Fish Out of Water

-Sengkang Punggol FC Fans' Perspective-

Reaping the Benefits?

The verdict is out

The culpable parties of that infamous brawl at Jalan Besar had duly been punished.
And from the look of it, our own Young Lions might had instigated the whole fracas as well.

Ultimately points were docked, players were suspended and fined (some more severe than the others), and management shown remorse in the closing statement, time to let the unsavory episode laid to rest.

However with the points reduction, it makes things rather interesting in the bottom half of the table, and perhaps something Sengkang Punggol can reap benefits from.

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September 22, 2010 Posted by | General Singapore Football, S League 2010, Sengkang Punggol | 9 Comments

S League Foreign Clubs Walk of Shame

Last evening fracas between Beijing Guo’An Talents & the Young Lions which resulted in the match being abandoned (with barely minutes to go) just adds on to the well-documented list of how the foreign clubs that were invited to our local league were more of a bane rather than benefit.

Before I begin, we must honor the only real consummate model among the ragtag crew of foreign teams since their inception back in 2003, Albirex Niigata (S).
The Jurong East-based satellite team of the J League outfit had embraced their role as an invited team with professionalism and manner second to none as compared to the other foreign sides from past & present.
Their modus operandi had always been cultivating players for the parent team back in Japan, however the squads over the years had featured seasoned professionals playing in various levels of football there as well.
Despite results not going their way for the past few seasons in the league, they still took it in their stride and channel their best for all facets of the local game, with their appearance in the semi final of the 2009 Singapore Cup as a testament.
Over the years they had given the local game with some luminaries like Kenji Arai, Issey Nakajima, Hidetoshi Wakui, Norio Takahashi, Tetsuya Okayama, Akira Takase, Hiroyuki Yamamoto, Kenji Adachihara, Taisuke Akiyoshi et al.
The White Swans had also contributed to the local Japanese community and even create a niche in the neighborhood where they are based (with a hawker store no less).

It does not take much to reciprocate what Albirex had done for the past 6 years, but the following list of clubs turned out to appear in the local media for the wrong reason somehow:

*Edited with the aftermath of the disciplinary hearing of the brawl between Beijing Guoan Talents & Young Lions

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September 21, 2010 Posted by | General Singapore Football, Historical Event, Rant, S League | 5 Comments

Wrecki’s Monthly Review: May 2010

The season headed towards its midway point while the real challengers for the league title looked to take shape while the doppelgangers fell away.

Surprisingly, the almighty SAFFC had took a backseat this year after a meek loss to fierce title rivals, Tampines at their Choa Chu Kang cauldron followed by an unwanted 1-1 draw against Balestier Khalsa at Jalan Besar Stadium.
With only 5 wins in 13 games, the Warriors will need to return to their winning ways very soon especially now they had roped in former DPMM midfielder Croatian Ivan Jerkovic who took over the place of an unassimilated Niklas Sandberg.

Meanwhile Geylang United’s early exit from the AFC Cup turned out to be a blessing in disguise as they made a surge up the league table.
Impressively they had done so in the past month without their first choice custodian, Yazid Yasin.
Slovakian targetman Peter Tomko raked in the goals but their stability at the back truly helped matters.

Balestier Khalsa is another surprise package this season, and for a Sengkang Punggol fan I had only to watch their success of late with an insurmountable envy.
The young squad aided by some real decent foreign signings just grew from strength to strength nicking points off the big boys and even nearly done so against Tampines Rovers in an exciting 2-3 loss.

That match as well as another game featuring Tampines Rovers (3-3 against Gombak United) have to be the best S League games I had caught this season for sure.

