Monday, October 25, 2010

S-league Preview

Last week Preview  - 4 right with 1 perfect score and 3 wrong

SAFFC vs Beijing Gouan (S)
Even at their best, the Chinese side are no match for 8-time S-league Champions, SAFFC let alone now, when they are missing so many of their crucial players. Therefore, it is the scoreline that matter and frankly, they only need 1 goal to win the 3 points that will win them fourth place. 2-0 to SAFFC 

Albirex Niigata (S) vs Woodlands Wellington
If the White Swans win their last 2 matches, they can climb up to 6th spot in the league table.It may not seem much but it will represent their best season since 2006 and the White Swans can give themselves a clap as this squad is much younger than those previous seasons. It can start with Woodlands Wellington as the Wooden Spoon winner are that poor. 2-1 to Albirex Niigata (S)

Etoile FC remain top with 1 game to go

French side Etoile FC are only one game away from history as they defeated the Young Lions 3-0 at Queenstown Stadium.

If they defeat Albirex Niigata (S) in their last game, there is nothing Tampines Rovers can do as Etoile FC have 1 point more than the Stags.

And one cannot claim they do not deserve it as the French club had won the crucial matches like the 2-1 victory against Tampines Rovers in this season campaign.

The club that make the fewer mistakes over the season win the league title and as long as they do not make any mistake against Albirex Niigata (S), the title is their.

Loic Leclercq, Frederic Mendy and Anthony Moulin scored for Etoile FC

Young Lions
Izwan Mahbud (GK), Afiq Yunos, Eddie Affendy Chang, Irwan Shah, Faritz Abdul Hameed, Luka Savic, (Shahfiq Ghani) Zulfahmi Arifin, Hariss Harun (C), Nazrul Ahmad Nazari, (Ignatius Ang) Eugene Luo, (Khalili D'cruz) Fadhil Noh 

Stags victorious but remain second

Tampines Rovers defeated Sengkang Punggol 3-1 at the Hougang Stadium but remain second, a point, behind Etoile FC with one game remaining. 

The title race nearly did not last that long as the Hougang club had scored the equaliser with 15 minutes to go with a Kenji Arai penalty.

Stags skipper Aliff Shafaein had already given the Stags the lead early in the first half

At that point, it looked lost for the Eastern giant but up step regular goalscorer and hero Aleksandar Duric to rescue the club once again.

The Singaporean international had already rescue the club's season last week in the Eastern Derby with the winner in the last 10 minute of that titanic battle. 

This week, it was no different as he step up to notch the Stags second goal of the match to kill off the Dolphins.

As an insurance, he got the Stags third goal as well to finally ensure all 3 points are going to Tampines and keeping the title race alive, if only just.

Sengkang Punggol
Fadhil Salim (GK), (Ashley Ow) Lau Meng Meng, Kenji Arai, Jordan Webb, Nor Azli Yusoff (C), An Jae Cheul, (Jala) Farizal Basri, Faizal Amir, Duncan Elias, Sobrie Mazelan, Mamadou Diallo 

Tampines Rovers
Hassan Sunny (GK), Benoit Croissant, Seiji Kaneko, Akihiro Nakamura, Imran Sahib, Park Yo Seb, (Jamil Ali) Shukor Zailan, (Satria Mad) Aliff Shafaein (C), Ismadi Mukhtar, Shahdan Sulaiman, Aleksandar Duric 

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Home United hopes are gone

Home United chances for a third S-league crown, and their first since 2003, is finally gone.

With the 1-1 draw against Gombak United, the Protectors now need both Etoile FC and Tampines Rovers to drop points in their weekend matches and quite frankly, they might as well ask for the moon.

If there is any fault to attach to anybody, it is their chairman Koh Siong Ling who had allowed their skipper to leave (and for nothing some more)

Since then, the Protectors have not won both their crucial matches and it was after going on a 14-win run in 17 matches in which their ex-skipper had played a vital role.

Top spot should have been their as Etoile FC had drop points last week and if the Protectors had won, they should have been 4 points clear and not level with Etoile FC; who have 1 game in hand.

Koh Siong Ling had cost Home United the 2010 title and surely, he must be asked to answer for it.

Shi Jiayi scored for the Protectors with Jeremy Chiang replying for the Bulls. 

Gombak United
Zakariah Nerani (GK), (Zulkiffli Hassim) Hamqaamal Shah, Jaslee Hatta (C), Bah Mamadou, Obadin Aikhena, (Ruhaizad Ismail) Jeremy Chiang, Fabian Tan, Ridhwan Jamaludin, Fazrul Nawaz, Park Kang Jin, (Agu Casmir) Chang Jo Yoon 
Home United
Lionel Lewis (GK), Juma'at Jantan, Valery Hiek, Rosman Sulaiman, Shi Jiayi (C), (Firdaus Idros) Tengku Mushadad, Chun Jae Woon, Jun Woo Keun, (Fazil Zailani) Firdaus Kasman, Sufian Anuar, Choi Chul Woo

Singapore squad for VFF Cup

To prepare for the Suzuki Cup, Singapore have accepted an invitation by VFF to play in the VFF Cup.

The other teams in the group are Vietnam, North Korea and South Korea U23.

Singapore squad for VFF Cup

Hassan Sunny;
Lewis Lionel

Mohamad Rosman Bin Sulaiman;
Hamqaamal Shah Bin Hamzah;
Muhammad Irwan Shah ;
Juma’at Bin Jantan;
Daniel Bennett;
Muhammad Safuwan Bin Baharudin;
Dhanaraj Adrial Justin;
Muhammad Sharil Bin Mohammad Alias.

Tenku Mohamed;
Mohamed Isa Bin Abdul Halim;
Shi Jiayi;
Hariss S/O Harun;
Mohamed Ruzaini Bin Zainal.

