Sunday, January 31, 2010

ACLQ: SAFFC trounced Sriwijaya

SAFFC showed why I am confident they will once again reach the ACL group stage as they trounced Sriwijaya 3-0 at Jalan Besar Stadium.

It is because at ASEAN level, local teams are just that more tactically and technically able to defend; a trait not appreciated in the region but very important if one is to reach the next level.

Afterall, if one cannot defend then one will start on the backfoot as Sriwijaya show even (according to some) if they do form the Indonesia national backline with of course a Singaporean as well.

SAFFC 3-0 Sriwijaya

Scorers: Taisuke Akiyoshi 7', Federico Martinez 64'(p), Indra Sahdan Daud 89'(p)

15 Rezal Hassan (GK)
2 Shaiful Esah
5 Niklas Sandberg
6 Ivan Lovric
7 Ahmad Latiff Khamarudin (19 Mustaqim Manzur 77')
8 Daniel Bennett
10 John Wilkinson (C)
13 Federico Martinez (11 Rhysh Roshan Rai 82')
16 Noh Rahman
17 Indra Sahdan Daud
21 Taisuke Akiyoshi

Saturday, January 30, 2010

My expected table for 2010

  1. Home United
  2. SAFFC (Champions)
  3. Tampines Rovers
  4. Gombak United
  5. Geylang United
  6. Young Lions
  7. Etoile FC
  8. Woodlands Wellington
  9. Albirex Niigata (S)
  10. Balestier Khalsa
  11. Beijing Gouan (S)
  12. Sengkang Punggol

54 games to be telecast LIVE

Newcomers Etoile FC and Beijing Guo’an game will be scheduled as this season’s Great Eastern-Yeo’s SLeague first “live” broadcast on Feb 12 — one of 54 games fans can expect to see on “live” TV.

This is almost double the 28 games broadcast over MediaCorp’s Channel 5 last year, and if implemented, will see two “live” games each week, up from the one “live” weekly match last season.

But, the Football Association of Singapore have yet to decide on the full slate of “live” games for TV, as they are still in talks with cable TV broadcasters StarHub, mio TV, national free-to-air broadcasters MediaCorp as well as various production houses.

Transfer - January

Transfer - December
Transfer - November
Transfer - October
Transfer - September

Vorawan: Target is still to be champions

Despite losing the core of their side with Sutee Suksomkit, Noh Alam Shah, Fahrudin Mustafic and Ridhuan Muhammad all departing, Tampines Rovers head coach Vorawan Chitavanich has still declared his side ambition is still to be S-league champions in the coming season.

Vorawan had responded to the lose of key players by building the team around a new nucleus of players, and unsurprisingly, that nucleus included Frenchman Benoit Croissant, former Kashima Antlers defender Seiji Kaneko and Akihiro Nakamura, who have all extended their stays.

Remarkably, however, neither former Young Player of the Year Khairul Amri nor new signing Aleksandar Duric have made it into the 48-year-old’s “Super Six”, with Qiu Li and Aliff Shafaein looking set to play key roles in the attacking setup instead.

Rounding off the spine is defensive midfielder Shukor Zailan, who had managed 23 starts in his first season with Tampines and proved himself to be a hardworking learner alongside the combative Nakamura.

“At the back, the team will depend on Ben and Kaneko,” said Vorawan.

“In midfield, we have Aki and Shukor, and in front, we have Aliff and Qiu Li. These six players will form the new central bone of the team, and that is the main change from what we had last year.

“For the other four positions, I am going to try different players, like the new players who have come like Jamil Ali. Even though some are carrying small injuries, they are showing good understanding with one another from the days when they were at other clubs.

“Now, they look comfortable. But when we go for our pre-season tour of Thailand, we will know how well this team will play together in the S.League.”

With the core of the team settled, Tampines will be eager to shake off the spectre of 2009, when a poor start to the campaign saw them stuck with six draws in their first ten games.

The bad run turned out to be decisive as they ended the season eleven points behind champions SAFFC, leaving them empty-handed for the third consecutive year after they had lifted the RHB Singapore Cup in 2006.

Still, there was no doubting Vorawan’s fine reputation, as he has consistently kept the Stags in the top three together with the Warriors and Home United for all but one season since taking the coaching reins six years ago.

That is the minimum standard he has set for his charges this time around as well, although he pointed out that there could be a new challenger he needs to watch out for.

“Everybody will look at SAFFC, Home and Tampines to finish top,” he said.