The RHB Singapore Cup kicked off with little fanfare (to be honest) at the dead end of May but the preliminary round was packed with surprises as the incumbent cup holders Geylang United was ousted at the first barrier by plucky Balestier while multiple times winners SAFFC succumbed to a 5-3 loss to invitee Bangkok Glass who featured a winger by the name of Sutee Suksomkit (who went on to score a brace in that impressive win).
Therefore both representatives of Singapore football in the Asian scene this season looked highly unlikely to be plying their trade in the continent next season.
Tampines Rovers managed to pull through to the last 8 but same could not be said of Gombak United and Home United.
The former lost to a bunch of so-called semi professionals from South Melbourne FC in a regional Victoria League down under, but at least Agu nailed a stunning equalizer.
Meanwhile Home United’s wretched 2010 season continued as the Young Lions proved to be their undoing once again.

Less unsurprising was Sengkang Punggol going out at the same stage of the competition since the late deputy Prime Minister Goh Keng Swee was still in office.
Albirex Niigata (S) continued to enjoy a good time, snatching wins at Hougang Stadium for sure.

May definitely looked a long month as the world braced for the World Cup in a few days time while the Special One, Jose Mourinho, stealthily accomplished an unprecedented treble for Inter Milan.
In Singapore, tens of thousands band together to drum a boycott on the 2 big shot telcos for slapping everyone with that hefty charge for the 64 matches tournament.

Meanwhile things ain’t all that rosy in the FA when former Sengkang Punggol Prime League coach, and Malaysian Cup legend Nazri Nasir claimed he was overlooked for the coaching job of U14 in preference for another Serb (who’s name had eluded me as I typed this).
It was just another  remotely newsworthy snippet to fill the papers in an otherwise yawning month for local football.
Meanwhile Nazri’s former international and club team-mate V Selveraj was appointed the U17 coach before rescinded on his decision to focus on his part time degree.
So perhaps Nazri would consider coaching different age group?

May 31, 2010 Posted by | General Singapore Football | 3 Comments

Wrecki’s Monthly Review: April 2010

Will try my best to keep in short and sweet for this month.

Toast of the month of course was the FA unleashing a 5 years Strategic Plan to reinvigorate the footballing scene in Singapore.

The well structured plan touched on many aspect including infrastructure, financial boosts and even reinforcing the internet presence.
The local fraternity should take solace that the FA is acting up but for now it is still talk, as we will be on the frontline in 5 years time to keep tab on how many boxes in the strategic plan had been ticked.
The most chronic issue I felt was the lack of talents coming through. We can have the best training facilities but when we lacked the mentality that we can make the next step forward, we will always be stuck in the ASEAN level.

*** ***

So in the end Baihakki Khaizan and Ridhuan Muhammad got fined $750 for their petulant act at Amman.
Many felt they were let off too lightly but personally I always felt they would go scot free.
The former had some torrid moments at Jakarta with Persija of late while the latter became a celebrity in Malang, even hooked up with a nubile TV presenter (despite I could I swear I saw him in nuptial bliss last year).
Both should be key players for the national team under Raddy’s reign despite they ought to be basking in their Indon glory and not made a mockery out of their international representation.

Speaking of representing for Singapore, Nigerian-born Obadin Aikhena looked likely to be the next in the pipeline as a new Lion.
Obadin was touted a much pacier Precious Emuejeraye by many but at least Raddy had one more big man to call upon if the whole citizenship is granted.

*** ***

Both SAFFC and Geylang United ended their continental adventures prematurely, though no one actually thought they would beat the odds.

The Warriors at least quadruple their points tally after a 2-1 home win over Henan Jianye.
They managed to score 2 more, concede 3 less and climbed a rung up the group ladder. Therefore in terms of improving performance in Asia, Richard and his crew had done their job competently despite they could try to stop that goal glut at Suwon.

Meanwhile I could not care more for Geylang’s progress in the AFC Cup but ultimately Mike Wong’s team could only mustered 4 points out of possible 24 and handed the initiatives to Da Nang from Vietnam and Thai Port.

Seriously I got a feeling some fans of local football actually care more about continental glory more than clubs that qualified themselves.

