Fish Out of Water

-Sengkang Punggol FC Fans' Perspective-

The Dolphins’ New Vocal Support

There had been some reports of a small vocal contingent in matches involving Sengkang Punggol of late to cheer the lads and certainly done its part to buoy the team in a recent resurgence in form.

Read on The Phenomenon’s blog about a band of diehard Manchester United fans rendering their support at Hougang Stadium in the recent home tie against Beijing Guoan Talents.

One of this Red Devils supporters made their presence felt on this blog which i felt ought to deserve a post on its own for their effort:

Hello folks! Yes, it was indeed really heartwarming to see the Dolphins show their fortitude in holding on for 2 gritty wins.

A short intro of myself: a few of my buddies and I are Manchester United fans who have decided to not just watch EPL, but to support the growth of our nation’s football as well. As such, we have decided to adopt Sengkang Punggol FC as “our” club to stand by (though I personally live in the west side! *grin*). Mainly in part due to our support for our good friend Aide Iskandar, and now by extension, the whole of SPFC.

Also, to show that supporting a team doesn’t mean that we only follow winning teams, but that we stand by our team through thick and thin. Our dream is to do our small part to help grow the fan base for Sengkang Punggol.

Hence, it is from 18th July vs Beijing Guoan that we took that step of faith, and stepped up to cheer our team on. It is not right for us to claim for ourselves the credit for the last two wins – mainly, the boys themselves fought with their hearts out for those precious 6 points, as well as Aide’s tactical genius – but I must say that it just goes to show how crucial fans’ vocal support is for our boys. It gives them the impetus to fight for the whole 90+x minutes on the field.

Hope to be able to meet you and other fellow SPFC fans on Tuesday vs Etoile @ Queenstown stadium, the same small but vocal contingent of us be there again to will the boys on for (hopefully) another shock win over the French lads.

Cheers!

– MerV

Once again coach Aide’s influence in the local game over the years continued to reap its dividends for the perennial minnows whose support rely mainly on the local residence and perhaps a few punters.

This is an encouraging act from Merv and his crew and certainly hope their continual support can boost the morale of the team who was rarely warm from the away team supporters in the stand for fixtures away from home.

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July 26, 2010 - Posted by | Sengkang Punggol

25 Comments »

  1. Wow, that’s really fast! Yup, we’re in for the long haul, even if our friend Aide moves on. That’s what United for United is about (our small group of United friends).

    See ya tomorrow night! I really believe our lads can get that shocking 3 points against Etoile, COME ON SENGKANG!!!

    Comment by Mervin Tan | July 26, 2010 | Reply

    • Well truth is Sengkang Punggol was unlucky not to get 6 points out of the 2 league matches against the Cocks.
      We really gave the French a close contest.

      If Alibrex can shock them at their home turf, I don’t see why the Dolphins can’t though a point would be not be a poor haul.

      Comment by wreckidigidy | July 26, 2010 | Reply

      • For some reason, the Cocks seem to be getting small-win margins til lately. Yup, one or three points would be encouraging for the lads I’m sure. Won’t be easy though, they also play hard ball on the pitch. We really have to work our way patiently for that win.

        Having said that, I hope my friends have the gumption to continue singing if we’re trailing by goals during the match. I certainly will.

        Comment by Mervin Tan | July 26, 2010 | Reply

  2. Big props to these bunch of fellas =)

    Comment by spfc4life | July 26, 2010 | Reply

  3. typo,the match was sengkang vs balestier..

    i am a sengkang fan also and i also support a epl team and is a die hard fan also,yes i agree it is good to see a group of fans chanting to show the club their support and showing their vocal presence but we ve to remember,i was at the jalan besar stadium watching the game sengkang vs albirex,the vocal fans stood out among the crowd supporting sengkang with their cheers but what was not too good and nice was the cheers were mixed with a little bit of foul language and insulting taunts to the opposing fans,an example was a chant balestier fc is full of s**t which was not nice…i think we should respect other teams fans also,both are also supporting local football.

    Comment by pgj | July 27, 2010 | Reply

    • Hi pgj,

      Would appreciate if you can squeeze all your thoughts and comments into one post.
      Deleted one of those since I felt the idea you are conveying is repetitive in the follow up.

      As for the typo about the match, I wonder are you referring to the post itself?
      That match at Hougang Stadium was against Beijing Guoan and was featured in the other blog.

      Finally wondering if you have a web browser with a spelling check (such as Firefox), it really saves us a lot of time editing your lengthy posts.