“Every year, people say the same thing. But I think maybe this year, there may be a surprise from Gombak (United), because they have become a very strong team with all the African quality players there.

“But we have been above Gombak every year since I have been at Tampines. This year, we will watch out for them and make sure we stay above them, so we can show we are still a top-three team.

“In the six years I have been in Tampines, this club has become a top-three team at least. Of course, we must aim high, so the target is to become champion in every competition where we have a chance to win

Stags in no hurry to replace Sutee

Despite being linked with Yishun Super Reds Korean forward Park Yo Seb, Tampines Rovers coach Vorawan Chitavanich has declared that there is no hurry for the club to replace Sutee Suksomkit, after hopes of the latter’s return were recently dashed.

The decision by Sutee to sign with Bangkok Glass prompted murmurs accusing the former Tanjong Pagar United and Home United star of betraying the trust of Tampines chairman Teo Hock Seng, who was understood to have met up with him while on holiday in Perth.

But Vorawan has come to his compatriot’s defence, saying that what had transpired in the conversation could not constitute a binding commitment on the 31-year-old’s part.

“We all know Sutee talked to us and said he wants to come back, but that is not enough to count as an agreement to sign.

“We agreed in our hearts when he talked to the Chairman in Perth, he said then that he is willing to come back if he is free at the end of the trial. That is, if maybe the Chairman can give a bit more money from his last contract.

“What happened now may be because of money. Maybe Bangkok Glass can give him more money than we can, that’s why he signed for them, not us.

“There is nothing we can do now, he has moved already. So now is the time to look for somebody else.”

“If we want to sign a new foreigner, we want someone at left midfield, like what Sutee used to play,” revealed Vorawan.

“He can come from anywhere, I don’t care, as long as he’s a good player. Whether he’s a Mongol or a Jamaican or even if he’s from Cambodia, if he can be a good attacking player, that’s what we need.

“But even with what we have, I think it’s not bad. We only have three foreigners now, but this team can play this year without a fourth foreigner.”

Bulls aiming to build on 2009

There is an air of confidence at the Jurong West Stadium. A new kit supplier has come on board, a main sponsor is being lined up to headline the club and old boy Aikhena Obadin Gabriel has returned from the Young Lions to shore up the defence.

They testify that Gombak United, who finished third behind champions SAFFC and Tampines Rovers last year, are doing something right.

The Bulls have come a long way. They made their debut in 1998 and quit the S-League four years later after they finished last and were struggling financially.

The team returned in 2006 and finished eighth, but steadily improved with fourth, fifth and third in the next three seasons, and for former Gombak striker and team manager Jorgen Nielsen, the transformation has been phenomenal.

“Gombak have been fantastic and I can only attribute their comeback to John’s passion for the club to build it up patiently to make it sustainable,” said Nielsen, who was the Bulls’ striker from 1998 to 2000, before taking over as team manager.

“Now I hear they will be having a main sponsor and it must be because they are attracting fans.”

According to Yap, the club’s average attendance last year was around 2,500 and he has noticed many are strong followers.

He said: “Over the last couple of years, I kept noticing many familiar faces in the stands. Our target this year is to do as well as last year, but our philosophy is always the same: Play good, attractive attacking football.”

Former Bulls captain Saswadimata Dasuki has been following the club’s progress and thinks they would be good for the title within two years.

“They’ve kept the core of their players who have been playing together for about three years now,” said Saswadimata.

“There is also financial stability and if they keep this up, they will really be a force to reckon with.”

But Gombak United Darren Stewart, down to earth as ever, said that all he hopes to do is to maintain the formula that brought the Bulls to where they are now in the first place.

“My target this year is just to come in and make sure the boys are happy every day,” he said.

“The boys have been kept together for so long, but the question that never gets asked is ‘Why?’ There’s got to be a reason, and the reason is that everyone’s happy.

“Every day, the boys are buzzing for training and buzzing for games. The most important thing for the club is its team spirit, without a question at all.

“As long as the players are happy, they’ll give everything they’ve got. It’s all about them, they’re the ones who go out and win the games; I’m just a guy sitting on the bench!”

The former Balestier Central star did allow himself a joke, when he was asked how he plans to avert a repeat of the mid-season string of draws last year that had partly cleared the way for SAFFC’s fourth consecutive league title.

“I said to the boys that if they get a draw this year, they’d be sacked!” he responded, prompting roaring laughter from everyone present.

“That kind of thing will happen again, and we’ll go on losing trots as well. We’ve played a long season with over 40 games last year, and it’s impossible to go through that and not have a bad trot.

