Fish Out of Water

-Sengkang Punggol FC Fans' Perspective-

Open Forum Discussion #1

I’ve been toying with the idea of starting a round-table discussion on this blog for a while. The idea is to generate some talking points regarding Sengkang Punggol and possibly other local football-related news and for you, the regular readers to have your say on these issues. Afterall a good discussion can be cathartic and enlightening.

It’s been brought to our attention by frequent reader Vincent Teo, that the new management of Sengkang Punggol is offering 6-month contracts to its players, instead of the usual industrial practise of at least one year.

Do you think this is fair to the players, who might have mouths to feed? Or do you think this is a good step by the management to prevent unnecessary bleeding of precious funds, i.e. compensation resulting from coach/player sacking due to poor performance?

Drop your thoughts in the comment section below.


December 1, 2009 - Posted by | Open Forum Discussion |


  1. I think its not fair. 6mths contract? I’ve never heard of it, even my mobile phone contract is longer than that. But I see why he’s doing that. Sengkang has never perform to expectations ( If there’s any expectation ). Year after year the foreign signings have never performed. Amos Boon will concede his ermm 1000 goal since he’s been there. Please get a decent keeper, but heck Sengkang has never failed me everytime I bet. Any Sengkang match is worthy of “KASI BOLA”, ” GIVE BALL ” handicap.

    Comment by Sha | December 1, 2009 | Reply

    • Personally I have no clue what the coffers in the Hougang camp are thinking but perhaps with the experimentation of youngsters, 6 months might seem to be a feasible point in case things really do not work out as planned.

      I am sure the foreign signings should be tied to at least a year if not why they even bother signing on in the first place?

      Balestier Khalsa had been loosening their wage budget while Woodlands despite tightening their money vault should be able to compete effectively, so it look likely that our team is surely going to struggle with this policy.
      Although the ball is round, just mark my words for it.
      I hope I am wrong.

      Comment by wreckidigidy | December 1, 2009 | Reply

  2. While i think that the 6 months contract may be abit unusual, i believe that the clubs are also protecting themselves by doing this if this news is really true.

    Take a look at last year team. There were several players that was registered for the entire season but during the course of the season, some failed to even make a single appearance and some flattered to deceive. And think to yourself why the club just cant terminate these player’s contracts? The reason is simple. Compensation for termination of contracts which would normally be the remainder of the players’ salary for remaining months of the contract. For a club like Sengkang which is not very rich, they cant afford to do this. As a result, they are stuck with these deadwoods for the rest of the season.

    These 6 months contract could be a way to motivate the players as well. Playing for your future they say. I’m not going to name names but i do know that there are several players who after earning a contract at the club, their performances and attitude starts to change. Sad to say, professional footballers in singapore aren’t really as professional as they seemed. So this could be a way to prevent this kind of scenario.

    So i guess it all depends on how one look at this issue. It could benefit both parties in the long run.

    Just my 2 cents worth to this discussion.

    Comment by y a p | December 1, 2009 | Reply

  3. y a p… I agree that this is just a base where the club can cover themselves in case they dont find the players good enough. But i think we are all looking at this from a business point of view. From a footballing point, these guys, no matter how unprofessional you think they may be, are doing this for a living. You are placing them under unnecessary pressure. They might be more nervous when they play instead of feeling more freedom.

    Its like a school year, a student has 12 months to prove his worth, but if the principal tells him that he must show he is good enough before the mid-term or else they will throw him out cos they dont want the standard of the school to drop then how? Sekali this guy is a late bloomer.

    Perhaps some of the players might gain some form in the 2nd half of the season. There are a lot of variables that cant be seen from a business point of view. I dont know, this could all backfire.

    Comment by Vincent | December 1, 2009 | Reply

  4. @Vincent
    I won’t disagree with you as everyone is titled to their own opinion.