Muhammad Sufian Bin Anuar;
Aleksandar Duric;
Fazrul Nawaz ;
Masrezwan Bin Masturi;
Agu Casmir

November 2:
Singapore v North Korea
Vietnam v South Korea U23

November 4:
North Korea v South Korea U23
Vietnam v Singapore

November 6:
Singapore v South Korea U23
Vietnam v North Korea

Warriors tighten grip on fourth

SAFFC looked set to win the race for fourth place as they defeated Woodlands Wellington 1-0 to pull five point clear of their challengers - Gombak United and Geylang United.

Uruguayan forward Federico Martinez scored the winner.
The Bulls were unable to keep pace as they were held to a 1-1 draw with the Young Lions, two day earlier.
Fabian Tan had scored for the Bulls with Luka Savic scoring for the Cubs.

Albirex Niigata (S) defeated Beijing Gouan (S) 3-1 in another match in the week.

Tatsuro Inui notched a brace with Keisuke Matsui scoring in-between for the White Swans. Li Tixiang got the Chinese side only goal.

Two other matches - Etoile FC vs Young Lions and Balestier Khalsa vs Geylang United - have been moved to the weekend due to the Haze situation which reached unhealthy level on Thursday .

Gombak United
Zakariah Nerani (GK), Hamqaamal Shah, Jaslee Hatta (C), Bah Mamadou, Obadin Aikhena, Jeremy Chiang, (Zulkiffli Hassim) Ruhaizad Ismail, Fabian Tan, (Aloysius Yap) Ridhwan Jamaludin,  Fazrul Nawaz, (Agu Casmir) Chang Jo Yoon

Young Lions
Syazwan Buhari (GK), (Afiq Yunos) Eddie Affendy Chang, Irwan Shah, (Hafiz Abu Sujad) Safuwan Baharudin, Luka Savic, Izzdin Shafiq, Zulfahmi Arifin, Hariss Harun (C), Nazrul Ahmad Nazari, Seo Su Jong, (Faris Ramli) Khalili D'cruz 


Hyrulnizam Juma'at (GK), Razaleigh Khalik, (Dharham Aziz) Hafiz Osman, Daniel Bennett, Ivan Jerkovic, Ahmad Latiff, John Wilkinson (C), Noh Rahman, Park Tae Won, (Rhysh Roshan Rai) Ruzaini Zainal, Federico Martinez

Woodlands Wellington
Fajar Sarib (GK), Winston Yap, Kazuki Yoshino, Sahairi Ramri, Anaz Hadee, (Syed Karim) Luis Eduardo Hicks, (Asraf Rashid) Azlan Alipah, Noor Ali (C), (Nigel Vanu) Guntur Djafri, Sazali Salleh, Abdelhadi Laakkad

Olympic Qualifiers: Singapore drawn with Yemen

Singapore have been drawn against Yemen in the First Round of the Olympic Qualifiers.

It will be played in a home-and-away format with the matches on February 23, 2011, and March 9, 2011, and the winners will make it to the second Round.

Yemen will host the first leg and Singapore the second leg.

Singapore U21 for International U21 football tournament/Youth Newspaper Cup 2010

FAS have send the Singapore U21 to the International U21 football tournament/Youth Newspaper Cup 2010, according to Vietfootball blog.

The team is coached by Terry Pathmanathan.

Singapore U21 is drawn in Group A with Vietnam B (Vietnam U19) and Malaysia U21.

Singapore U21 Schedule
23/10 Singapore U21 vs Malaysia U21 3.30pm local time
25/10 Singapore U21 vsVietnam B (Vietnam U19) 6 pm local time

29/10 Semi-final
31/10  Final

FA Cup record since 2006

2006 - SAFFC Prime League
2007 - Geylang United Prime League
2008 - SAFFC Prime League
2009 - SCC (NFL Div 1)
2010 - SRC (NFL Div 1)

SRC are crowned FA Cup Champions

SRC are FA Cup Champions after they defeated Tampines Rovers Prime League 3-2 in the Final.

SRC are NFL Division runner-up after they finished behind SCC in the league table while Tampines Rovers are second-runner-up in the Prime League. 

Taufiq Hamid had scored twice for the Tampines Rovers but it was not enough to stop the NFL club from notching the win as goals from Ali Imran Lomri, Kiyasudeen Nagoorgani and Ganesan Devadas kill off the Prime League side in extra-time.

This is the second time a NFL club have won the FA Cup after Prime League sides were allowed to enter the FA Cup in 2006.

Home United are Prime League champions

Home United are Prime League champions as they finished 6 points clear of Singapore U18 in the league table.

Tampines Rovers are a further point behind in third.

The Prime League top 3 scorers also come from these 3 clubs with Singapore U18 Sahil Suhaimi and Tampines Rovers Ahmed Fahmie joint top-scorer with 16 goals.

Tied for second are Singapore U18 Shahfiq Ghani and Home United Sufian Anuar who notched 15 goals.

Home United Canadian winger Sherif El-Masri is the only foreigner among the top scorers as he is tied for third with Ignatius Ang from Singapore U18 with 13 goals.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Zainudin ready to abandon S-league

Up until now, it had been puzzling to many why Zainudin have done such a bad job managing S-league and the answer is crystal clear now.

He is more concern about getting Singapore back to Malaysia Cup.

So the impression he give the outside world that he is affixed with S-league development thus the reason for us not to pursue ACL status is just a smokescreen.

After all, in another few years under Zainudin, we will not have our own league already and without a domestic league, there is no more ACL so why should the FAS president care about that fate.

In a way, I expect his biggest supporter in the media will be one-time editor Jeffery Low and indeed, the writer should be coming out in support of Mr Zainudin.

For, as written before, Jeffery Low started his biased attacks on the S-league and promoting the Malaysian League as one of Asian top League back in the early 2000s.

In a way, he was only stopped when Ho Peng Kee took over from Mah Bow Tan and the then-FAS president stated he will not be bringing Singapore back to the Malaysia Cup.

It sparked the min-revival in the S-league as even from the TODAY reports, one can find the crowds increasing under the term of Ho Peng Kee

But now, it is all gone and in a way this make me more hopeful the term of FAS president can lengthen.

After all, the problem of re-centralizing the National team (as slowly the Selection side will become National team or else how is FAS going to implement this) will likely not show under Zainudin so he should be the one who clean up his own mess.