“We weren’t downcast about it; others may have been, but not us. I just want to make sure the boys are up for every game, and if we can stay happy, we’ll be okay.”

Eagles target 50 points as start of new era

Geylang United may have lifted the RHB Singapore Cup last November, when they beat Thai side Bangkok Glass in the Final, but it is still not enough for a club with such a illustrated history.

Kingpin back in the old semi-pro Singapore Premier League with 6 consecutive titles, 1988-1993, and then winning the inaugural S-League season in 1996, speak volumes of the club’s tradition.

“It’s definitely a new dawn, a sign that better things are to come,” said Geylang chairman Patrick Ang.

“But for us to bring back the glory days, we have to work doubly hard.”

Geylang United have therefore targeted a minimum of 50 points, which could put them as among the 'champions' of the rest of the league outside the Big 3 as the first step to a new era.

Chairman Patrick Ang believed it is a realistic target - for the Big 3 are too far in front at this moment in time - as he was quoted saying:“Football is all about money and players and, now that we’ve won the Singapore Cup, we’ll build on from here,”

With three competitions to participate in though, there are concerns that the team may face a fixtures overload, possibly tiring out the players. Nonetheless, Ang does not see this as an obstacle.

"Geylang will never come and tell you we are tired", Ang said. Thus, showing his awareness that being professional players, they have to live up to the rigour of the game.

Rams believe in themselves

New Woodlands Wellington head coach A. Shasi Kumar target is one day to win the S-league title.

The 33-year-old does not lack confidence, and he expects his charges to have the same qualities in carrying out his ideas of “positive football” out on the pitch.

It is such optimism that showcased why the Rams are confident of a good season ahead as they continue to rebuild for the 2010 season as they signed Japanese defender Kazuki Yoshino and got back former S-League player of the year Laakkad Abdelhadi with local veteran Noor Ali joining them as well.

Shasi believed he can play his preferred style with them.

“I saw him
(Kazuki Yoshino) play in a few games last year for Albirex and he is big, strong and quick. Apart from that, he is also good on the ball and that’s something I liked,” said Shasi.

“We aim to play positive football – positive going forward, positive when defending.

“When we play teams like Home United and SAFFC, we will not park the bus in front of the 18-yard box. That’s the only way I know how to play the game.”

Afterall, his vision is forged both by a playing career at clubs like SAFFC and Geylang United, as well as experience as a part of the coaching staff at Gombak United when he even took the reins of Gombak as caretaker coach in 2008 following the departure of Swandi Ahmad and guided the Bulls to 10 wins in their last 15 games.

Gombak scored 27 goals in those 15 games – an average of almost two every game – and it is no surprise Shasi’s favourite teams are England’s Arsenal and Spain’s Barcelona.

For his first adventure as a head coach, Shasi will be assisted by former Singapore international midfielder Hasrin Jailani, who played for the Rams from 2006 up till last year. The two were also team-mates at Geylang in 2003.

The rookie head coach believes that having been players themselves, the coaching partnership of Hasrin and himself “could be an advantage”.

“Both of us have played football, and one thing I have learnt from being in football is that these guys are human beings first, then footballers,” he said.

“We treat them well when they do good, and also kick their backsides when they are in need of one – we treat them as how we would like to be treated.”

Having said that, though, Shasi believes he also has a group of “very hungry” players on his hands, who are motivated to prove their abilities on the pitch.

The duo of striker Guntur Djafril and midfielder Syed Karim, 24 and 25 respectively, signed from SAFFC are two such individuals. The pair hardly had a look-in with the champions, and will look to resurrect their careers which stagnated at Choa Chu Kang.

Noor Ali responded positively to that with his trademark cheeky smile as he was quoted: “Just come and watch us play, I think we’ll be able to surprise quite a few people.”

Raddy believed a good season lie ahead for Young Lions

They finished ninth in the 12-team S-League last season, and against all odds, they brought home the bronze medal from the Vientiane SEA Games last month.

According to Lions boss Radojko Avramovic, 2010 is when the Young Lions, largely made up of the nation’s under-23 team, should prove themselves in local football.

“The bronze medal at the SEA Games showed we have a base we can build on, but it is very important that they establish themselves in the S-League this year,” Avramovic told MediaCorp TODAY.

“Last year they were very young players in the S-League, but this year they will need to show how much they have grown. We’ve got a good group from last year’s squad and I expect them to be more mature this time around.”