    But for me i feel that no matter what profession you are in, there is bound to be pressure. Be it a part time job or a full time job. There is no such thing as more pressure because of that. If one cant take the pressure, then im sorry to say, they are not fit to be footballers. A team cannot afford to wait for a player to pick up his form in only the second part of the season and in the first part he played like shit. It doesn’t make any sense.

    Consistency is therefore a real key component in any characteristics that a coach will look for in a player. If the player is consistent with his performances, then im sure he wont have to worry abt his contract not being extended.

    Once again, not disagreeing or wat. Just my opinion =)

    Comment by y a p | December 1, 2009 | Reply

    • Im not disputing the fact that footballers or any other profession have to deal with pressure. that is part of the trade. However, i feel the club is placing added and unnecessary pressure on the players. This would make players go out with the mindset of doing too much and making selfish decisions on the pitch. Teamwork goes out the window because everyone is then playing for themselves, for their future. This will affect results and hence the cycle come full circle and the management will decide to get a whole new squad.

      Why not stick with what you have and give them a few years to gel? I think it is impossible with this club. Every year there is a change of coach, personnel, even chairman. How to progress? Obviously chopping and changing isnt working so how about stop doing the same mistakes.

      Comment by Vincent | December 2, 2009 | Reply

      • You may think I am mad but this is what I recommend Sengkang to do:

        Go find an experienced and capable coach, someone who can turn a group of unknowns into a much feared team. Think of someone along the class like Choo Seng Quee (Lions), Alan Vest (Sarawak), Milous Kvacek (Kedah/KL) or Jita Singh (Sembawang Rangers). Give him a decently long contract then armed him with a group of fairly experienced “lieutenants” to become the youth coach, Prime League coach, asst coach and scouts. They will form the “Technical Management Team” of the club with the head coach fully responsible of the club’s on field performance.

        Such a coaching structure should be able to support the club’s vision of fielding untested youth players. IMO, Aide Iskandar clearly do not fit into the role of the club’s Head Coach. How can a someone who barely has any coaching experience be given such a big task just because he has just obtained the necessary coaching certificate and he happens to be an ex-Lion captain? No matter what he says that he used to play under coach X, Y or Z, playing and coaching is an entirely different game. In fact the day he is appointed, the club has already lost a good defender while ending up with an average/untested coach. The situation is also the same with the previous guy Jorg Streinbrunner who only has a mediocre record with Woodlands wellington. When you have such kind of coach, it is inevitable that you will need to change every year due to poor result and of course so do the players.

        Also I do not like the much emphasis on the players. Players are important, but ultimately it is the coach that will shape the future of the team and leave a lasting legacy. Think Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger. Still not convince? Please watch the movie “Kallang Roar” and think more about it.

        Comment by Vincent Teo | December 2, 2009 | Reply

      • What you said do make sense and i am not going to dispute that.

        And you do have a good point on the management. This is really something which i feel both sengkang and a host of other clubs in Singapore should really look at improving. For a club to really work, the management has to be the correct one. And i do believe that a small club can have the ability to transform itself if they have a strong management. Example? Look no further than Gombak United.

        But until the day when Sengkang has a stable management. We can expect this chopping and changing to happen every season.

        Comment by y a p | December 2, 2009 | Reply

  5. The trick of the trade is to open up your eyes and scout for players that fit into the club’s overall strategy. Usually in bigger European clubs, this aspect is done by a group of very experienced scouts together with the club’s head coach/manager. Once such player is found, he will be tied down on a fairly long term basis in order to develop him into a real asset to the club. You just look at the more establish clubs in S League, they usually hold on to their assets on a long term basis to ensure stability, only to clear them out once they are at or near their “expiry”.

    By offering such short term contracts, it shows that Sengkang don’t know or is somehow unsure of what they are doing. Hence they are just signing the players on a trial and error basis, hoping that these players will work. Yes, maybe such contracts can help to get rid of the flops in a much easier way. On the flip side, if the player turns out to be a gem, it also means that he will be available to all theit rivals after just 6 months. That will be potentially just as devastating as having a flop in their rank.