For everybody blamed S-league for not winning everything under the sky (Yes, I am not joking).

But the fact is S-league was formed at a time of changing landscape with the East-West divide crashing down in that period and for the first time, our Lions were exposed to the rest of Asia we were never expected to face.

No more were Singapore doing to face teams like the Maldives, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos etc for our World Cup or Asian Cup qualifiers.

It is now Kuwait, UAE, Jordan, Syria etc

Singapore can now faced these sides with a stronger hand as it is more than a decade since S-league came up and the divide came down but once we returned to Malaysia Cup, one wonder what direction we will take.

After all, honest speaking, S-league clubs (if they are still around) will not be interested to develop players as what is in it for them.

This will be like the NFL situation, as even with talks that are talents down there, the NFL players that have been brought to the S-league before have never in truth set the league alight.

But can one blamed them as let not talk about the funding, the fact is what purpose do they have in the development process as there is neither any credit nor any mention if they did it.

S-league clubs should not be expected to aid in the development of Singapore football especially after they have been abandoned.

As for talks we can develop together, I only have to say the difference between the era Ho Peng Kee and Zainudin already show us, S-league need our President focus and once his mind start to drift, it will have problems.

As an example, if there was a conflict and in the old Malaysia Cup era there were, who will FAS side with.

After that, come the topic I want to talk about - money.

People will say it is a small matter as once we go back, there will be massive sponsorship waiting for us that will pay for everything but this is fans talk and not backed up by data from history.

If sponsorship can pay for everything then how is it possible for FAS, when they were in the then-FAM semi-pro Premier League, to have lost money in 4 of the 6 years and the losses were all record one with losses reaching $1.5 million in one calendar year.

Fans will wonder, why does it matter as it is only numbers.

It is not mere numbers as when one make losses, they have to cut back on something and the areas FAS cut back on were youth developments for until now, those in charge of FAS at that time still cannot answer why it look 16 years to re-invite foreign teams back into the Lions City Cup and it only happen after we pulled out of Malaysia Cup.

Let be honest, their focus were not on youth development as the senior team needed money and attention.

Zainudin can promised it will not slip under his charge but I do not believed a word coming out of his mouth, as at this point in time, for the current, and likely future, Lions City Cup edition, it is already suffering from funding problems and as hosts, we are facing difficulties inviting teams to make the trip to the tournament.

Also, we are no longer a developing nation anymore and our economy had reached a highly-developed stage thus talents are becoming tougher to develop especially from 1990s onward as our youth no longer have the luxury to play football as pastime, especially when they become C.Ronaldo etc in PS3 or Xbox.

That why the role of FAS is especially important as only they have the resources and reach to develop players but once, they have to run another club, will their focus be there.

History tell me, it will not be for if we keep our rotation of FAS president, the next one only have five years to achieve glory and youth development take too long so it is easier to focus on the senior squad and let be honest, once we are in the Malaysia Cup, we will have the population advantage as no Malaysian state have more than 4 million unlikely Singapore 5 million.

The temptation will be too great and our current President is already showing he cannot resist as why care about the future when he is not here as nobody ever blamed any former FAS President.

The good point is no longer will our defeats in the international arena be blamed on S-league and in an increasing competitive Asian arena (unlikely the mid 90s where a number of Asian leagues have not been formed yet, now virtually every Asian nation have a league) we will find it tough to depend on a squad of 25 players.

So maybe after humiliating defeats, we can wonder where we gone wrong again.

S-league Preview (Edited to add in Sengkang Punggol vs Tampines Rovers)

S-league Preview - 3  right with 2 perfect score and 1 wrong 

Gombak United vs Young Lions
The Bulls are an inconsistent team and even in this case when they should be favourite, I rather go against them.After all they are facing a tired Young Lions who have been playing non-stop since returning from Vietnam but with rumors Agu Casmir is leaving, who can score for the Bulls as let be honest, their Koreans are not that good. The Cubs have also shown a stronger mental strength than the Bulls have even shown. So they are capable of a draw if  not a win 1-1 draw 

Beijing Gouan (S) vs Albirex Niigata (S)
The White Swans will be downcast after their Singapore Cup defeat but they have a good chance to get back on their feet. They are capable of defeating the Chinese side who are missing many players. They just have to score which is their main weakness. And, if they cannot score they really do not deserves to win. 2-0 to Albirex Niigata (S)  

SAFFC vs Woodlands Wellington
The Warriors will win this one, let be honest. So that about it. 3-0 to SAFFC  

Balestier Khalsa vs Geylang Unite
This looked like an even match-up. Both sides can defeat each other. The question then become if they can. The truth is both are likely to be cautious as they should know the first goal could decide the game as each side can defend a lead. I will go with the Tigers as I know they have Rivaldo and that is good enough for me. 1-0 to the Tigers  

Etoile FC vs Young Lions
The French should win this one but then, the Cubs have impressed me with their mental strength so I will give the Cubs mental strength a chance. They are certainly capable of walking away with a point if they keep up their good work. So that what I expect. 1-1 draw 

Gombak United vs Home United 
Let make this an easy one. Win or Burst, Home United. You were let off by the Warriors thumping of the Etoile FC (Or not as you could have been top and leading the race with two games to go) You have no second chance anymore. 2-1 to Home United

Sengkang Punggol vs Tampines Rovers 
I see no reason to believe Sengkang Punggol can derail the championship hopes of Tampines Rovers even if the match is played at Hougang. The Stags need the points and they have Duric. These 2 factors alone will be enough to convince anybody that the Eastern giant should walk away with all 3 points. After all, the Hougang side may have been stronger defensively since the joining of Kenjia Arai but they still lacked goals so once the Stags take the lead, there looked little chance of a comeback. 2-0 to the Stags

Friday, October 15, 2010

Agu agreed term Persija but transfer not confirmed

Jakmania has announced Gombak United forward Agu Casmir has agreed terms with Persija Jakarta for the ongoing ISL season.