      Nevertheless thanks for all the comments so far

      Comment by wreckidigidy | July 27, 2010 | Reply

      • point noted…sorry about the typos..the match is sengkang vs balestier last friday at the jalan besar stadium..maybe u guys can talk to the group to tone down their cheers coz it may provoke opposing fans like i said earlier.tks

        Comment by pgj | July 27, 2010 | Reply

        • I have no contact with the supporters though but I am sure they would be reading your comments eventually.

          I also felt hurling unruly & baseless remarks on oppositions are derogatory regardless whether the entire world is doing it.

          Comment by wreckidigidy | July 27, 2010 | Reply

  4. http://kallangroar.com/s-league-singapore-cup-league-cup/3219-sengkang-punggol-2010-a-11.html#post117998

    Despite losing the SLVC title to Etoile on 7/27, the back-to-back wins before that have propelled Sengkang to within 10 points of Jurong FC in the all-time table:

    Code:

    # Teams—- Ssn P- W–D–L– F—A– Pts GD–

    11 Jurong— 7 179 70-36-073 261-274 253 -13
    12 Sengkang 11 313 56-67-190 315-654 243 -339 * *
    13 Sembawang 7 207 53-52-102 256-405 216 -149

    Just 11 more points in the remaining 9 games will do it (10 won’t do, since JFC have a much better goal difference), come on Sengkang!!

    Comment by henryo | July 28, 2010 | Reply

  5. Hi there guys,

    Merv and I run the Man Utd supporters’ club known as United for United and we are part of the noisy group of supporters who turn up for Sengkang games.

    I’m not typing this post to justify anything neither am I typing this to tell off anyone. I’m going to just explain why we do it and why we enjoy it.

    Football is a hot blooded sport that is full of passion. I have no inhibitions about letting myself go and be totally immersed in the game. Chanting abuse at the opposition players have also been a big part of the game, be it in Europe or the Americas. It’s all trash talk that we hope will wind up our opponents and inspire our team to greater heights.

    I personally am not used to the quiet atmosphere of S-League games. We are bringing a different sort of match day atmosphere that Singapore has never experienced. Some might like us and others will think we are hooligans hell bent on causing trouble, but we will never make any references to race and religion. That’s where we draw the line.

    We want to encourage the opposition fans to reply us with their own chants, this is what we call friendly banter. We do this alot on Man Utd match days when we see Chelsea, Arsenal or Liverpool supporters. We “abuse” them and they’ll dish it out to us as well, after that we go up to each other and shake hands. At the end of the day everyone’s out there to have fun as spectators.

    Players themselves have long commented about the lack of match day atmosphere here in Singapore and that had put me off catching local football in the stadiums, I believe it was Duric who said he could hear crickets in the stadium. If I’m going to walk into a quiet stadium, it would serve me better just to catch the game at home. Not everyone can cheer on for 90 minutes, but we do our best to bring up the atmosphere. Alot of our chanting is spontaneous and that adds to the magic and fun of it.

    The way stadiums are designed is to make sure that sound travels around too, for the players to hear us chanting their names and for the opposition to hear that we don’t like them. An intimidating atmosphere as such, strikes fear into the hearts of the opposition and might actually put them off their game at times.

    Can you imagine a game between Man Utd and Liverpool in a quiet setting with only the sound of light applause? That would spell the end of passion. Passion should not be contained or altered, to do so would mean snuffing out the flame that keeps it alive.

    We appreciate your comments about us, but I’m not about to tell our members to put a lid on it during games. That’s how we are, that defines us as a group. Maybe when this has finally caught on here in Singapore, you will join us too in one voice. Willing our team to win and making our opponents quiver.

    On a final note and apologies for the long post, the Queenstown stadium is not the home of Sengkang Punggol FC, but we made it as such, because their fans were far too quiet. We intend to turn every stadium we visit into the homeground of the Dolphins and we’ll cheer them on win or lose.

    Regards,
    Johnathan A. Francis

    Comment by Johnathan A. Francis | July 28, 2010 | Reply

    • fair enough if u want to bring colour and atmosphere to the s-league but u ve to remember this is singapore anot in europe,just my thoughts,it is not nice if ur chants and support rile up the oppoing fanlubs 1 day and results in fights ,i will not be surprised and it will not be nice to the s-league also.

      Comment by pgj | July 28, 2010 | Reply

      • Hi pgj, I hear your point of view and I do appreciate what our actions may imply too. But yes, I hope you also understand from us too, two values which defines us as a fan group are passion and friendship.