    Comment by Vincent Teo | December 2, 2009 | Reply

  6. It is no surprise that SAF, Tampines, Home, Gombak and even Mike Wong who has been trading places with Tong Hai at Geylang have been the more successful teams. All because of stability. I think yes emphasis on the coach as well as the players. This is not Football Manager where a team can just be expected to gel straight away.. You cant expect to plant a seed and expect to see a tree in a few days. Once you start running football clubs as a business instead of a football team then that’s where it all goes downhill. Is this how the current chairman views the team? I’m sure most of you will say that what is the purpose of running a football team without ROI but if that is the sole purpose then god help US.

    Comment by Vincent | December 2, 2009 | Reply

  7. >>y a p
    I’m strongly agreed with you, the club are now under receivableship status and its not they are poor in cash. 6 months contract may be unusual, but its a good move from the management with their current terribly financial status. In another way, 6 months contract could be the way to motivate the players to prove themselve to the club, supporters and also for thier future. If you are a PROFESSIONAL players it will gel well imediately with the team and would not need for 6 months(for so long). I believe the club would not mistreat the players once the players have prove themselve that they earn for the contract.

    If players want to play professionally, they play with their heart & soul. Then they don’t play ‘kelong’ soccer game. If they don’t play well then the players should go. Players must earn for the contract, without showing any good results it will not automatically awarded the players for 1 year contract, this is a spoiled culture in S LEAGUE. There won’t be any free meal come to you automactically unless you earn for it. As a PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALLER, if you can play, you can play straight away, gel & blend well. It will not need for 6 months time (for so long) to prove your skill. If you can’t play, even a 6 years contract you still can’t show your worth. Lets look at our two “NATIONAL TREASURE” in SPFC, it became the club’s bigger baggage. They just can’t play, gel & blend at all with the team members, also they’re arrogant and they don’t discuss with their team mates. Even we had someone with 30 years of soccer experience did not bring us 30 years ahead of the league.

    I strongly believe in the next new generation
    of players in SPFC will be much better than these two “NATIONAL TREASURE”.

    Even EPL sacks players in short terms, no such things for guarantee contract. Unless you’re in the youth developement squad, then you can have a long term contract with pathetic pay.

    SPFC want to build a home-made team, that’s why from Coach to most of the players are given 6 months to prove each person worth.

    As come to your chopping theory, i believe that all cancer cells had been removed in SPFC.

    When come to survivalship, it is always the revenue & profit model come first. Look at all the EPL big boys, most of the clubs are in reds. If i remembered correctly, 10 out of 20 leagues are sold to foreigners because of poor financial management. It is always business come first, otherwise how are the clubs going to pay for the players? Positive Return-Of-Investment (ROI) is always the mother of all game. For example, (quote from TODAY paper a few weeks back)that’s why Woodland are in some sort of financial troubles.

    2010 season is definitely a much stronger & exicting year for SPFC. Best of all, we don’t have any icon types of players.

    Comment by Very upset Fan | December 3, 2009 | Reply

  8. Professional??

    Lets start from the top.The New chairman is deciding for the team,he’s the Chairman,let the coach do the selection.I bet the Chairman doesnt even know how to kick a football.he has his son to do the statistics of the game??tats professional?Ive been watching football for 10 over years,I can be a technical director??hahaha,lets not always blame the players,everything starts from the TOP.He has his DRIVER to be his TECHNICAL DIRECTOR of the team..wat kinda professionalism is tat.

    Budget was cut by half…hw du u run a PROFESSIONAL club like tat?The oni reason the Chairman is interested is because of the jackpot machine i guess.Dnt tink he gives a damnn abt the football there.

    Well,tats PROFESSIONALISM for u guys… cheers

    Blog Owners’ Request: For the poster of this comment, please state your source for this claim. We are of no association with the poster and will be liable to reveal the email address to the club when enforce by law.
    So do state your claim or request us to take down your comment.