*** ***

Finally on the S League which saw a whopping 26 games played with a few notable upsets like Young Lions’ come from behind win over SAFFC and Balestier Khalsa gaining a creditable draw at Clementi Stadium against Home United, of course not forgetting Geylang United breaking their 6 years hoodoo to nick 3 points at the home of arch rivals Tampines Rovers.

Gombak United continued to beat the big boys and fell to the minnows while Etoile, who parted ways with their publicity team of Red Card and feasting on sardines and baked beans of late signed off the month in style after successive draws and a lost to the Bulls.
Albirex (S) continued their upheaval of form especially away from home while Sengkang Punggol just could not win at home.

Overall a pretty tight league this year but the gap should widen in another month’s time.

Pretty much geared for the World Cup, so local football looked set to take a backseat especially after some really gut wrenching displays on the pitches I had seen this month.

April 30, 2010 Posted by | General Singapore Football | Leave a comment

Wrecki’s Monthly Review: March 2010

A whirlwind month of March which began really dry before the shaman had brought in the rain.
When it rains, it pours as seen in the footballing scene of Singapore.
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March 31, 2010 Posted by | General Singapore Football, S League 2010, The Lions | Leave a comment

Feeling the Heat, S League Clubs?

There was a buzz in town (more specifically Queenstown) yesterday.
No I am not talking about the dramatic press conference by a local promiscuous director… Viva la Revolution.. Etoile FC made their home debut.

From accounts of the viewers who packed (actually around 3,200) the god-wretchedly old Queenstown Stadium as well as a few fan photo, it definitely seem like Etoile FC delivered what they had promised.
There were fireworks (which got the local abuzz as we all know how Singaporeans are whores to such explosive displays), Harley Davidson bike display around the track of the stadium (Singapore Sports Council might not be too please), unveiling of their mascot Orion and even had former Mrs Glenn Ong to emcee the whole carnival-like event.
An expat supporter was quoted saying that this is how football matches in major European cities resemble and somehow Etoile CEO Johan Gouttefangeas gave the expat community as well as local fans a taste of how they run the show there.
I am sure if he had his way Gottafungus will surely wanna tear down Queenstown Stadium and rebuild it into a state-of-the-art football stadium.
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March 12, 2010 Posted by | General Singapore Football, Historical Event | 16 Comments

Refereeing in Local Game hitting Dire Straits

Note: This article is created due to the intense frustration building up within the author in recent time. It is by no mean a personal attack on anyone and view can be subjective, so do take it with a pinch of salt if you think the author is blabbering rubbish.

Zaid Hussein, K. Kalimuthu, Abas Daud, Muhd Taqi, Sukhbir Singh, Leow Thiam Hoe and to some extent, assistant referees or old-schoolers known as linesmen Andrew Kee, Lim Kok Heng, Jeffrey Low and that Indian linesman in the match against DPMM last season at Hougang Stadium (which I would know if not for the match details of the 2009 season conveniently disappeared from S League.com) R Ravichandran (thanks to Henryo’s find).
This hefty list of officials had been earmarked over the course of a season and a month since this season began for their sub-standard level of refereeing which affected the progress of our club one way or another.

The signs are definitely foreboding and it need not to written in the Mayan calendar that the level of officiating in the local game had hit an all time low.

It was one of the reason Noh Alam Shah brought out in his snipe before departing to Arema last season on how he and his team had been victimized. I believed DPMM and to some extent Gombak United & DPMM could support the claim due to the physical style of their game.
Of course our side was shrouded with the “big club-small club” prejudice that I am still gathering evidence of along the way.

Add the theatrical golden boys of local football now, Etoile FC in to the mix, a lot more of the officiating controversies definitely look to sweep the local game like tsunami waves in the near future.