And aiding the Young Lions is that they have three foreign players in their ranks for 2010, two from the Yishun Super Reds, and one with experience from Spanish sides Barcelona and Villarreal.

Midfielder Seo Su Jong, defender Kim Seong Kyu and Luka Savic, a midfielder, could be the catalyst for a complete change in the way the Young Lions play.

“Seo will be useful, he will add speed and goalscoring ability to the team, while Kim reads the game well and will be able to organise the defence,” said Sundram.

“Luka is a player that is able to keep the ball moving in the middle of the pitch, while also finding gaps in the opposition defence. We definitely want to entertain, and we’ll take a very positive approach.”

And according to reports, the Young Lions appear to switch comfortably between a standard 4-4-2 formation to a progressive 4-2-3-1 in friendly matches, but for Avramovic, it is the player-development that is still paramount.

“We must continue to groom players from among the Young Lions for the national team. We have seen some results at the SEA Games, and that process must be improved upon,” he said.

Young Lions sign 2 Koreans

The Young Lions will have three foreign players in their ranks for 2010 after signing two from the Yishun Super Reds.

Midfielder Seo Su Jong and defender Kim Seong Kyu have been signed after the trial with the Young Lions.

Luka Savic, a midfielder, with experience from Spanish sides Barcelona and Villarreal, have been signed earlier.

Wooden Spoon 'challengers' seeking a good season

Wooden Spoon 'challengers' Sengkang Punggol and Balestier Khalsa are seeking a good season ahead and they both believe they have the squad to do it.

For the Dolphins, the talk is “This is a brand-new team.”

Those who have followed the travails of the Dolphins over the years could be forgiven for having a sense of déjà vu. Theirs, after all, has been a story of constant change in recent years, having gone through backroom reshuffles several times.

What has not changed is how the club fares at the end of each S.League season since their merger; the last three years have seen Sengkang finish second from bottom in the league every time.

2009 was no different, despite the arrival of big-name players like Singapore internationals Indra Sahdan and Noh Rahman, as well as former Lions skipper Aide Iskandar. An ambitious target of a mid-table finish proved to be beyond that squad.

History has done nothing to deter Aide from aiming to finish outside the bottom three, however. Unveiled formally as the club’s new head coach after serving as caretaker since last June, the 34-year-old stressed his desire to produce results with this team.

“Definitely, we want to do better than last year, and climb into mid-table,” he declared.

“You might call me bold or brave, but I believe this is possible. It’s all about confidence and hard work; if we work hard as a team together, we will be able to achieve the target.

“A lot of teams in this league, I feel, are equal to us, if we play to our strengths. Geylang (United), Woodlands (Wellington), Balestier (Khalsa), Albirex (Niigata (Singapore)) and the Young Lions are teams which we will have to get points from to finish near our target.

“For the top four (of SAFFC, Home United, Tampines Rovers and Gombak United), they are definitely the giants because of their budgets and good squad depth. But we cannot rule out the possibility of beating them; if we think that way, we will not move forward.”

One of Aide’s key plans for the club is the promotion of young talent, a fact reflected in the composition of Sengkang’s 18-man senior squad for 2010.

Apart from promotions from the Prime League squad for Ashley Ow, Darrel Tan and Israel Tan, the Dolphins have also brought in 21-year-old Canadian Jordan Webb, former Young Lions defender Shahir Hamzah and R. Sivaneswaran, who turns 23 this year.

“We would like to gather as many young local players as possible, for the benefit of Singapore football,” explained Aide.

“The average age for this team, minus Amos, will be about 25. We are probably one of the youngest teams around besides the Young Lions and Albirex.

“For example, I’ve brought in Shahir Hamzah, who is definitely an up-and-coming young defender. He will be a national player in future, and the opportunity given here for him to excel, with me being an ex-central defender, will assist in his development.

“We should not forget that we’ve retained core players from last year like Nor Azli (Yusoff), Lau Meng Meng, Amos and Farizal Basri. These players are the backbone of our team, and I will depend on them to bring the team forward on the field.”

More significant than the changes in Sengkang’s squad composition, though, were the revamps in the administrative and management crew.

In a surprise move by club chairman Bill Ng, seasoned administrators Richard Wong and Robert Tan were both shown the door during the off-season.

Taking over Wong’s role as team manager is 51-year-old Bruce Tan, while 30-year-old Edwin Tan (no relation) has been appointed assistant general manager of the club.

