Cup final

The battle for top honours in the Singapore Pools FA Cup final will see Balestier Khalsa’s Prime League team take on National Football League Division 1 side, Singapore Cricket Club, at the hallowed grounds of Singapore football, the Jalan Besar Stadium.

It will be a contest of experienced footballing veterans versus the unbridled vigour of youth.

The Singapore Cricket Club counts the likes of ex-National and S.League stars such as Tan Kim Leng, Md Nahar Daud and Tan Sio Beng among its ranks.

Balestier Khalsa, comprising Prime League players under the age of 23, will be banking on their team-spirit and superior fitness to see them through to a win.

Some of Balestier’s players to look out for are goalkeeper Lee Heng Huat and midfielders Aloysius Yap and Sebastian Seah who has already scored two goals in the run up to the finals.

“We are confident but not over-confident.” says Balestier’s Prime League Coach V Kanakarajan, adding further that:

“SCC are a very experienced team comprising (a few) former S.League players. But we are well-prepared. My boys train daily during the weekends and team-spirit is high. We know the strengths of the opponents and are ready and prepared to take them on.”

SCC, however, will be no push-overs. The team are the 2009 NFL Division 1 Champions and their route to this final saw them clinching the scalps of Sembawang FC, Katong FC and Jollilads Arsenal FC; in the semi-finals they overcame neighbours SRC after a 1-1 regulation-time draw, after which the SCC won 6-5 on penalties.

As SCC Coach Owen Manoghan put it, “We re-built this team in 2008 and came up to the 1st Division (from 2nd). This is a solid team and the experience will count for a lot in today’s grand final. We will utilise our strengths (of experience) and superior physicality in the final against Balestier.”

Balestier, meantime, are savouring the opportunity for their first-ever FA Cup trophy. The chance to add some glitter to their clubhouse cabinet will be an added incentive for Coach Kanan and his sterling young charges.

The Central Singapore club are no doubt deserved entrants to the final, their route to today’s game seeing them overcome Sengkang Punggol, the NFA’s U-17, followed by a 4-3 penalty shoot-out win over Tampines Rovers in the 3rd Round, that game ending 0-0 during regulation time. In the semi-finals Balestier trounced Gombak United 3-0.

The Final of the FA Cup will no doubt see Balestier and Singapore Cricket Club going all out for a deserved victory and the winners’ cheque of S$7000.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Woodlands Wellington FC Centre of Excellence (COE) Under-16 and Under-18 Football Trials

Woodlands Wellington FC COE will conduct open trials for both the Under 16 & 18 teams.

Boys born between 1992 and 1993 can try out for the Under-18 team and those born between 1994 and 1995 are eligible to try out for the Under-16 team.

All trialists must bring along their own training attire (jerseys, shorts, socks, boots and shin pads are compulsory).

What: Woodlands Wellington FC COE U16 Trial
When: Sunday, 15 November 2009
Where: Marsiling Secondary School
Time: 4.00pm -4.45pm Registration
4.45pm-5.00pm Briefing
5.00pm Kick-Off
Who: Singapore males born between 1994 and 1995

What: Woodlands Wellington FC COE U18 Trial
When: Sunday, 22 November 2009
Where: Marsiling Secondary School
Time: 4.00pm-4.45pm Registration
4.45pm-5.00pm Briefing
5.00pm Kick-Off
Who: Singapore males born between 1992 and 1993

Good workout at Vietnam Youth Newspaper Cup

Singapore Olympic Team finished fourth in the Vietnam Youth Newspaper Cup after losing 2-1 to the Vietnam Under-21 team in the 3rd/4th placing match in Binh Duong, Vietnam.

But the most pleasing point for coach V Sundram Moorthy was the experience the Olympic team has gained from this trip.

“The team has definitely gained from this experience. They have grown mentally stronger by being exposed to different environments and pitches.

“Playing teams like Thailand and Vietnam have also been advantageous as the boys get to adapt to different playing styles,” added Sundram.