But the article noted the Indonesian club have not signed a contract with the Singaporean international as he still has a contract with Gombak United until December.

For me, this will show if Bulls chairman John Yap is in a word, two-faced, as Persija Jakarta is known to be among the richest and most stable club in ISL and John Yap have no reason not to ask a transfer fee for Agu.

John Yap have constantly asked for more funds and this move is a way to raise much-needed money as Persija is not just any Indonesian club (which there are quite a few who may appear to be King but is a pauper)

So if he does not even asked for a transfer fee, he should not be asking for more funds as he is not doing his part.

If Persija Jakarta do not want to pay, they can wait until the end of the S-league season in November to pick up their forward.

Show your card, John Yap.

Local vs Foreign Singapore Cup Final on the card

A local vs foreign Singapore Cup Final is on the card after the results of the quarter-final.

In the first semi-final, Tampines Rovers is now set to face the Young Lions while the other semi-final will see Etoile FC facing Thai side Bangkok Glass.

  • Tampines Rovers vs Young Lions
  • Etoile FC vs Bangkok Glass (Thai)

Cubs reach semi-final

Despite being undermanned, with suspensions and injuries hitting the Young Lions, the Cubs reach the RHB Singapore Cup semi-final as they defeated Albirex Niigata (S) 1-0 overall.

The Cubs had won the first leg at Jalan Besar with a goal from Hafiz Abu Sujad before going to Jurong East and holding out against the White Swans.

They will now meet Tampines Rovers in the semi-final.

First leg 

Young Lions
Izwan Mahbud (GK), Afiq Yunos, Eddie Affendy Chang, Irwan Shah (C), Safuwan Baharudin, Shakir Hamzah, Hafiz Abu Sujad, (Faris Ramli) Faritz Abdul Hameed, Seo Su Jong, (Zulfahmi Arifin) Eugene Luo, (Shahfiq Ghani) Fadhil Noh  

Second leg 

Young Lions
Izwan Mahbud (GK), Afiq Yunos, Irwan Shah, Safuwan Baharudin, Shakir Hamzah, (Luka Savic) Hafiz Abu Sujad, Hariss Harun (C), (Nazrul Ahmad Nazari) Seo Su Jong, Eugene Luo, (Izzdin Shafiq) Fadhil Noh, Al-Qaasimy Abdul Rahman

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Etoile stump but continue to lead

The Warriors finally showed their class this season as they thrashed Etoile FC 3-0 at the Queenstown club.

While it is too late for the Warriors this season, it could be a base for them to build on for next season.

This result make one wonder if the French are feeling tired as they continue to campaign on two front for recent performances seem labour; even with positive results until tonight.

Making it worse, the French had two players - Andrea Damiani and Mansour Lakehal - send off and this could affect the team which is looking tired and undermanned.

However, they still hold a one-point advantage in the table and their next two opponents - a much weakened Young Lions and a youthful Albirex Niigata (S) - are certainly much 'easier' compared to the former champions. 

Erwan Gunawan was also send off for the Warriors.

Goals from Ivan Jerkovic, Federico Martinez and John Wilkinson secured the Warriors victory.

Shahril Jantan (GK) (C), Ivan Lovric, (Hafiz Osman) Razaleigh Khalik, Daniel Bennett, Ivan Jerkovic, Ahmad Latiff, John Wilkinson, Noh Rahman, Mustaqim Manzur, Taisuke Akiyoshi, (Erwan Gunawan) Federico Martinez

Tigers thrash Beijing as Cubs draw with White Swans

Balestier Khalsa thrashed Beijing Gouan (S) 3-0 with goals from their Brazilian Vitor Borges and Rivaldo Costa, who scored a brace.

Meanwhile, the Young Lions draw 1-1 with Albirex Niigata (S) before their RHB Singapore Cup second leg meeting with the same opposition.

Bruno Castanheira scored for the White Swans while Safuwan Baharudin reply for the Cubs.

The White Swans are looking to turn Jurong East orange when they meet the Cubs for the Friday match as the Cubs hold a one-goal advantage from the first leg.

Balestier Khalsa
Joey Sim (GK), Paul Cunningham (C), Mushthafa Kamal, (Goh Swee Swee) K Sathiaraj, Syaqir Sulaiman, (Aqhari Abdullah) Kamal Nasir, K Vikraman, Poh Yi Feng, (Nurhilmi Jasni) Andrew Tan, Rivaldo Costa, Vitor Borges


Young Lions
Izwan Mahbud (GK), (Afiq Yunos) Eddie Affendy Chang, Irwan Shah (C), Safuwan Baharudin, Shakir Hamzah, Luka Savic, Izzdin Shafiq, (Hafiz Abu Sujad) Zulfahmi Arifin, Nazrul Ahmad Nazari, (Seo Su Jong) Khalili D'cruz, Al-Qaasimy Abdul Rahman

Mustafic Fahrudin joined Persela Lamongan

Singapore international midfielder Mustafic Fahrudin have joined Persela Lamongan for the upcoming ISL season.

The 29-year-old had been without a club since he was released by Persija Jakarta back in August.

Despite being linked with a number of clubs, none of them materialised but now, finally the ex-Stags midfielder has found a club although one has to admit it does not looked the best move.

Persela Lamongan only just finished outside the relegation zone in 14th position last season.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Stags stay in the title race

Tampines Rovers stay in the S-league title race thanks to their top scorer Aleksandar Duric; who notched the winner 10 minutes from time.

The Stags had taken the lead 10 minutes earlier through Japanese defender Seiji Kaneko but the Eagles crawled their way back into the game thanks to a penalty.

Hafiz Rahim converted the spotkick and it was left to the Stags to look for the winner again as they went looking for their goal source this season, Duric.

With the 2-1 win against the Eagles, the Stags have climbed above Home United thanks to a better goal difference.

But Etoile FC still hold all the aces as they have a game in hand and a 1-point lead against their two main rivals.