        Passion – We may cheer our own team and hurl abuse at the opponents and their fans, but it is always only during the match and we draw the line against hatred and racial/religious abuse. Nevertheless, it is something we want to see grow in our local scene.

        Friendship – always in good fun (even if we “kayu” the referee), handshakes before and after the matches. Stepping away or standing our group should anybody want to start fights, never starting or propagating one ourselves.

        For the 2 years we’ve been together as a fan group, that’s how we’ve grown into one of the loudest but all-inclusively friendly fan groups in Singapore. And we intend to bring it out of the cafe bars into the live stadiums, as we believe our local football requires that level of passion for it to grow even more out of the doldrums it seems to be in now.

        Personally, I’m sick and tired of people criticizing our local football – whether the S-League or our national team – without stepping up to help make a difference. I hope you agree with me that bringing passion back is a small but hopefully long-term step to helping Singapore football grow again. Though I know it’s ironic that I say that – our first love in football would always be Manchester United, that won’t change since that brought us together – but that won’t deter us from making that positive difference.

        Hope you and other like-minded Sengkang-Punggol fans will join us in cheering the Dolphins on, loud and proud. No matter what our EPL affiliations are (last night, a Liverpool fan joined us, and we were more than glad to have him with us). Perhaps starting from next Wednesday evening’s winnable match against Gombak?

        Cheers,

        MerV

        PS. I’m not against betting at SGpools – though I don’t bet – but frankly, my personal opinion is, the betting scene has attracted punters rather than fans to the stadium, and consequently destroyed most of the atmosphere in the stadiums. There’s no better team to bring that love back than for the Dolphins IMO. And yeah, the only entity that benefitted from the betting scene long term is SG Pools 😡

        Comment by Mervin Tan | July 28, 2010 | Reply

        • Between me and my partner of this blog, we had a long running joke that the quietness of the live matches here is very conducive for students to mug for their examinations.

          Sadly that had been the nature of live matches in the S League in the recent years, more than 80% of the time the atmosphere is null.
          Though with our level of local refereeing, the fans were more often tend to be riled by the men in black, rather than taunting the opposition.

          Personally I usually cheer on the team on the sidelines, most of the time vocally, less so when I watch the game alone.
          That’s just my prerogative.
          I rarely taunt an opposition unless they deserve to with their playacting or throwing some chronic fouls on our players.
          More often it would be showered to foreign teams whom there was no love lost since day one (Etoile is still my most loathed team, couldn’t give a hoot about Beijing anyway).

          I do agree that it is great to add to the atmosphere of the game with an incessant cheering without some monkey whistling which is uncalled for in all sports.

          Comment by wreckidigidy | July 28, 2010 | Reply

          • I know I sound pretty idealistic and “just dreaming”, but it’s a vision of my buddies and I that we can bring this atmosphere (that we created for the last two seasons in the United cafe) to the stadiums. After all, a large accomplishment starts from a small dream?

            Why don’t we get together sometime to watch and cheer SPFC together? We’ll be there next Wednesday evening @ Jln Besar stadium vs Gombak, for starters? Good for Dolphins fans to synergize.

            Comment by Mervin Tan | July 28, 2010

        • Mervyn and Jonathan, personally I am very impressed with what you are trying to do to the local football scene. What you are doing now will certainly go a long way into writing your names into the annals of the S. League.

          It is phenomenal that you bunch of supporters are displaying such passion for the team. As you duly noted, we haven’t had that around for a long time. The best I remember was paid, loud, instrument-jarring cheerleading squads filling the stadiums with the occasional (irritating) blare of the trumpet.

          Jonathan, what you raised about bringing in the ‘trash-talky’ type of chants that European fans indulge in is absolutely outstanding. We haven’t had that since the ’80 days, and even the crowd then were up to 5 digits. Who is to say limited numbers in the stadium(for now) should dampen the atmosphere at live matches! Definitely, what you are doing here will prompt rivalries, alliances, and generally create renewed passion and interest in local football once more. The FAS and S. League should be looking in how to thank you guys.

          Once again, what your vocal fan club is trying to do here is unparalleled. Personally, I salute the dedication and respect the refreshing audacity of what you guys are trying to do here. My words might strike as flowery and exaggerated to a certain extent, but if only because words are inadequate. I will definitely look forward to joining you all someday.

          Keep up the good work, United for United!

          Comment by itsaboutsengkangnotyou | July 28, 2010 | Reply

          • Thanks, appreciate your appreciation itsaboutsengkangnotyou. Whoever you are (are you with United for United? 🙂 ), will look forward to seeing you. Just come up to us and say hi yah? We’re always happy to make new friends man. Cheers!