Singapore Olympic lose third/fourth playoff

Singapore Olympic Team finished fourth in the Vietnam Youth Newspaper Cup after losing 2-1 to the Vietnam Under-21 team in the 3rd/4th placing match in Binh Duong, Vietnam.

Singapore started slowly and conceded two goals in the first 10 minutes of the game through a corner kick and a direct freekick.

Singapore regrouped after the break and pushed hard for a goal and were duly rewarded when Haikal Norasikin got his first goal of the tournament in the 71st minute.

The youngsters nearly found the equaliser in the last minute of the game but a legitimate claim for a penalty was waved off by the local referee.

Vietnam Youth Newspaper Cup
S'pore Olympic 1-2 Vietnam U21
Scorer - Haikal Norasikin

Sunday, October 18, 2009

S-league 2005 season


  • Albirex Niigata (S) (Jurong East Stadium)
  • Balestier Khalsa (Toa Payoh Stadium)
  • Geylang United (Bedok Stadium)
  • Home United (Bishan Stadium)
  • Payar Lebar Punggol (Hougang Stadium)
  • SAFFC (Choa Chu Kang Stadium)
  • Sinchi (Jurong Stadium)
  • Tampines Rovers (Tampines Stadium)
  • Woodlands Wellington (Woodlands Stadium)
  • Young Lions (Jalan Besar Stadium)


  • 10 teams playing each other 3 times for 27 league matches season
  • All local team must have 4 foreigners
  • All local team can have team squad 32 players(min) - 40 players(max)
  • Albirex Niigata (S) and Sinchi can only sign players from Japan and China respective

History of the 2005 season

The 2005 season oversaw the remaking of the order of the S-league Big Three.

Geylang United, one of the pillar of the Big Three since 2001, fell from grace as their Eastern rivals, Tampines Rovers, finally confirmed their status of Kingpin with the Stags second league victory in a row while the Eagles slide towards mediocrity with a bottom three finish.

Before 2005 season started though, Tampines Rovers once again had to answer it critics who were questioning if the team were too old now and last season was it final fling with success as the FAM-FAS League Champions Cup saw it destroyed 5-2 by Pahang over two legs.

It was the right question to the wrong team as it was the Stags main challengers last season, Home United, that had kept their team together for too long as Thai midfielder J.Surchai show his age over the course of the season at the heart of the Protectors engine room despite the Protectors winning the FAM-FAS Cup Champions Cup with them defeating Perak 4-2 overall.

For Tampines Rovers, they had build their engine room around a much younger man Fahrudin Mustafic, the 2005 Young Player of the Year, who was able to carry them across the finish line as the club saw it promising forward, Ismail Fitrey, announced his retirement as the former Stallions and now Stags forward failed to recover from his back injury despite him being just 25 year-old at that time.

The tenth season of the S-league also saw the bow out of another historic club; Tanjong Pagar United aka Tiong Bahru United, who had a longer history than the league itself, with two League titles and nine Cup trophies from amateur time to the professional era.

But it was inevitable as last season, the Queenstown club had only save itself at the last moment when it secured it sponsorship with JVC (That was cut in half from previous years) that saw Jurong FC bow out instead of itself.

However, the 2004 season was a disaster and this time JVC chose not to continue it long-term partnership with Tanjang Pagar United anymore and chairman Richard Woon could do no more to save the club.

In a way, it demise was a remnant from amateur time in which the chairman was too closely linked with it success and failure as Richard Woon admitted problems started way back in 98 and yet he never got down to solving it hoping instead for a white knight to come to it rescue like Woodlands Wellington in 2002 when SembCorp took over the rein of the Northern Club.

It was like striking the lottery and Tanjong Pagar United had no such luck.

Therefore, it was hard to accept Richard Woon management style of the Queenstown club in this age and time but his failure meant the club had to follow his out of football forever as he ‘selfishly’ proclaimed the club is his life work and no other can take over it.

The pain of losing such a historic club could have been lessen if the team coming in, for it, was at least a mini-success but instead the S-league got it worst-ever team in it history as Paya Lebar Punggol managed only four points all season.

