Sunday, December 07, 2014


Awaiting Hougang's Latest Name Change

As part of the super dooper forward thinking plan from the Singapore football authorities, Woodlands Wellington and Hougang United are to merge and form some kind of footballing hub somewhere on the island.

You must understand this is for the best in football because surveys have been done which show 10 clubs is the best Singapore can handle but no one has actually seen the surveys?

By the way a 10 team SLeague would only have seven Singapore teams so by their own twisted logic there would still be room for three more teams?

Anyway, this here merger. Perhaps they could leverage on each other's market place presence to bring all sorts of Key Performance Indicators and benchmarks into play as well as the sprint test and perhaps with a dash of a convergence sponsor thrown in?

No one seems to have decided on a name yet. Woodlands Wellington Hougang United perhaps? Or Sengkang Punggol Woodlands Wellington Hougang United? In a country where little attention is paid to club names and the marketing thereof, nothing would surprise me. My favourite would be Pole Dancing North Wellington United FC but that conjoures up images of scantily dressed ladies dancing in farmer clothes in sultry Singapore.

Hougang are of course used to frequent name changes and this cavalier attitudes to fans may well play a role in the public's disillusionment with football in the island. Or may not.

They started life as Marine Castle United (1998-2001) before changing their name to Sengkang Marine for two years then Paya Lebar Punggol for one season in 2005.

In 2006 they stormed the SLeague with a new name, Sengkang Punggol, and for four of their five years with this name, they finished 11th in the 12 team league. The other season they finished 10th, heady days for the faithful.

One of my abiding memories of Sengkang Punggol was watching them play Woodlands Wellington in one of the most boring games I have ever seen (on a par with Aldershot v Rochdale 1980 and Jakarta FC v Semarang United 2011). How boring? I fell asleep for a few moments only to be awoken at half time by the usual SLeague overexcited PA announcer who thought he had a packed crowd of 7 year olds and not half a dozen uncles in vests and flip flops.

2009 was time for another change with Hougang United which is where we stood at the end of the last season.

I wonder if there are any Marine Castle United fans still out there and how they feel about the shenanigans that have followed their club.

In their various entities the club have never finished higher than 7th and look destined to being also rans no matter what they are called. But they way the fans are treated at both clubs shows the contempt the powers that be have for the terrace fan. And as long as that attitude remains, no bugger will go to the games no matter how many free crisps are offered.

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