Friday, December 04, 2015


Home United Keeper Finds Retirement 'Easy'

When you have played football all your life there is always the knowledge at the back of your mind that one day you will have to stop playing. And when that day comes the decision can be made for you by your body or by a physician or of course, and more reluctantly, by the player himself.

In goalkeeping terms, 35 isn't that old but Shahril Jantan has decided enough is enough and speaking on Red Card Radio recently he said the decision to hang up his gloves was an easy one to make, saying the SLeague had grown stagnant over the last five years. What a damning indictment of the local game when one of the most successful players over the last decade can so easily turn his back on the game.

Jantan has won the SLeague six times and the Singapore Cup on four occasions in his glittering career which began back in 1999 with Geylang United.

It wasn't that long ago international keeper Lionel Lewis decided a career at a university was more preferable than continuing as a professional footballer in a undervalued, under supported and under funded football league. That is two goalkeepers lost to the game when they had still much to offer.

Singapore goalies are appreciated around the region though. Izwan Mahbud is currently wooing them in Japan where he is on a week's trial with Matusmoto Yamaga while Hassan Sunny has penned an extension to his contract with Thai side Army United.

It is a shame Jantan is stepping down. Does he rue the fact he never got the opportunity to play overseas? Perhaps but when he was starting out the SLeague was highly sought after among foreign players...witness the large number of Thais playing there in the early years of this century. As they returned home the SLeague fortunes dwindled and perhaps age counted against him but perhaps the fate of the ex Home United stopper and Lewis can act as motivators for Hassan and Mahbud to seize their opportunities

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