            MerV

            Comment by Mervin Tan | July 28, 2010

  6. http://kallangroar.com/s-league-singapore-cup-league-cup/4029-wooden-spoon-winner-2.html#post118001

    With points hard to come by for Woodlands (just 2 in the last possible 27), the Wooden Spoon race could well be over by now (albeit with 9 games still to play), given that Sengkang are “enjoying” a 4-point lead and a vastly “superior” goal difference, 🙂

    Lucky Dolphins, for the 4th season running, they will likely avoid the Spoon by the same one position, with a worse team always there to save their blushes, :-p

    2007: Spoon – Super Reds, “Runner-up” – Sengkang
    2008: Balestier, Sengkang again
    2009: Balestier, Sengkang again & again
    2010: Woodlands? Sengkang again x 3?

    In fact, they could have made the “Great Escape” 5-season in-a-row, had Geylang not finished the 2006 season with 3 straight wins…

    Comment by henryo | July 28, 2010 | Reply

  7. To Mervyn and Johnathan,
    Good on you. Hopefully you get opposition fans to react in a similar fashion – by making some noise for their team.

    I smiled when I heard you at Jalan Besar. All together now …

    “And it’s Sengkang Punggol,
    Sengkang Punggol FC,
    They’re by far the Greatest team,
    the world has ever seen …”

    “One Kenji Arai,
    there’s only one Kenji Arai,
    One Kenji Arai,
    There’s only one Kenji Arai”

    etc …

    Comment by Dez | July 28, 2010 | Reply

    • Hey Dez,

      Just call me Merv (I’m Mervin btw, not Mervyn *grin*). And sorry, they’re by far the greatest team, the S-League has ever seen. Would rather be honest lah, to me, Man United is the greatest *grin again*

      PS. nice new number for Kenji! Let’s do that from the Gombak game onwards man.

      Comment by Mervin Tan | July 28, 2010 | Reply

  8. I’d like to thank everyone for their views. It is always good to receive some feedback and thank you ‘tsaboutsengkangnotyou’ for your kind comments, it will inspire us to continue being loud!

    We are in a position that we always knew we’d get into, that is the public being divided over our antics. I understand the concerns about potentially causing fights, but I assure you that United for United will never be the first to throw a punch and we will never condone violence as a way to display love for a club. We believe that once a match is over, we should all shake hands and have a beer together.

    Despite the fierce rivalries that face fans of the English clubs, we have made friends with some lads from England who are Chelsea and even Hull City fans. They join us at the Man Utd Cafe Bar for matches, only because the atmosphere, which is something I’m very proud of, is FANTASTIC.

    I believe what attracted us all to the big leagues of Europe is the pure skill displayed by the players and the PASSION their fans have.

    Rivalry keeps the passion alive, just like in the days when we were still in the Malaysia Cup. National pride was at stake and the display of loyalty to the colors was astounding. We are just re-creating a little bit of that here in our S-LEAGUE.

    No matter what opinions all of us might have, we will stand UNITED when Sengkang plays and we’ll cheer for as long and as hard as we can, until we have lost our voices. (which happened to Merv, myself and the rest of UNITED FOR UNITED :))

    This blog is a fantastic way forward for local football. Where people get together to discuss the S-League. With our passions combined, the S-League will no longer be just another ‘study corner’.

    Cheers!

    Johnathan A. Francis

    Comment by Johnathan A. Francis | July 28, 2010 | Reply

    • it is asuuring to hear u guys are not going to throw a punch but will will ur cheerscoz other fans from other fanclubs to throw punch at u an result in fights?other cheers are ok but i think the s..t word should be kept and not used and insults at other fanclubs also be kept.

      Comment by pgj | July 29, 2010 | Reply

  9. anyway ,all the best to this new group of vocal fans,i will just sit back and enjoy the SHOW and support the s-league and sengkang in my own way,to each his own..

    Comment by pgj | July 29, 2010 | Reply

  10. Wow, its really heartening to see that there are still people out there who cares about Singapore football and who really wants to improve the standards.

    Would love to join you guys to catch a game together and incidentally, im a red devil as well =P

    Comment by y a p | July 29, 2010 | Reply

  11. I salute this bunch of guys!

    Comment by Fujimiya | July 29, 2010 | Reply

  12. Thank you for your heartwarming encouragements yap & Fujimiya! Will look forward to meeting fellow Sengkang or even S-League fans real soon, cheers!

    Comment by Mervin Tan | July 29, 2010 | Reply


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