The Seahorse coach, Malaysian Chow Kwai Lam, who had lead Tampines Rovers to it first ever trophy the Singapore Cup in 2002, lamented his players as "the best of the worst" and it was no surprise as the club only got it entry in December and by then, most players have been signed by other clubs leaving the Hougang club with no alterative.

However, it did not change his club or his fate as the remark cost him his standing within the club and he eventually quit in mid-season; leaving the Seahorses without a single point.

Returning back to the Big three, the King of Kings, SAFFC, appointed ex-Young Lions and FAS Under-18 coach Kim Polusen to take over Jimmy Shoulders, who paid the price for the Warriors disappointing 2004 season, as the Choa Chu Kang club looked to end their barren spell as the club have now gone two years without a trophy and that was unprecedented in the club history in the professional era.

It was no surprise when Kim Pouslen recruited from the Young Lions squad, as it was his old hunting ground, with the likes of Seric Vladan, Farizal Basri, Mustaqim Manzur and Shaiful Esah (For Shaiful, it was returning back to the club he started his career) all joining the Dane at Choa Chu Kang.

But, the biggest joy to Kim will be the return of 2002 Player of the Year, Therdask Chaiman, to the Warriors after two horrible years in the V-league for the Thai playmarker and the Warriors immediately looked like title challenger.

However, the Thai got into trouble before the start of the campaign as it was discovered the Thai had faked his documents when joining the Warriors back in 2002 and he was not 27 year-old but really 32 year-old already and the FAT had faked his age so he could play in youth competitions like FIFA youth World Cup and the SEA Games.

Chaiman was fined by the S-league but not banned; bringing a smile to the Warriors who were worried about how severely the Thai midfielder will be punished.

The tenth edition of the S-league then got started and this season the champions, Tampines Rovers, got off to a superb start with three straight win to add to their end of the season twelve straight win for a league record total fifteen straight win.

SAFFC matched the champions as they also opened their league campaign with three straight win and it was only Home United that struggled as the Bishan club failed to win until their fourth match and it was against the worst-ever S-league team Paya Lebar Punggol and immediately after that, the Protectors was trounced 0-4 in the next match by Albirex Niigata (S).

It looked like a struggle for the Protectors in 2005 and stories started spinning that coach Steve Darby will not last beyond 2005 as the club management was concerned the Englishman was more focus on his television work than the club and it was affecting the team performances on the pitch.

They were not just struggling in the league but also in Asia although they reached the AFC Cup knockout stage again. Yet, this time, Home United will go down meekly to Lebanon club Al Nejmeh in the quarter-final.

It was not acceptable for the high standard set under Darby reign.

One coach who did lost his job early was Woodlands Wellington coach Matt Brown as things started out as badly for Woodlands Wellington as it was for Home United but for this Englishman, he did not have a resume of one league title and one Cup trophy as well a Asian semi-final to buffer him as they were whipped 5-1 by SAFFC and 4-1 by Geylang United.

Signs were there that the team was not functioning as a unit despite the big spending under his reign with signings like Ahamd Latiff, Park Tae Won and Jonathon Angelucci etc.

Matt Brown was dismissed after just four games into the season, with former Tanjong Pagar United coach Karim Bencherifa, who did a more than a decent job at the Queenstown club despite lacked of resources and problems given, named as the Englishman's replacement.

Under Bencherifa, the team started to gel together and during the transfer window, the Moroccan brought in two recruits, French combative midfielder Essa Basile and towering Romanian defender Dronca, both whom will make an impact on the Rams charge up the table and in the Singapore Cup run to the Final.

The team had improved so much under Bencherifa that they did not lose a game in the second series of games where in the first series they had lost four of the nine games and in all those defeats, they had lost by no less than three goals and more.

But, it was too late for the Rams in the league which was shaping up to be between Tampines Rovers and SAFFC.

The Warriors was clinching on the tail of the Champions who were threatening to break away from it nearest challenger a number of times but the Warriors always got the desire results to stay close; especially when squaring off against the Champions.