Tampines Rovers
Hassan Sunny (GK), (Edward Tan) Zulkarnaen Zainal (C), Benoit Croissant, Seiji Kaneko, Akihiro Nakamura, Imran Sahib, (Zahid Ahmad) Shukor Zailan, (Ahmed Fahmie) Aliff Shafaein, Ismadi Mukhtar, Shahdan Sulaiman, Aleksandar Duric 

Geylang United
Siddiq Durimi (GK), Salim Rahim, Walid Lounis, Rastislav Belicak (C), Vasile Ghindaru, (Fabian Kwok) Kim Jae Hong, ( Hafiz Rahim) Syed Thaha, (Fazly Hasan) Shah Hirul, Syed Fadhil, (Yasir Hanap) Masrezwan Masturi, Peter Tomko

Lions to play in Vietnam competition

According to vietfootball blog, the Lions are set to play in a Vietnam competition, yet to be named, in November as part of the Suzuki Cup warm-up.

There will be 4 teams in the competition and they are host Vietnam, Spore and the two Korean peninsula sides.

However South Korea will only be sending their U23 side but North Korea have confirmed it is their national side.

November 2:
Singapore v North Korea
Vietnam v South Korea U23

November 4:
North Korea v South Korea U23
Vietnam v Singapore

November 6:
Singapore v South Korea U23
Vietnam v North Korea

Saturday, October 9, 2010

My thoughts on FAS president Zainudin Nordin

I had been disappointed by the move by FAS to pull out of the ACL race before any decision was even make but had not wanted to write any POV article on how it reflected on Zainudin Nordin until I read Pohui article in his blog.

It got me thinking not about the foreign teams particpation in the league but whether Zainudin Nordin, the not-so-new FAS president, should be a good bet as FAS president again.

Yes, he can point to his FAS Strategic Plan but a lot of it implementation will take more than the five years I expect to see him in charge of FAS as written here.

Quite frankly, although I asked for the person in the FAS presidency to be given more than one term in charge, Zainudin have not shown up to now why he should be the candidate to sit on the hot seat again.

Right from the start, I had express my doubts in the article - Speak up, Zainudin - about the then-new FAS president and up to now, he is showing I was right to have those doubts about him.

I am not saying this now because I am fustrasted with him for not staying in the ACL race but rather, over the last few months, he has shown more concern about issues other than local football.

Of course, some will say it is because he has other duties other than being FAS president but I am talking about the fact he has found time to speak on the Singtel-BPL deal and World Cup broadcasting.

No doubt, he was speaking about the Singtel-BPL deal in Parliament as a MP of  Toa Poyah-Bishan GRC but Zainudin has to understand the position he in now.

Because of the fact he is FAS president, his statements about any footballing issues get more coverage than the average Joe MPs will expect.

Just like the fact, Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim get more coverage when he talk about the Malay issues as he is the appointed leader despite Zaindiun also being considered to represent the Malay as well.

That was why I was extremely disappointed when you chose to make your first 'official' talk on any football issue, after being appointed FAS president, on the Singtel-BPL deal.

It was a terrible judgment call, for as expected, despite there being several MPs who also raise the issue, your was the only mentioned the most and by name everytime.

That lead to me asking if you are FAS president because you intend to use that position to advance your political career or as you said, you want to develop Singapore football because I cannot link the BPL-Singtel deal with local football.

If that was not bad enough, the World Cup broadcasting deal make me sick to the core when you stick your hand into it.

You decided to broadcast to the media that you are sending our S-league CEO to fly to Zurich to broker a deal and may I asked, what are the bargaining power you have!

Do you intend to pull Singapore out of FIFA like how you pull out of the ACL race?

AFC was not that concerned when you pulled out of the ACL race so tell me how you are going to reach the ear of Sepp Blatter.

But, the worst part was you were allocating FAS resources for a private broadcasting deal which I wonder - if that did happen - if you are going to get the money back from Starhub and Singtel.

This only lead me to deepen my suspicion that the post of FAS president is meant to help your political career as you always seem to have time to talk about foreign football issues but when it come to local issues, your deputy is always the one to appear.

Just like the recent Duric 300th goal incident, everything was pushed to Lions manager Eugene Ho but that show you do not care or you are a poor administrator as he was on the figure 299 for a while and you were not prepared.

It was not as Duric had scored 10 goals in one night thus catching everybody offguard.

After that, your deputy has to come out explain the situation while you kept a low enough profile by just sending your congratulations.

Indeed, I only expect you to appear prominently on the S-league Awards Night; or when Singapore lift the Suzuki Cup.

After all, foreign football issues get more coverage while S-league football only affect a few so is that the reason why over one year into your regime, we seldom find you standing up for S-league on any issues.

That is also why I believed the next few years under Zainudin Nordin will be one of the worst regime ever; coming so soon after Ho Peng Kee had put more effort into local football and the S-league.

We can already see it.

The fact he does not even have the stomach to stay in the ACL battle show he does not want to be associate with failures so by pulling out now, he can find the foreigners as excuses.(As the chances of ACL direct entry were low so it was not just the foreigners issue)

So do not expect to see him leading when his deptuy can be the scapegoat and that is why I do not see how the FAS Strategic Plan can be implemented under him as his judgment and administrating abilities are doubtful in my eyes.

Thus this regime has to end after 2013.

Let hope your regime end in a different way from what I expect but I doubt it as nothing is disputing that.