The chronic issue now is that local referees tend to make poor calls or tends to hinder the flow of the game as stated by a renowned commentator cum director of a local sporting event group.
It can be shown that quite a number of referees lacked fitness or at least awareness as they tend to miss out on crucial gameplays.
This is where the linesmen and fourth official came to play.
They had to keep an eagle-eye to ensure no unsavory incidence slip through their attention especially when the referee is preoccupied with thoughts of spending their day’s earning on another round of beer.
However in local game the 4th man tends to care more about keeping the coaches from the stipulated distance from the sidelines while the linesmen with Mr Lim Kok Heng from the game on Sunday for example, just could not be sure of what call they should make.
As mentioned previously the referee of the day Sukhbir Singh consistently override his call and I can understand why he did that, because he had no faith with his linesman apparently.

I read on a facebook account created for the referee association of Singapore in how to sharpen their skills and not become the laughing stock to viewers both local and the expatriates (whom constantly rib at the excruciating level of officiating they had witnessed).

I know it is never easy being the man who make or break a football match and takes a lot to render your service for the good of the local game.
I truly hope this malaise can be alleviated but like many I have no possible solution.
Importing foreign referees is perhaps the most absurd solution being addressed but it was definitely at the tip of the tongue of every keen supporter of the league.

It would be great to one day watch a game without someone from the stands shouting “referee kayu!”
Unless it had conditioned in us to just vent our frustration on the man in black (or green or yellow) somehow.

March 9, 2010 Posted by | General Singapore Football, Rant | 20 Comments

Wrecki’s Monthly Review: February 2010

After one month hiatus, the monthly review about what’s going on in local football from my perspective.
Meanwhile my partner in crime would be giving his thoughts of Sengkang Punggol at every end of the month in terms of overall performance or who should buck up etc, so watch out for it…

**** **** ****

Wanna do some stats for the S League (Note: I don’t watch every single game, so it is just on hearsay and personal thoughts, might fizzle out if league fizzles out like last season)

Team
Most in-form Team: Tampines Rovers (W-W-D)
Top Scoring Team: Tampines Rovers & Sengkang Punggol (5 goals in 3 games)
Worst Defense: Albirex Niigata (6 goals conceded in 3 games)

Player
Top goalscorer: Rivaldo da Costa (Balestier Khalsa, 1 PK), Qiu Li (Tampines Rovers, 2 PK) & Jordan Webb (Sengkang Punggol) (3 goals each)
Worst Discipline: Gabriel Obatola (3 yellows in 3 games)
First goalscorer of the season: Winston Yap (Woodlands Wellington, against Young Lions)
Fastest goal: Sharil Ishak (Home United, 56 seconds against Young Lions)
Latest goal: Matthias Verschave (Etoile FC, 90+4″ against Sengkang Punggol)
Best goal: Juma’at Jantan (Home United, against Young Lions)
Best Debut: Rivaldo da Costa (Balestier Khalsa, 2 goals against Sengkang Punggol on his debut)
Player of the Month: A tie between Qiu Li and Jordan Webb


Juma’at Jantan’s Screamer against Albirex from ALB-TV

Satisfying to see Sengkang Punggol among the mix, a pretty decent start of the season for our team….
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March 2, 2010 Posted by | General Singapore Football, S League 2010 | Leave a comment

Stadiums

It was frequent to hear one local football supporter lambasting another supporter after the latter claimed that he/she found the journey to a particular stadium on the island a daunting prospect.
It might be true that Singapore is afterall only 23 by 42 km in dimension and with our “world class” transport network which provide extensive coverage to every corner of the island nation, it is at most an hour or two ride away.
Easier said than done especially after a hard day work, with the prospect of another long day slogging away on the following day, all you wish to do would be reaching home as soon as you could.
Therefore there are some stadiums which host the S League games (present and past) that deterred me from making frequent trips to:
Yishun Stadium
Home of Beijing Guo’An, previously Super Reds, Sporting Afrique and Sembawang Rangers
Last visit: June 2009
This stadium is barely 2 km from my home yet I had been there for a S League match once for all I could remember as I had no inclination to the heydays of the stout Stallions while neither of Collin Chee’s bullied Africans nor generic Koreans or Chinese piqued my interest.
The rejuvenated stadium which required a hefty walk from Khatib MRT station had saw tenants changing so frequently, the groundsmen must be bewildered on what languages that need to use to speak to their multi-national occupants.
You can still spot former Super Reds’ keeper Kang Su Ho on the board just outside the stadium despite the demise of Charlie Yoon’s project.
With the combined detest for Chinese sides and the fracas of how they force a likely local side out of business, I doubt many would dropby Yishun Stadium this season.

