Friday, October 31, 2014


Fare Thee Well, Alex

Today marks the end of an era. Aleksander Duric will walk on to the pitch at Clementi Stadium for the last time as Tampines Rovers take on DPMM in what is effectively the title decider. If Duric leads Tampines to victory his last deed as a professional footballer could be to help one of his former clubs, Warriors, to list the SLeague. Just one of the many delicious sub plots to another thrilling title race in the city state.

Duric's story has been oft told and indeed I touch upon it in my book if I ever get the bloody thing published. Born in Yugoslavia, represented Bosnia at the Olympics, moved to Australia, making his Singapore debut, Duric is globalisation wrapped up in one tidy, neat package.

He deserves a massive send off at Clementi Stadium. He also deserves the FAS sitting him down, asking him about his future plans and trying to keep him involved in football on the island. There are few people better qualified than Duric after all to state the case for football.

He has won the SLeague eight times for Geylang United, Tampines and Warriors nee SAFFC. Singapore Cup three times. Charity Shield five times. Top scorer four times. Player of the year three times. And let's not forget the ASEAN Football Federation he won with Singapore back in 2012. Yep, he came to Singapore, he saw and he conquered the bloody lot. An impressive haul for a gangly youth who once hitched to Barcelona to represent Bosnia in the Olympics. In rowing.

So, Alex. Sorry I won't be there to see your final game tonight. Hope it goes well for you and I hope you stay involved in Singapore football. The game needs you.

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