Saturday, January 17, 2015


Who Is The 5 o Clock Hero

Back in the arly 1990s football in Singapore was massive. With a capital M. People talk fondly of fans queuing to watch local league games and of course you are never far from an old timer wistfully recalling 1994 and the Malaysia Cup.

The fact they still like to talk about local football and they have those memories is a good thing. That they have stopped going, and their children have never got into the habit of going, is not a good thing. Two generations have been lost to local football.

People have other interests. They have Liverpool, AC Milan and Barcelona. They have gadgets, fads and K pop. What they don't have is Tampines Rover, Balestier Khalsa or Geylang International and that is a shame.

It is also a shame that so little is done to attract fans to the stadium. Sport is about healthy lifestyles so why offer free snack foods?

Kids are the next generation of fans so why have games kick off at 7.30 pm, especially on a school day? Not the greatest way of turning kids with an inteerst in football into football fans is it?

Last week I went to see Geylang International play Phuket in a friendly at 5pm. no one else was there, beyond a few interested folks but what was interesting was the kick off time. 5pm!

the weather was pleasant, the breeze was refreshing and the electric bill was cheaper as nobody needed the floodlights till close to the end of the game.

So is 5pm a feasible kick off time at the weekend? Would it encourage a new generation to support their local team? Obviously not by itself but as a dad of a school age child I would be reluctant to let my boy go to a night game. But 5pm? Yep, that would not be an idea. And for the EPL junkies, they would be home in plenty of time!

5pm kick offs. Worth considering?

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