Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Tampines Rovers - SLeague's Glamour Club?

One thing the SLeague has failed to do over recent years has been to market itself. It seems those at the very top have next to no idea how to sell the most popular game in the world to people in their very own backyard. Given such inertia perhaps it is time the clubs took up the mantle and heading into 2016 season perhaps Tampines Rovers are the side best equipped to do so.

It all starts with the coach. Sundram Moorthy is a familiar name to most if not all fans of Singapore football, both as a player and a coach. He played during a time which many old fogies consider to be the Lions' golden age, 1994, and even had a short spell in Switzerland with FC Basel. Before joining the Stags in 2014 he coached in Malaysia and has also worked with Young Lions and LionsXII, further burnishing his impeccable qualifications.

At the back Tampines will have a certain Izwan Mahbud. After a stellar 2015 which included almost single handedly earning Singapore a point in a World Cup Qualifier against Japan and impressing for LionsXII in Malaysia there was much talk of this exciting goalkeeper heading to the Land of the Rising Sun where in fact he did have trials. Alas and alack it was not to be and Tampines swooped to sign him up for the coming season.

One player who has been around donkeys years is Mustafic Fahrudin. The move from midfield into a more defensively role seems to have added a couple of years to his career and he has even been spotted adding his name to the score sheet more often in recent seasons. With so many young recruits coming in this season from LionsXII bringing their own wealth of experience, Mustafic will be seen as a wise old head, slowing the game down when needs must.

Up front can there be a finer front four than Jermaine Pennant, Fazrul Nawaz, Jordan Webb and Billy Mehmet? It may take time for them to bed in but what football fan cannot be drooling at the prospect of seeing them in action and how Sundram uses them will be followed with interest. Fazrul of course overcame the disappointment of seeing his move to Sabah fall apart last year by joining the Warriors and becoming their top scorer while Jordan Webb impressed as an overage player at Young Lions and surely deserves his chance at one of the country's bigger clubs.

One name missing from the squad though is Noh Alam Shah who retired at the end of last season, saying he had lost the desire to train and play anymore. Hopefully though he is  not totally lost to the game and the club can see a role for him going forward, perhaps as an ambassador? 

Throw into the mix the likes of Shahdan Sulaiman, Fabian Kwok and Christoper van Huizen and who can't be drooling at the prospect of catching Sundram's Stags at some stage during the season? All it needs for the club, still playing on the opposite side of the island to their home base, to get out there and connect with people. And with their star filled squad they are surely well equipped to do just that.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?