Won't see Super Reds at Yishun Stadium no more

Hougang Stadium
Home of Sengkang Punggol and its various previous incarnations
Last visit: Just last week
A comfortable direct bus ride from home for me to this dilapidated relic of a stadium.
There was a looming curse which affixed itself with the tenants since the Marine Castle days but somehow Hougang and surrounding Serangoon and Kovan proved to be a good catchment area for keen S league viewers.
The closest MRT station was Hougang which required a good 15 minutes stroll, not the most conducive when you are rushing for time but Hougang central does provide a good source of a quick dinner.
Woodlands Stadium
Home of Woodlands Wellington
Last visit: Never been before
Strangely I had yet been to Woodlands Stadium despite being a frequent patron to Causeway Point which was a good 15 minutes walk away.
Perhaps the stadium which you can visibly see the action from the MRT tracks, some of the sponsorship boards in the stadium is fading but the enthusiasim of the die hard fans is not.
Might try to head down to this old school stadium sometime this season.
Tampines Stadium
Home of Tampines Rovers
Last visit: May 2009
Thank goodness for Tampines Expressway, it only takes a good 20 minutes from Yishun to Tampines Central via a bus ride.
The eastern-based town is a well populated one and a business and shopping hub on its own which attract a lot of human traffic, therefore it was not an arduous feat for Tampines Rovers to attract a cluster of supporters especially when their football is a joy to watch.
However the last few visits to Tampines Stadium had not been heart-warming for a Sengkang Punggol fan like myself as the team consistently lost under acrimonious circumstances, however this is one stadium I wouldn’t mind visiting again soon.

Storm is always brewing at Tampines Stadium

Bishan Stadium
Home of Home United (returning in 2011)
Last visit: sometime in 2000?
Bishan Stadium was a pride and joy of Singapore Sports Council as it was elected as the ground for track and field events for the inaugural Youth Olympic Games to be held in Singapore in September.
This is a really nice stadium which ardent fans of Home United could vouch and yearning to return after an unwanted stint at obscure Clementi Stadium.
Being there to catch Marine Castle losing to a good Home United side early this decade and would love to return in due time especially with Bishan MRT station a stone throw away and Bishan Junction 8 a bustling place for food.
Toa Payoh Stadium
Home of Balestier Khalsa, formerly of Balestier Central
Last visit: June 2009
I remembered being barred from entering in the formative S League years in a match between Balestier United and a strong Geylang United side featuring Fandi Ahmad, David Lee and 2 World Cup-bound Iranians.
Since then I had not visit the stadium which was located at the fringe of Toa Payoh Central till last year and after which I do not really look forward to another visit to be truthful.
The stadium like Hougang and Bedok belonged to the last century and perhaps fitful for a struggling side like the Tigers.
Jurong East Stadium
Home of Albirex Niigata, formerly of Jurong FC (?)
Last visit: June 2009
One of the two real football stadiums in Singapore (i.e. no running tracks) which was well maintained by the most dedicated and professional foreign side participating in the S League.
I remembered the old Jurong Stadium where Jurong FC plied their trade had rather choppy pitch which became a swamp during the rainy season but the renovation really improve the playing condition.
The close proximity to play on the open air terrace was a thrilling experience.
However like many of its contemporary, you will need to prepare to walk a good 10 minutes from the nearest MRT station (Chinese Garden Station).
Having meals should not be a problem with nearby hawker center and kopitiams including one with a  close Albirex association. If not you can always have Japanese style riceball or fried rice from the club booths.