The former, who has been involved in social football circles for the last three decades, humbly acknowledged that he has “a lot to learn”, while the latter said his previous working background was in engineering and management.

While Aide will also be involved in the management of the club, having recently received his degree in sports management, it was clear that there would be plenty of learning to do for the people running Sengkang’s day-to-day operations.

The younger Tan, the man who had made the “brand-new team” utterances, nonetheless looked optimistic that he and his colleagues can keep the club on an even keel.

“Once we decided to come into the football industry, we would like to see football as a sport grow in Singapore,” he said.

“The club is leaving the football decisions to Aide and our team manager Bruce, while I will be concentrating on other aspects. The rest of the management committee will seldom be involved, as we believe the committee has faith in us to bring this club further.

“This is not just a hope. This is a vision and our commitment from the management, as well as the committee.

“We will do our very best. With all our commitment and hard work, we will be able to do it.”

Top on the list of priorities, according to Tan, was to keep the club’s budget at a manageable level.

While he declined to reveal the current state of the club’s finances and the measures that will be taken to manage them, he boldly claimed that the club has set itself a six-month deadline to “achieve self-sustainability”.

A new one-year kit sponsorship deal with Diadora and a recent expansion of the clubhouse are signs of initial progress in that aspect, and Tan reiterated his confidence that the new management team produce a clean slate for the long-struggling club.

“We will be able to achieve self-sustainability in six months,” emphasized the bespectacled man.

“Every team needs a sustainable budget to go ahead. Achieving self-sustainability will not only help Aide, it will maintain us as a team to make sure that we can continue to groom more young players into the sport.

“We are a brand-new team, and we don’t want to be tied down by long problems of the past. With or without new sponsors, I believe that with the help of FAS, the club will achieve our targets.

“We will not let the S.League down. We will not let Singapore soccer down.”

For Balestier Khalsa, vice-chairman S. Thavaneson, believes the reason why the club did so badly last year was down to signing the wrong foreigners.

“The fact that my foreigners (from last season) could not even make the first eleven says it all,” he said, possibly referring to Brazilian attacker Ithamar Soares Rangel, who started only once for the Tigers between May and July last year, and Chilean midfielder Julio Eduardo, a perennial bench presence late in the season.

“The problem was that last year we decided upon our foreigners too late, so that’s why we got it done early this year.”

All four foreigners from 2009 have since left, and the club had moved quickly to sign their replacements. Defenders Daniel Hammond and Paul Cunningham were recruited from Woodlands Wellington and Australia’s Sorrento FC, respectively, as early as December.

Brazilian strikers Rivaldo Costa and Vitor Borges de Souza were signed from Brazilian clubs Esporte Clube Tupy and Sao Jose, and although the pair only arrived in Singapore in mid-January, Thavaneson said the decision to sign them was made much earlier.

The club are so certain that they’ve gotten the right players this time round, that two of them will even have leadership roles within the team, despite being new to the squad. Briton Hammond has been named club captain for 2010, while New Zealander Cunningham will be the vice-captain.

“I’m feeling good, very pleased,” said Hammond.

“We’ve had a good pre-season, and I’ve been captain for a couple of games already. I like to organize, and I’m a strong talker, so I think I can do the job.”

Hammond arrives in Toa Payoh together with two team-mates from the Woodlands team of last season. Goalkeeper Ahmadulhaq Che Omar and midfielder Kamal Nasir have also joined him in making the trip from up north, and Hammond said that knowing some of the club’s current players has helped him to unite the team fairly swiftly.

He said: “We are all very close; it’s only been five weeks, but we’re like brothers. We’ve gelled very quickly, and we always makan (‘eat’ in Malay) after training at the Fork & Spoon outlet nearby!”

Cunningham, meanwhile, was aware of the club’s issues with its foreign players last year, and hopes to be more successful than his predecessors.

Describing Hammond and himself as “strong, hard-nosed defenders”, he said: “Talking to some of the local lads who were here last season, locally they felt their team matched the other teams. It was the foreigners who didn’t do the job, so hopefully, we’ll help the club be more consistent.”

The defensive pair have also been impressed at what they have seen so far of the Brazilian forwards in training, and believe that the two will give opposition defences some problems with their physical game.

Hammond said: “I’ve played against Rivaldo when he was at Geylang (in 2008) and he is strong and powerful. Vitor is very big for his age, very strong. They’re both good players, very physical.”

Balestier coach Nasaruddin Jalil was particularly excited at the prospect of throwing the 21-year-old Borges – who stands at a strapping 1.85m and tips the scales at 87kg – into action against S.League defences.