The Champions had returned to league action by the start of August after their triumphal time in the ASEAN Club Championship in Brunei where the Stags had emerged as Champions of ASEAN after their victory 4-2 over Malaysian team Pahang in the Final where Noh Alam Shah scored twice along with goals from Mirko Grabovac and Mustafic Fahrudin.

The Stags were most likely still deep in thoughts back at Brunei as presented with a golden chance to pull further away, after SAFC shocked 0-1 defeat to Sinchi, the Champions threw away their chance as they drew 2-2.

In the Stags defence, they were up against the form team of the Series, Woodlands Wellington.

That meant the Warriors will now go to fortress Tampines, where the Stags have not lost a league game since October 2003, against Sembawang Rangers, needing to seek a difficult if not near-to-impossible win to open up the championship.

The nature of the game meant the Warriors will not sit back as they needed a win while Tampines Rovers, with the deadly duo of Noh Alam Shah and Mirko Grabovac, were also not looking to sit back as a victory will surely ended the championship hopes of the Warriors even with two months of competition left.

All this surely meant an attacking match between two of the best attacking sides in the league will be up on display.

That how it paned out as the game will surely be ranked as the game of 2005 as both displaced their attacking poweress right from the whistle goes.

Chance after chance fly by from both sides, who were putting each other water-tight defence under tremendous pressure, before a breakthrough finally came through with Mirko Garbobac grabbing the goal as the forward headed the ball past the Warriors keeper from a freekick on the half hour.

The lead though did not last long as Aleksandar Duric, when put through by a Chaiman moment, make no mistake blasting the ball past Rezal Hasan, the best keeper of 04 and 05 in term of stats as he kept more clean sheets than any other during these period, when faced with a one-on-one situation thus leveling the game up almost immediately.

After all that, it was the moment for Chaiman time as the Thai took charge, first, with a free-kick that had Rezal Hasan beaten all the way and then got his second which was out of this world as he took the ball in midfield and then went on to lose his marker with a turn that had the player lost and for that brief moment, with Chaiman free, the Thai took the ball up a free more inches before firing a shot, that Rezal Hasan could not even react, into the top corner and the Warriors were up 3-1 at half-time.

The start of the second period were certainly less excited than the first as the Warriors had the lead and were not as adventurous as the first period but the Stags, with nothing to lose, went on an all out attack that the Warriors kept out before Grabovac shot the Stags back again.

The Warriors could not stand back any longer as the Stags were threatening a third that will draw the game level and by then, all the Warriors hard work will be wasted.

It was up to Chaiman to step up again as the Thai played a one-two with Duric to open a small gap on the edge of the Stags box and the Thai fired a shot past Rezal once again, who could not keep out anything that the Thai touches, and Chaiman was on fire on that night.

Mirko got his third, as well, ten minute from the end but the Warriors got their fifth from Farizal Basri, who came on as a late substitute, deep in injury time.

After such a brilliant display from both sides on the night, it was surely the time for both sides to step up and make a race of the remaining championship season but instead, it seem as though both sides did not want the championship as the Stags lost two of their next three league games to Young Lions and Albirex Niigata (S) while the Warriors lost their next two games to Home United and Woodlands Wellington.

During that period of bad form by both the Stags and Warriors, Home United and Woodlands Wellington took advantage as both defeated Tampines Rovers and SAFFC respectively in the semi-final of the Singapore Cup despite both the Stags and Warriors having done well in the first leg.

Tampines Rovers had won 3-2 at Bishan but they were defeated 2-0 at Tampines as Home United forward, Egmar Gonclaves, scored twice to take the Protectors to the Final with a 4-3 victory overall.

As for SAFFC, they had held Woodlands Wellington to a 2-2 draw at Woodlands Stadium but in the second leg, a sole goal from Jonathon Angelucci was enough as the Rams kept out the Warriors attack.

That had meant the Stags and Warriors were fully focused on the league with the Cup competition out of the way.