No need to wear a watch at Jurong East Stadium

Jalan Besar Stadium
Home of Young Lions, formerly of Police FC
Last visit: 2 days ago
I still remembered vividly the time I shook the hand of the late Alan Ball, former Manchester City gaffer and England World Cup player, at the old school JBS before the refurbish project at the classic football ground at Tywhitt Road.
The most recognizable stadium for seasoned S League match viewers, even from the TV is a nice cozy stadium and highly accessible from Lavender MRT station.
The toilets and well maintained and plenty of little bites and beverages on offer if you actually is that desperate for it; however with food so scarce within the vicinity, you just might need to go for the diluted Bandung drinks and shoddy burgers.
Queenstown Stadium
Home of Etoile, formerly of Tiong Bahru, Sinchi, Liaoning and Dalian
Last visit: Never been before
I never had the chance to see the Jaguars in action, perhaps Queenstown was a distant too far to covered for me and my chums in the younger days.
Then came the rotating Chinese sides which really do not deserve my attendance. However with the French connection this season, I might just check out the ancient stadium with those awkward pillars everyone been talking about.
The nearest MRT station, Queenstown is just 5 minutes walk away which makes it no more than 15 minutes from my workplace.
Bukit Gombak Stadium
Formerly home of Gombak United
Last visit: Might be in 1997
I still remember watching the likes of Toh Choon Ming, Fahmie Abdullah, Jorg Steinbrunner and Conde in action at Bukit Gombak Stadium in front of the scenic backdrop of the Little Guilin.
This stadium definitely has to be the closest to a MRT station but ceased its operation to support a S League team once took over by the Singapore Athletic Association.
Choa Chu Kang Stadium
Home of SAFFC
Last visit: January 2009
The daunting Colosseum which was the home for the Warriors really has an impressive spectators’ terrace (together with Yishun and Jurong West), however the restriction for open air terrace somehow thwarted the viewing pleasure.
You need to take a short bus ride from Choa Chu Kang MRT station and the bus does come in regular intervals, otherwise you can walk a considerable distance from Yew Tee MRT station.
Most probably will attend Sengkang Punggol’s away match there, in view of hoping for the best result for my team.
Jurong West Stadium
Home of Gombak United
Last visit: May 2009
Situated in the sprawling Western town, the grand stadium which was a 10 minutes walk from Pioneer MRT station looks to be a fantastic footballing ground, only let down by the obscure location.
A trip home via the train will take up to close to an hour or so for me and unless you are willing to splurge on some mediocre Japanese food, there is basically no real place for a small bite in the sporting complex unless you want some poor food substitutes from 7-11.

Pioneer Station. Just be glad it is not Joo Koon

Bedok Stadium
Home of Geylang United
Last visit: May 2009
Geylang United is a club honing on past glory and somehow their home ground of Bedok Stadium looked to stuck with them in their illustrious history.
Miserable pitch and the location not entirely close to Bedok MRT station, this is a stadium I will try to stay away as much as possible, much like Toa Payoh Stadium.
Clementi Stadium
Home of Home United (till 2011), formerly of Clementi Khalsa
Last visit: 2000 (?)
This bloody excuse of a sporting ground has to be the most inaccessible of all.
The nearest MRT station, Clementi is located like 5 km away and you had to cross the entire Clementi central before sauntering past a few blocks of flat, then an overhead bridge overseeing Ayer Rajar Expressway, make a big loop before you can see the ticket counter.
The best way would be taking a bus from Jurong East bus interchange to AYE and then cross the bridge.
The appalling attendance of Home United’s home game last season does not lie as people just not keen enough to make so much effort to see Shi Jiayi’s hideous hairstyle.

February 19, 2010 Posted by | General Singapore Football, Nostalgia, Rant | 6 Comments

A League not of Our Own

So we all know FAS’ decision for the final 2 teams for the 2010 S League season which kicks of in less than 11 days: French coalition Etoile FC (which means Star in French) and the satellite team for Chinese Super League side Beijing Guo’an.