“Vitor is a strong targetman,” Nasaruddin said. “We have not had that kind of striker since Paul (Bekombo Ekollo) two years ago.

“Last year, we were conceding goals from free kicks, corners – we were helpless,” he added.

“This year, we will not only look to defend well in those situations, but also capitalize on them, something we didn’t do often last year.”

Sunday, January 24, 2010

2 LIVE Matches per week?

S-league will be showing 2 LIVE Matches in 2010 according to the schedule.

It seem S-league will be showing on Wednesday night as well; in addition to a Friday night match.

SAFFC vs Geylang United, on Feb 3, which is a Wednesday, will be the first match as it will be hosted at Jalan Besar.

This is a welcome development for me (if it is indeed the case) as I have commented in June last year, after the Starhub League Cup, there is need for S-league to be shown more on local TV as only then will catch the eye of the causal and neutral fans as showcase by the raising attendances as the Starhub League Cup progress.

That and my own example in which a friend, who can hardly be described as a football fan, did not mind catching a local game as the competition, Starhub League Cup, had been broadcast every night and it caught his eye.

The thing missing is a Review & Preview show but I take the extra LIVE match at this moment in time.

Poland crushed Lions

Singapore was beaten 6-1 by Poland in their last match of the 40th King's Cup in Korat, Thailand.

Shi Jiayi scored for Singapore with a lovely low effort after being set up by Shahril Ishak on the edge of box to keep the Lions in the game.

A disappointed Coach Raddy said after the game, “We played well in the first 20 minutes, better than we did in the match against Denmark, but then after that we cannot cope anymore.”

“The players could not cope with these foreign players in terms of physique and technical abilities. Physically, we were also unable to match the Poland players who had a very high level of match fitness.”

Added the 60-year-old Serb as he rued the many missed opportunities, “It is not only a question of quality. As I had mentioned before, we must keep possession when we have the ball instead of throwing it away. Duric, Shahril and Nizam had a few good chances but did not convert. Against a strong team like Poland, these balls are not easy to come by and we should have made them count.”

“I’m a bit disappointed with some of the players. With such strong opponents in the tournament, I did not expect much in terms of results, but did expect to see more quality in some of the younger players.”

“Nevertheless, the King’s Cup is a good tournament for us. It is important that the players learn from playing against big teams like such and use these experiences to raise their game on the international front."

40th King Cup
Poland 6-1 Singapore

Scorer: Shi Jiayi 39’

SINGAPORE - Hassan Sunny (GK), Eddie Chang, Afiq Yunos (Shahril Alias 46), Irwan Shah (Raihan Abdul Rahman 55'), Safuwan Baharudin , Shi Jiayi, Tengku Mushadad (Eddie Chang 85'), Shahril Ishak (Syakir Sulaiman 71), Shukor Zailan (Fadhil Noh 64'), Fazrul Nawaz (Khairul Nizam 46), Aleksandar Duric

Denmark League National Team crushed Spore

A youthful Singapore squad was beaten 5-1 yesterday by Denmark in their second match of the 40th King's Cup in Korat, Thailand.

Fazrul Nawaz netted the only Singapore goal with a 25m volley from a Khairul Nizam knock-on in the 84th minute.

"Denmark is physically and technically better, but our boys gave them a bit too much respect and allowed them to take control of the game”, coach Avramovic said after the match.

"However, we have to remember that this is the first senior international tournament that many of the young players are involved in. So, any team they play now will be at a much higher level than they have ever played before, not to mention against a World Cup bound team like Denmark. The important thing is for the players to learn from playing against big teams like such and raise their game on the international front."
40th King Cup
Denmark League National Team 5-1 Singapore
Scorer: Fazrul Nawaz 84’

Friday, January 22, 2010

Five Star Eagles

Local tour company Five Star Tour will be sponsoring Singapore Cup Champions Geylang United for the fourth year running.

Five Star Tour is delighted with Geylang United achievements last year, when they won the Singapore Cup, and Geylang United is in return grateful to their main sponsor who had stick with them despite hovering along the mid-table for the previous 2 years before that.

The sponsorship deal is reportedly worth S$300,000.

Geylang United FC Open Trial for U-18 Team

Geylang United Football Club will be having an open trial for our Under-18 team.

Details are as follows:

Venue: Bedok South Open Field (near Blk 163)
Time: 1700hrs-1900hrs.
Date: 22/01/2010.