S-league Preview

Last week Preview - 1 right and 4 wrong

Tampines Rovers vs Geylang United
Tampines Rovers are the last hope of the local fans but let not be emotional and back them because of that. But luckily they are facing a side we know they beat, as long as they scored first. This Eagles team cannot be put in the same bracket as the great Eagles sides gone by. They may be fighting for 4th but this has more to do with the disappointing display of SAFFC. If not, they are a mid-table side and the Stags can beat them but it should be close as the Eagles are strong defensively for let not forget their 'bus' formation. 2-1 to Tampines Rovers

Albirex Niigata (S) vs Young Lions
3 meeting in the space of 6 days. They must be sick of facing each other but seriously, I think they will focus more on the Singapore Cup match coming up 3 days later. After all, it make more sense with a trophy near their doorstep. 1-1 draw

Balestier Khalsa vs Beijing Gouan (S)
I am willing to back the Tigers on this one as this season they have done well against sides around them in the league table and the Chinese side are beatable as they have been weaken further. There is just no way, whenever I look, I can see the Tigers failing other than the fact they are as disappointing as the Bulls. But they are not. 2-1 to the Tigers

Etoile FC vs SAFFC
A match that could decide the S-league championship as former champions squared up against champions contender. If the French win this one, I can see no way back for Tampines Rovers and Home United, if they have not destroyed their championship chances already with disappointing results in the last 2 months. The Warriors are inconsistent this season so we cannot tell if they can keep the championship race alive but as former champions, they have the strength to that so let give them a chance. But a win should be asking too much. 3-3 draw

Bangkok Glass reach semi-final

Thai side Bangkok Glass has reach the RHB Singapore Cup semi-final after they defeated Aussies side South Melbourne 6-4 overall.

In the first leg, the Thai side won 3-1 with goals from Sarun Promkeaw, Gbenga Ajayi and Chatree Chimtale.

 Daniel Vasilevski had reply for the Aussies side.

In the second leg, it was a 3-3 draw with goals from Chatree Chimtale, who scored a brace, and Gbenga Ajayi, who scored for the Thais, with Giovanni De Nittis, who also scored a brace, and Fernando De Moraes for the Aussies.

Bangkok Glass will meet S-league leaders Etoile FC in the semi-final

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Home United pay for weak management by Koh Siong Ling

The title race was not lose tonight.

It was lost the moment the weak management lead by chairman Koh Siong Ling allowed their skipper to leave (and for nothing somemore)

They can said anything but history will record down that the weak leadership of Koh Siong Ling had allowed an important player in the team to leave at a crucial stage of the season and it was for nothing (Once more I have to repeat that)

The chairman must take his blame no matter what as it was under his leadership, such an event happen.

He cannot escape it and like the FAS president, which is rotated, it will only make my point that rotation of the top position weaken management for no matter if Mr Koh was a failure or a success, he will be gone sooner or later.

What is the motivation for a person in such a position especially as the person had admitted he does not even like S-league football much before getting the post.

Oh yeah, the score was 0-0.

Home United
Lionel Lewis (GK), Juma'at Jantan, Valery Hiek, Rosman Sulaiman, Shi Jiayi (C), Tengku Mushadad, Chun Jae Woon, (Firdaus Idros) Isa Halim, Sufian Anuar, Jun Woo Keun, Choi Chul Woo

Balestier Khalsa
Joey Sim (GK), Paul Cunningham, Daniel Hammond (C), Mushthafa Kamal, K Sathiaraj, Syaqir Sulaiman, Ishak Zainol, (Goh Swee Swee) Poh Yi Feng, (Andrew Tan) Nurhilmi Jasni, Rivaldo Costa, (Syafiq Zainal) Vitor Borges

Warriors failed to take full advantage even as they reach 4th spot

Former champions SAFFC play two matches this week as they seek to make up lost time due to the suspended matches of Young Lions and Beijing Gouan (S).

It was a golden chance to secure 4th spot in the league if they won both matches

However, they lost the first match with John Wilkinson send off before half-time and Albirex Niigata (S) took advantage of it to race to a two-goal lead, through Bruno Castanheira and Tatsuro Inui, before the Warriors pulled one back from the spot.

Federico Martinez got the Warriors sole goal.

In the second match, it was better but it was against a much weaken Young Lions, who were also playing their second match of the week,

The Warriors won 5-2 with thanks to a brace from both Federico Martinez and Erwan Gunawan with the remaining goal an own goal

The Cubs reply came from Hariss Harun and Afiq Yunos. 

The Young Lions first match this week had been against Sengkang Punggol; who walked away from Jalan Besar a 1-0 winner thanks to a Kenji Arai goal.

One more match in the S-league this week invloved Gombak United and Woodlands Wellington and the Bulls walked away 3-0 winner thanks to Chang Jo Yoon, Fazrul Nawaz and Hamqaamal Shah

Shahril Jantan (GK) (C), Ivan Lovric, Razaleigh Khalik, Daniel Bennett, Ivan Jerkovic, Ahmad Latiff, John Wilkinson, Noh Rahman, Mustaqim Manzur, Taisuke Akiyoshi, Federico Martinez


Young Lions
Izwan Mahbud (GK), (Hariss Harun) Eddie Affendy Chang, Irwan Shah (C), Safuwan Baharudin, Faritz Abdul Hameed, Luka Savic, Izzdin Shafiq, (Khalili D'cruz ) Zulfahmi Arifin, Nazrul Ahmad Nazari, Seo Su Jong, (Eugene Luo) Shahfiq Ghani

Sengkang Punggol
Fadhil Salim (GK), Ratna Suffian, Lau Meng Meng, Kenji Arai, Jordan Webb, Nor Azli Yusoff (C), (Farizal Basri) Ashley Ow, Duncan Elias, Sobrie Mazelan, (Jala) Mojtaba Tehranizadeh, (Nurhidayat Kamarudin) Mamadou Diallo


Woodlands Wellington
Fajar Sarib (GK), (Nigel Vanu) Winston Yap, (Rachid Lajane) Kazuki Yoshino, Anaz Hadee, Luis Eduardo Hicks, Azlan Alipah, Syed Karim, Noor Ali (C), (Guntur Djafri) Asraf Rashid, Sazali Salleh, Abdelhadi Laakkad

Gombak United
Zakariah Nerani (GK), Hamqaamal Shah, Jaslee Hatta (C), Bah Mamadou, Obadin Aikhena, (Zulkiffli Hassim) Ruhaizad Ismail, Fabian Tan, Ridhwan Jamaludin, Park Kang Jin, (Armanizam Dolah) Fazrul Nawaz, (Agu Casmir) Chang Jo Yoon


Shahril Jantan (GK) (C), Ivan Lovric, Razaleigh Khalik, Daniel Bennett, Ivan Jerkovic, Ahmad Latiff, Noh Rahman, (Ruzaini Zainal) Mustaqim Manzur, Taisuke Akiyoshi, (Rhysh Roshan Rai) Erwan Gunawan, Federico Martinez

Young Lions
Izwan Mahbud (GK), Afiq Yunos, Irwan Shah, Safuwan Baharudin, (Zulfahmi Arifin Hafiz) Abu Sujad, Faritz Abdul Hameed, Izzdin Shafiq, Hariss Harun (C), Seo Su Jong, (Nazrul Ahmad Nazari) Eugene Luo, (Shahfiq Ghani) Fadhil Noh

Asian Games - Singapore drawn with champions

The Asian Games Lions have been drawn alongside champions Qatar in a draw conducted today.