Of course this set off the fuse awaiting to explode into the usual 3 seconds shenanigans within the online fraternity, some of which suddenly popped out from nowhere and became a band of staunch lobbyist for the introduction of the Yishun Super Reds.
The same motley crew may be baffled if I asked them what are the names of the regular backline for the Korean side last season.

Anyway I had stated my preference for another local team and under the sound tutelage of chairman Charlie Yoon who on more than one occasion stated his dedication to the club he helped foster since 2007.
Despite laying out an elaborate plan and garner the backing of a member of parliament, it looked a lost cause since day one when the dogmatic echelons in the Tywhitt Road offices who had been delaying the deadline for the submission of the proposal for admission into the S League, just to accommodate Beijing Guo’An while the Super Reds look all set and ready with their squad, rolled out a training schedule which ran at twice daily and let their football do the talking in a couple of pre-season friendly matches.

Personally I viewed Etoile and Beijinig as glorified version of Sporting Afrique and Liaoning/Dalian respectively.
In both cases, the fate of the teams ended with a sour note with their participation blew up badly in the awry faces of the organizers.
Of course, it might not turn out as bad despite the ominous signs but one thing is for sure the local fans are not as forgetful as the authority thought they would be.

It is true that we have to add a tinge of competitiveness into our budding (yes 14 years on, and we are still budding) league.
Super Reds with only 4 notable South Korean players and an agglutination of local players who are either past their prime or just aren’t ready to make the cut in other S League teams, looks like a cannon fodder but no one gave them a chance to compete.
They might appear to be contented for the lower half league with the likes of Sengkang Punggol, Balestier and Woodlands but nothing is predictable in football unless we are talking about Michael Vana, ex Liaoning coach and players as well as a former head coach of Paya Lebar Punggol.
Both Etoile (which features players who dwindled in the third tier of the French football leagues) and the young talents from Beijing might struggle for the initial stage for sure and might not explode into the scene like what DPMM had done in 2009.

Gathering local support for both Etoile and Beijing would be arduous.
In the past Dalian and Super Reds’ matches are forgettable because I cannot associate myself with the generic Chinese and Korean players.
I am sure France being a cosmopolitan nation with a deep African ethnicity might grant Etoile FC as less forgettable but I am sure no one really gives a hoot about those Chinese aside for a handful of foreign construction workers as verified from attending live matches involving Dalian Shide in 2008.

There had been an uproar in the local forum and the appeal to boycott the S League because of FAS’ “folly” decision, but in truth, even without the boycott, attendance for the league has been dwindling as fairweather fans including myself could not bother to catch at least a quarter of the live matches.
It was definite that FAS cares little to alleviate the attendance problem but seriously even with aggressive publicity, it will always be an uphill task to woo the local people to hit their scrawny multi-purpose stadiums to watch sub-standard football.
Especially in such arid financial climate when a strong J League is feeling the brunt, money is definite scarce for any extra publicity stunt.

Many were lambasting FAS not not being supportive of nurturing local footballers but the truth is local footballers tend to get stagnant and worse still downhill after a while, notwithstanding a handful that have always strive hard to maintain consistency.
Since Fandi Ahmad, I am sure there is not one footballing hero people can relate to and doubt a new messiah would emerge in years to come.
In such a situation where our nation is devoid of an icon, the game will always take a backseat.


Players who we will not see next season in the S League: Azhar Baksin and Razali Johari

I would not say I am particularly anticipating the upcoming S League season with or without Yishun Super Reds; however I would not go as far as saying I would boycott the league.
As long as there is live Friday night football on the telly which is not sleep inducing, I will still catch it.
I might drop by for an occasional match at Hougang Stadium if schedule allows or I am hype for it.

Let’s just hope FAS’ decision would not blow up in their face once again and the new teams can excite us like how 2008 version Super Reds and 2009 version DPMM had done and add a little spice in a league slowly had become less of our own.

January 19, 2010 Posted by | General Singapore Football, Rant, S League 2010 | 10 Comments