For more information, please contact:

Brian Bothwell
Youth Coach, U-18
Geylang United Football Club
Tel: 6441 8020
Fax: 6243 9089

Super back Woodlands

Super Coffeemix, who had once been main sponsor of Home United in the late 90s to early 2000 before becoming Home co-sponsor, is set to back another S-league fold in addition to their sponsorship of Home.

Woodlands Wellington club chairman Jayadev Unnithan PBM have announced Super Coffeemix will also be joining the Northern club as a sponsor.

He declined to provide specific figures, but said that the club’s operating budget "is now the same as last year" as Sembcorp also continue to remain the main sponsor of the club since 2002.

SAFFC held AIK to share Charity Shield

S-league champions SAFFC held Swede side AIK 1-1 to share the S-league Charity Shield.

This is SAFFC second Charity Shield after their first back in 08.

But the main focus is Singapore football legend Dollah Kassim, the “Gelek King” of the late 1960s and ’70s. The 60-year-old is in coma, recuperating at home after collapsing during a veterans game last October.

The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) had pledged all proceeds from the Charity Shield to Dollah’s family, and last night’s collection amounted to $12,000.

With pledges from S-League sponsors and club chairmen, proceeds from the sale of FAS calendars, as well as donations from well-wishers, the total amount raised stands at $82,000.

2010 - In Aid of Dollah Kassim
2009 - In Aid of S. Anthonysamy
2008 - In Aid of S-league adopted Charity


Scorer: Nils-Eric Johansson 10'(og)

  • Shahril Jantan (GK) (C) (Rezal Hassan 46', Hyrulnizam Juma'at 82')
  • Shaiful Esah (Syaiful Iskandar 87')
  • Razaleigh Khalik
  • Niklas Sandberg (Park Tae Won 58')
  • Ahmad Latiff Khamarudin (Dharham Aziz 87')
  • John Wilkinson (Hafiz Osman 46')
  • Rhysh Roshan Rai
  • Federico Martinez (Azfar Zainal Abidin 77')
  • Noh Rahman
  • Indra Sahdan Daud
  • Taisuke Akiyoshi (Mustaqim Manzur 58')

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Yishun Super Reds target could join Tampines Rovers

29-year-old former Korean international Park Yo-Seb, who could have played in the S-league if the Yishun Super Reds bid was successful, has been given another opportunity.

Tampines Rovers have arranged a trial for him at the club today.

The Stags have not completed their foreign quota as the spot was meant to be reserved for Thai international Sutee , who had promised to return to the club if he could get a full contract from A-league Melbourne Victory, but he backtracked on his words to sign with Bangkok Glass.

At the same time, the other 3 Koreans - Seo Su Jong, Park Kang Jin and Kim Seong Kyu - with Yishun Super Reds looked set to join the Young Lions who have arranged a trial in a pre-season friendly against AFC Cup-bound Geylang United.

The Young Lions won 1-0 and the three Koreans did enough to impress according to head coach V Sundramoorthy.

The former Singapore international say: "They are good players and they'll be joining us for training from (today) onwards so we can get a better look at them."

Added assistant coach Terry Pathmanathan: "They have shown a lot of maturity ... it's a pity they are struggling to find a club because they will do well at the S-League level."

Yishun Super Reds chairman Charlie Yoon was pleased his Korean charges looked set to be recruited by S-league clubs as he was quoted: "I'm extremely grateful to the Young Lions and Tampines for giving our four foreign players a look."

Tigers add Brazilians to their ranks

Brazilians striker Rivaldo Costa Amaral Filho and Borges De Souza Vitor have join Balestier Khalsa as the Toa Poyah club looked toward climbing out of their Wooden Spoon position of the last 2 seasons.

Rivaldo Costa Amaral Filho have previously played in the S-league with Geylang United back in 2008 where he scored 5 league goals for the Bedok club.

This complete the foreign quota for the Tigers who have already signed defender Daniel Hammond from Woodlands along with former New Zealand youth international Paul Cunningham.

New Kappa kit deal for Protectors

Home United have announce a new deal with their apparel sponsor - Italian sports equipment Kappa - who have been kitting the Protectors since 2008.

The club and its S.League, Prime League, Centre of Excellence Under-18 and Under-16 teams, as well as community and youth outreach football programmes, will benefit from the three-year, $250,00 per season agreement with Kappa.

Celebrating this, the players all appeared in their new outfits, bearing in some cases new numbers for the new season, while club officials were similarly decked out in the latest Kappa club apparel.