The other teams in the group are another West Asian team Kuwait and South Asian powerhouse India.

The top two teams from each group and the four best third-placed teams will qualify for the Round of 16.

It  looked a reasonable group for the Asian Games Lions as even with the loss of 5 players, with Hariss also out, we will be reinforce with 3 senior players so the choice of the seniors could well decide the fate of the Asian Games Lions.

All the other factors about the oppositions like whether they 'filled' with more overage players than allowed is out of our hand as let be honest, it is happening.

The last Asian Games saw Qatar crowned champions with cries of up to 6 'senior' players but then runner-up Iraq, who make the accusations, was found later to have fake players for the U19 ACQ thus was kicked out of the U19 Asian Cup Finals.


Group A: China, Malaysia, Kyrgyzstan, Japan

Group B: Iran, Vietnam, Bahrain, Turkmenistan

Group C: Korea Republic, Palestine, Jordan, DPR Korea

Group D: Qatar, Kuwait, India, Singapore

Group E: Uzbekistan, UAE, Hong Kong, Bangladesh

Group F: Thailand, Maldives, Oman, Pakistan

Hariss Harun is not going to the Asian Games

According to TNP, Singapore midfielder Hariss Harun is not going to the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.

This is a huge blow according to Lions head coach Raddy as in his opinion there is no player among the Cubs rank that can replaced the Young Lions player.

The 20-year-old took this decision as he is in his final year of his studies and his dad decided that it is better for him to complete my studies first.

To be honest, he can always join the next Asian Games as we have to remember 3 overage players are allowed so there is a next chance for him.

It is then of course a good decision by his father.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Having longer term for FAS President make more sense

In the past month, the talk was on total revamp of the S-league and to be honest, I am not in favour as this will lead to non-stop revamping everytime something crop up like across the causeway.

After any revamp, we have to give the 'new' league a period of time to test it resilience and that is not likely to be the case as many will demand instant results or else why the cry for revamp.

It will then lead to calls for more revamp and that is why, across the causeway, we see a 'new' league every 1-3 years.

That is clearly no solution.

Still, I have to talk about it as MediaCorp Today editors somehow decided a no idea plan with 3 years limit by PN Baljis is worth space on their papers.

This idea is the worst as it came out from the establishment meaning they endorse it or they can claimed in their defence, they did not put in the sport section so it was not from a sport point of view but an economy point of view.

For that is what it was.

If anything could be done with a 3-year limit and endless cash in that timeline, then FAM will have succeed as they started out their MSL revamp back in 2003 with RM$130 million sponsorship and that is not counting the other sources of money they got from their state government.

But what killed them was the plan have to be a success by 2005 season or it was a failure and it was impossible.

Even S-league own history tell us that setting a timeline so short will only hurt us in the end as back in 1996, our then-S-league CEO only gave us only 4 years to build everything and by 1999 when we were still building the foundation, the funding was reduced sparking a downturn.

If we need to learn how to build support the right way, this article -Where does Stroke City's money come from - from the blog Swiss Ramble is worth a read.

Point 1: There is need to spend money to build anything and the current situation of getting others (meaning private sources) is not going to work as Stroke City would never have the money if they seek other funding outside their owner. So FAS work is not with the private sectors but the government. 

(As the club’s latest accounts admit, Stoke City “could not have achieved our recent success without huge investment.” Although Coates only paid £1.7 million to buy a majority stake, this allowed him to invest another £8.3 million directly into the club, giving a total of £10 million spent. Around £3.3 million was used to repay Icelandic loans with the former owners writing-off their other debts. That left the remaining £5 million to fund future working capital requirements or, in plain English, cover losses. Since then, Coates has also had to pay an additional £2 million that was contingent on Stoke reaching the Premier League within three years, so the total “purchase” price effectively amounted to £12 million)

Point 2: be realistic about fans support. Support take time to build and so what if Stroke City are filling their stadium now as they know, if they go down, their support will disappear overnight as they have not build the foundation yet. However, we keep seeing the only way is to go back to past project like the already-failed FAM-FAS Series. This is not the way. We should be building up S-league; not FAM-FAS Series. 

(For example, the stadium currently has three open corners, which could each be filled in, adding 2,500 seats at a cost of £3 million apiece. However, they appear to be in no hurry to do this, as it is by no means guaranteed that they would be able to sell all those extra seats, which might compromise the vibrant atmosphere that undoubtedly provides an advantage to the home team.)

Point 3: be realistic about sponsorship contribution as it is impossible to get the level seem in Europe big clubs which people tend to compare with. 

(Having said that, when the club spoke about seeking to “maximise the commercial opportunities that come with Premier League status”, I was expecting a little more than staging The Greatest Ever Luncheon for Muhammad Ali (even though the man is a hero of mine) and hosting the start of the Tour of Britain cycle race.)

Point 4: The need for financial support to be long term and by that I mean decades

(Nobody appreciates this dilemma more than Coates himself. He explained, “What we have done is put in money to get us to the Premier League and we are still doing it now to establish the club there.” So far, so good, but he added, “Going forward however it must be our aim to make Stoke City football club self-financing, so that it is not overly reliant on new funds being continually introduced by a benefactor.” In short, the club is aiming for self-sufficiency, but still needs some help for the moment.)

If Stroke City was forced to rely on itself after just 5 years of Coates funding, or even 3 years like some are demanding, then everything the club have done up to now will be wasted.

