Thursday, November 10, 2016


Tampines Take A Punt On Kaya's Clark

After seeing their SLeague title challenge crumble away despite the presence of so many big name players, Tampines Rovers are facing up to a new reality. The club announced they would not be paying players more than SGD$,2,500 a month for a start. That of course effectively ended the careers of players like Billy Mehmet and Jermaine Pennant. It also meant there would be no list of players and agents beating a path to the cash strapped club offering the next big thing.

When one door closes, another opens and that surely is the case for Louis Clark. The 26 year old Englishman has spent the last two seasons playing for Kaya FC in the Philippines and making quite an impression along the way with a reported 39 goals in 54 games.

Clark is at a good age with a good few years in the tank. Do a job for the Stags can only raise his profile in the region and while he may have been prolific in Manila the UFL isn't a league that attracts much interest in the region at the moment though of course that may change should the Philippines put in a good cup run during the ASEAN Football Federation Championships later this month.

Too often Singapore clubs have been guilty of signing marquee players in a misguided bit to attract headlines. The recruitment of Clark, should it be handled cleverly, should offer Tampines and other SLeague clubs the chance to see players as assets with a resale value. I know, that sounds awful but that is the reality of Singapore football. It remains to be seen what kind of contract Clark has but a forward thinking club with an eye on the bottom line could do worse than sign him onto an extended deal.

For a club that is eschewing the traditional fruit machines as a way of raising cash, that surely is the way to go for Tampines Rovers.

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