    Comment by Sinking Dophin | December 11, 2009 | Reply

    • There seem to be a lot of disgruntle from the comments we received here which somehow came straight from the horses’ mouths of the situation beneath the facade.

      If that is so, it looked like Sengkang Punggol’s tenure as the struggling club will not end anytime soon…

      Comment by wreckidigidy | December 11, 2009 | Reply

    • First and foremost I would like to be enlightened that this blog is meant for comments that are particularly foundamental to the build-upof the club be it criticism or applauses. And to my belief it should never be a place for PERSONAL ATTACK to whosoever and whatsoever.

      Being labelled as one that only concern of making money as the main priority of running a professional club is tantament to insulting one’s principle. If this is not a personal attack on the character of the person in particular that you had mentioned then what can it be?

      Who are you in the first place to tell the chairman how he should run the club and who he should appoint? So if you think you can do the job better you should have highlighted what is good in order for us to take note and act if necessary, not just simply criticise and insult!

      The point is what good will it bring by doing that?

      A true blue fan will never criticize and insult and to that extent where it seems there is an agenda behind it! Seems to me that you were the ex-employee / manager of the club.

      And so you mean to say a driver can never be a professional? Which also mean to say a dishwasher can never be a manager in his entire career?

      To this end, you have brought about a very sensitive issue where it brings many discomfort not only to the management of the club but to many true blue fans of the club by and large.

      Your accusation which seems outrageous and uncalled-for left me with no other choice but to rebut.

      Failing to do so within 7 calendar days, effective from today, I strongly believed the management team will initiate legal proceeding against you without further notice.

      Comment by Reborn Dophin | December 15, 2009 | Reply

      • Amended for the previous post :-

        Your accusation which seems outrageous and uncalled-for left me with no other choice but to rebut.I hereby strongly advice you to withdraw your statement and an apology.

        Failing to do so within 7 calendar days, effective from today(15 December 2009), I strongly believed the management team will initiate legal proceeding against you without further notice.

        Comment by Reborn Dophin | December 15, 2009 | Reply

    • Dear Sink Dophin,

      You talk so much about professionalism but your are not being professional about your comments. Your comments are based on personal rather than professional. You sound very angry.

      Are you in anyway related to the Chairman? Or have you been with the Club that you know so much about this club??

      What the Chairman did or does is none of your business. Did he ask you to fork out from your pocket to pay the players and officers??? Who he appoints has nothing to do with you, even if he is interested in the jackpot has got nothing to do with you.

      Fans like you are not giving sincere opinion but only criticisms. Since you are good in giving comments, I suggest you join their technical team to prove your professionalism; we shall see, with you around whether the club could climb to the top 3 rather than bottom of the table.

      Comment by Veryupset Fans | December 15, 2009 | Reply

  9. The chairman’s son doing stats of the game is weird enough for me but the chairman’s driver is the technical director now?! That has to be too weird to be true but frankly nothing surprises me at this club anymore. Sinking dolphin are you part of the club?

    Comment by Vincent | December 12, 2009 | Reply

  10. to the blogowner…

    these claims were heard frm outside sources…

    if its not true,then bring the post down.

    Am very sorry abt the comment,Singapore’s a small country,news travel fast.

    was just sharing,n if this is not true…The author is very sorry for the claims made

    Comment by Sinking Dophin | December 17, 2009 | Reply

    • Let this be a lesson learn to all, that do not incur personal attacks.

      What goes on in the backroom is of no interest to this blog who cares more about what happens on the pitch.

      Whatever we have witness in live matches, we have every right to comment upon, what’s going on with the coffers, unless we have legitimate source of information or at least reported in the media, we should try to steer clear from it unless the club has truly reached dire straits.

      Of course we also seek some transparency with club matters, just do not indulge in personal attacks

      Comment by wreckidigidy | December 17, 2009 | Reply

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