But if PN Baljis was right about anything, it is a need to have no interference from the likes of him as we will be rebuilding and rebuilding again under the model he is seeking.

And now, we come to the part about the header as quite frankly the current uproar about the league came just as Zaindiun took over the FAS so should I lay everything wrong on his feet.

It will not be right as he is still finding his feet as he has been FAS President for less than a year.

The problem is by the time he find his feet, nearly 1/3 of his FAS term will be over and it is time wasted as our FAS president change every 5 years thus we be going through the same process every term.

It result in waste of time and resources as one of the issue I have was why FAS needed to restart the failed FAM-FAS Series just to see it fail again.

There is no doubt the result of the new President having to show he has the drive, if not new ideas, to run FAS.

But at what cost?

It is resulting as we are seeing a confused state of change as the administrators have to adjust to the new President style.

After all, the last President, Assoc Professor Ho Peng Kee, focus was the S-league but Zaindiun, as he claimed, has bigger fish to fry so we are seeing our S-league CEO and General-Secretary Winston Lee having to work on projects from ASL to bringing CWC to Singapore etc.

I do not want to say if those projects are good or bad here and will be coming out with another Viewpoint on that issue in the next few days but one thing is for certain, all the effort by the last President has now gone down the drain as our new President has other ideas.

This is a real problem as it make no sense for 5 years of work to go down the drain just because we have a new President.

Looked at BPL, they have focus and stability as they have not change their CEO, Richard Scudamore, since 1999 and yet we have 3 presidents in that timeline.

It make no sense as what we need are focus and stability as we are building up S-league and yet we are changing President every term with each one having their own idea (Or having to show they have their own ideas and drives)

It wasted what the previous President have done and we have to start all over again.

After all, can anybody image Singapore economy being able to focus on any project if our Prime Minister is change every 5 years so why is local football being asked to go through that.

Without our FAS President being in charge for at least 3 terms or even longer, S-league will no doubt face constant pressure, through no fault of it, as each President have different ideas and focus and this is not good for a league seeking to build itself.

Monday, October 4, 2010

S-league pull out of ACL race

According to AFC website, FAS has decided to pull S-league out of the race to gain direct entry to the ACL over the fact that AFC do not wish to see foreign clubs in any league seeking ACL entry.

To say I have mixed feeling is correct as frankly, the chances of making the ACL group stages through direct entry were low in the first place as we also lacked other criteria like the stadiums etc.

Still, it is not nice to see S-league lose a fight before it even started especially as A-league was able to include their New Zeland team in their league thanks to a deal between AFC and OFC.

This lacked of political strength by FAS mean I have to contend with ACL payoff yet again next year. (and likely for a while)

It is certainly no loss, as we have nothing to lose, nor any gain but as long as S-league keep it spot in the ACL playoff, I will be happy for the moment.

van Beukering chance of making Suzuki Cup higher as he quit Dutch football (Edited)

New Indonesian forward John van Beukering chances of making the Suzuki Cup has raise after he quit Dutch football. (translated from Indonesian)

It seem he is set to seek new pasture in Indonesian football and who can blamed him for he is now struck in the Dutch second Division.

Let be honest, a footballer career in the Dutch second Division is not likely to be paved with the pot of gold.

With this move, he has decided to seek a better living at the prime of his career and whether it work or not, he has little to lose.

The payout could then be worth it.

And, what make this move smart is he is now an Indonesian thus he will not be restricted by any foreign quotas.

It also mean he can make the Suzuki Cup as it unlikely his, now, former club will be happy to let him play in the competition for an entire month.

With the Suzuki Cup trophy among Indonesia easier target to achieve, he could find himself a hero at the end of it all.

 It is certainly killing two birds with one stone.

Eximbank Cup Results

Singapore Provisional Asian Games results at Eximbank Cup

Singapore Asiad team 1-1 Iran Olympic team
Scorer - Eugene Luo

Singapore Asiad team 0-0 Vietnam U23

Singapore Asiad team 0-0 Malaysia U23

Friday, October 1, 2010

Etoile FC treble dream still on track

Etoile FC chance to win the treble this season is still on track as they defeat Hong Kong side Kitchee FC 6-4 overall to advance to the semi-final stage of the RHB Singapore Cup.

Julien Deletraz and Karim Boudjema had scored for the Stars in the first leg to give them a commanding lead before a 4-4 draw in the second leg finished off the Hong Kong side.

The Hong Kong league second-runnerup can still take pride in their work as they had lead the Stars by 2 goals twice but the Stars exposed Kitchee poor defensive play at set-piece.

Mansour Lakehal, Frederic Mendy, Serge Souchon and Anthony Moulin scored for the Stars in the second leg.

Kitchee goals came from Ubay Luzardo, Mansour Lakehal, Liang Zicheng and Jorge Tarres.

South Melbourne squad changes

South Melbourne has announced their new squad that will be taking part in the 2010 RHB Singapore Cup quarter-final and beyond.

The new signings are Jesse Krncevic and Steven Topalovic from the Richmond Eagles and Lukmon Anifaloyin from Fawkner.

Krncevic is regarded as one of the best attacking players in the league and will be looking to provide the finishing prowess in the final third.

Topalovic, a former South junior, is a versatile player that can play through both defense and midfield. At only 20 years of age, he has a reputation of being one of the most effective defenders in the league.

Nigerian born Lukmon Anifaloyin is a highly rated and skilled central defender who will be joining the club from Fawkner and is expected to fight both Eddie Cetkin and James Stefanou for duties next to Steven O’Dor in the heart of the defence.

As well as these key signings, four of South Melbourne FC’s Championship winning Under 21 squad will also be joining the squad, with Dimitri Vithoulkas, Mackie Simmons, Brad Treloar and George Malliaras all being registered into the squad for the Singapore Cup.

The Blues, their nickname, are playing Bangkok Glass in the quarter-final with the second leg, staged at Jalan Besar, to be LIVE telecast on both MediaCorp channel 5 and Starhub sport channel.