Monday, January 18, 2010

French and Chinese team join S.League

CNA have reported FAS has make their decision and the two new entrants to the S-league are French side Etoile FC and Beijing Guoan (S).

French side Etoile FC have been allocated Queentown Stadium while Beijing Guoan (S) will be stationed at Yishun Stadium; with them replacing the Yishun Super Reds, who were deny entry to 2010.

Lion debutants impressed against Thailand despite loss

Nine Lions made their international debut yesterday in the opening King’s Cup match against nemesis Thailand.

Jeremy Chiang, Shahril Alias, Safuwan Baharudin, Irwan Shah and Shukor Zailan had their full international debuts, while Fadhil Noh, Syaqir Sulaiman, Eddie Chang and Khairul Nizam came on as substitutes. Of these, five were from the bronze medal-winning SEA Games squad.

Despite the lacked of experience at the highest level, the Lions’ debutants more than held their own to keep it level at 0-0 into half-time.In the second half, a controversial decision by the referee changed the game for Singapore as he awarded a free-kick in favour of the Thais at a dangerous position, for an innocuous challenge by Singapore defender Safuwan Baharudin.

Sutee Suksomkit gave Hassan no chance as he curls it to the far-right post to make it 1-0 to Thailand in the 60th minute.

Jolted by the goal, the Lions surged forward in search of the equaliser. A good break by Singapore down the left saw Khairul Nizam charge into the box, only to see his centre gathered gratefully by the Thai keeper.

Yet another shocking decision was made by the referee at the 81st minute as he pointed to the penalty spot despite Safuwan having won the ball cleanly from his opponent. Sutee steps up again to do the honours but Hassan Sunny pulled off a great block and saved the subsequent Therdsak rebound to deny the Thais the double satisfaction.

Singapore’s closest chance came in the 89th minute from an indirect free-kick in the box, but Shi Jiayi’s efforts were cleared on the line.

Despite going down 1-0 at the final whistle, National Coach Radojko Avramovic was full of praise for his charges’ performance.

“I’m very happy with the team’s performance tonight. Many of these boys have never played for the national team before and they have done well, even above my expectations.”

“Although we did not score, we created enough chances. Considering that the team is made up of many new players, many of whom had only one training together before the match, it was a very good start.”

On whether he felt the Lions were hard-done by certain refereeing decisions, the 60-year-old Serb replied, “It is all part and parcel of the game. This is not the first time the referees have made bad decisions against us, but the players just have to be professional and go on to compete in the game.”

Singapore’s next match will be against Denmark, who beat Poland 3-1 in the earlier match.

40th King Cup
Thailand 1-0 Singapore

SINGAPORE – Hassan Sunny (GK), Jeremy Chiang (Fadhil Noh 77’), Safuwan Baharudin, Shahril Alias, Irwan Shah, Tengku Mushadad (Syaqir Sulaiman 65’), Shi Jiayi (Eddie Chang 91’), Shukor Zailan, Shahril Ishak, Aleksandar Duric (Khairul Nizam 76’), Khairul Amri (Fazrul Nawaz 6’)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

International caps stats Menu

Note: Only 'A' international are recorded and only from 2000 onwards as a result of the difficulties in finding data. In the event, there are differences between FIFA and FAS on what count as 'A' international, I will follow FIFA as they are the top authority on 'A' international.

















































International caps stats 2009

Players Stats 2009





Sub on

Sub off

Hassan Sunny






Lionel Lewis






Daniel Bennett






Precious Emuejeraye






Baihakki Khaizan






Noh Rahman






Muhammad Ridhuan






Shaiful Esah






Rosman Sulaiman






Juma'at Jantan






Sevki Sha'ban






Ismail Yunos






Shahril Ishak






John Wilkinson






Mustafic Fahrudin






Hariss Harun






Isa Halim






Itimi Dickson






Shi Jiayi






Tengku Mushadad






Aleksandar Duric






Noh Alam Shah






Khairul Amri






Fazrul Nawaz






Indra Sahdan






Agu Casmir






Masrezwan Masturi






2009 International Calendar







Iran 6-0 Singapore

Tehran, Iran



Singapore 2-1 Jordan




Singapore (3) 1-1 (4) China




Singapore 4-2 Turkmenistan

HMC City, Vietnam



Vietnam 2-2 Singapore

HMC City, Vietnam



Singapore 3-1 Indonesia




Singapore 1-3 Thailand




Thailand 0-1 Singapore

Bangkok, Thailand



Singapore 1-4 Oman