At this point, both Tampines Rovers and SAFFC appeared to find their feet as both started to win their matches again but just as a championship race appeared to be on the card, story broke out that SAFFC coach Kim Polusen was on his way out as he will return to his homeland.

At this point, results started to go against the Warriors as they, unexpectedly, started to draw one too many games, as remarked by Kim Polusen at the end of the SAFFC-Geylang match, which killed off their championship hope with one game to go.

One wondered if it has anything to do with the departure of the Dane, who was known to be popular with his players, but it was true the Warriors drew too many matches as they lost fewer games than Tampines Rovers but were five points behind at the end of the campaign.

Home United and Woodlands Wellington squared off in the Singapore Cup Final one week after the league season ended and the match was an emotional affair for Steve Darby as he stated his intention to leave the club after three years and 149 matches in charge.

For his 150 match in charge, it ended in glory as Home United overcame an early deficit to force the tie level through brilliant work by national marksman Indra Sahdan. Woodlands Wellington had taken the lead twice through Lucian Dronca and Azmi Mahamud but Indra Sahdan and Fadzuhasny Juraimi was om the mark for Home United

Then, in injury time with the tie deadlocked at 2-2, Indra struck once again for Home United as Fadzu speed down the flank and beat his defender before squaring the ball across the box to Indra, who came in late in the box, to fire the ball into the net.

This was the most successful period of the Protectors era for any Protectors coach with one league title and two Cup trophy as well as an International trophy along with an AFC Cup semi-final.

With the conclusion of the 2005 season, one can tell the order of the S-league have changed and Tampines is now the King of the East and a member of the S-league Big Three alongside SAFFC and Home United and Geylang United is the past.

2005 S-league Table








Tampines Rovers














Woodlands Wellington







Home United







Albirex Niigata (S)







Young Lions







Balestier Khalsa







Geylang United














Payar Lebar Punggol







Top Scorers (S-League & Singapore Cup)





Mirko Grabovac

Tampines Rovers


Indra Sahdan

Home United


Egmar Gonclaves

Jonathon Angelucci

Home United

Woodlands Wellington


Noh Alam Shah

Tampines Rovers


Kengne Ludovick

Aleksandar Duric

Balestier Khalsa


Home United route to Final


Home Team

Away Team

Quarter-final, first leg




Home United

Quarter-final, second leg

Home United




Semi-final, first leg

Home United



Tampines Rovers

Semi-final, second leg

Tampines Rovers



Home United

Woodlands Wellington route to Final


Home Team

Away Team

First Round

Woodlands Wellington



Tampines Rovers SC (NFL)

Quarter-final, first leg

Woodlands Wellington



Albirex Niigata (S)

Quarter-final, Second leg

Albirex Niigata (S)



Woodlands Wellington

Semi-final, first leg




Woodlands Wellington

Semi-final, second leg

Woodlands Wellington




2005 Singapore Cup Final

Home United


Woodlands Wellington

- Indra Sahdan (60', 93')
- Fadzuhasny Jurmai (63')

- Lucian Dronca (7')
- Azmi Mahamud (78')

Home United
GK - Lionel Lewis
DF - Aidil Sharin
DF - Aide Iskandar
DF - S.Subramani (Firdaus Salleh 78 min)
MF - Anuruck Srikerd
MF - Azhar Baksin (Irman Sahib 33 min)
MF - J Surchai
MF - Sutee Suksomkit
MF - Kamal Nasir (Fadzuhasny Jurmai 45')
FW - Egmar Gonclaves
FW - Indra Sahdah

Woodlands Wellington
GK - Yazid Yasin
DF - Azmi Mahamud
DF - Ducian Dronca
DF - Daniel Bennett (Jaslee Hatta 46 min)
MF - Isa Halim
MF - Ahmad Latiff
MF - Essa Basile
MF - Goh Tat Chuan
MF - Sazali Salleh
FW - Jonathon Angelucci
FW - Park Tae Won (Masrezwan Masturi 59 min)