S-league 2008 Transfer News

SPECIAL: On Indra trail

* Confirmed transfer ** Expected transfer *** Pending/Unconfirmed transfer

Sead Muratovic and Razif Mahamud (Tampines Rovers -> ?) *
Fathi Yunus (Balestier Khalsa -> Tampines Rovers) *
Young Lions sign Obadin Aikhena and Danny Hammond
Obadin Aikhena only on trial with Young Lions
Gombak United website ‘announce’ Agu departure
2008 Balestier Khalsa squad
Seto Haruki (YKK AP (JFL) -> Balestier Khalsa) *
Bekombo Ekollo Ntonye Paul Onyekachi (Sengkang Punggol -> Balestier Khalsa) *
Kaze Teffo Etienne Giscard and Mba Vitus Onyekachi (Balestier Khalsa) *
2008 Woodlands Wellington squad
2008 SAFFC squad
Warriors and ex-Protectors Aidil Sharin retires
2008 Gombak United squad
Fadhil Salim (Woodlands Wellington -> Gombak United) *
It Obadin Aikhena who heading to the Young Lions
Indra Sahdan (Home United -> Salt Lake City (MLS)) ***
Ahmad Latiff  (PDRM (MSL) -> SAFFC) ***
Shogo Yoshizawa (Albirex Niigata (J) -> Young Lions) ***
2008 Tampines Rovers squad
Yusiskandar Yusop (Young Lions -> Tampines Rovers) *
2008 Sengkang Punggol squad
Sengkang Punggol: We are spending $840000 on salaries
Yusiskandar Yusop Wiston Yap (Sengkang Punggol) *
Hafez Mawasi (Free agent -> Sengkang Punggol) *
Ali Imran Lomri (Woodlands Wellington -> Sengkang Punggol) *
Syed Faruk: Sead was sick  
Tampines could move for Pipat in June  
John Yap: Agu yet to sign on the dotted line
Bulls ‘looking’ to sign Nigerian midfielder
Ang Bang Heng, Lenan Govindaraju and Nawfal Shahib (Balestier Khalsa) *
Khariul Amri can only move in June
Hyrulnizam Juma'at, Zulfadli Zainal Abidin, Noor Ikhsan, Sufian Anuar, Sebastian Seah, Hamqammal Shah and Muhd Firdaus Idros (Young Lions) *
Adi Salleh (Gombak United -> Sengkang Punggol) *
2008 Geylang United squad
2008 Home United squad

Syaqir Sulaiman (Home United Prime League -> Home United) *
Tetsuya Okayama (Albirex Niigata (S)) *
Dolphins complete their foreign quartet
Delights in Japanese camp as Hiroyuki Yamamoto make S-league his home
Sengkang Punggol signs Hiroyuki Yamamoto
Fadzuhasny Juraimi joined Woodlands Wellington
Home United complete their foreign signings
Tengku Mushadad (Young Lions -> Home United) *
Sead Muratovic on the way out?
Zakaria Normat (Young Lions -> Balestier Khalsa) *
Hiroyuki Yamamoto at trial with Sengkang Punggol
Andrew Tan (Balestier Khalsa Prime League -> Young Lions) ***
Sivaji: Lewis’s fate will be known by January end
Joey Sim (Home United Prime League -> Sengkang Punggol) *
Fazli Jaffar (Gombak United -> Home United) *
Bulls looking at yet another African to join them
Bah Mamadou (Woodlands Wellington -> Gombak United) *
Syed Karim (Gombak United Prime League -> SAFFC)
Takatoshi Uchida, Akira Takase, Norio Takahashi and Keisuke Ogawa (Albirex Niigata (S)) *
Slovakians sign for Geylang United
Fabian Tan (Young Lions -> Geylang United) *

Farhan Farook (Sengkang Punggol -> Home United) *
2008 Super Reds squad
Ryuta Doi (Vissel Kobe -> Albirex Niigata (S)) *
Geylang United signed 2 Brazilians and eyeing 2 Slovak players
Lionel Lewis (Home United -> Grasshoppers Zurich(Swiss Super League)) ***

Faizal signs on with Bulls
Qiu Li signed to replace Pipat Thonkanya
Santi Chaiyaphuak, Sead Muratovic, Aliff Shaffein and Ridhuan Muhammad (Tampines Rovers) *
Razif Mahamud (SAFFC -> Tampines Rovers) *
Imran Sahib (Woodlands Wellington -> Tampines Rovers) *
Pipat Thonkanya move to Stags blocked
Goh Swee Swee (Home United -> Young Lions) *

Hideaki Iwahana, Eiichiro Ozaki, Kosei Yokoi, Junjiro Tani, Kazuma Miyauchi, Masato Anzai, Jun Ishikawa, Yoshitaka Komori, Hideaki Sasaki, Takayuki Motoshimizu, Taiki Hamada, Masatoshi Saiga, Yohei Machida, Kenta Toyota, Genji Nakamura, Akihiko Shimizu, Takayuki Watanabe and Yutaka Ozawa (Albirex Niigata (S) -> ?) *
Qiu Li and Jonathon Angelucci on trials with Stags
S-league leading marksman going to Hougang
Ratna Suffian (Balestier Khalsa -> Sengkang Punggol) *
Faizal delayed joining Police Force
Pipat Thonkanya is a Stags
Fajar Sarib (Geylang United) *
Sivaji: Faizal Hamid will join us in July
Kim Sang Eun, U Ja Rang, Lim Dae Geun, Jeong Byung Euk and Joo Ki Hwan (Super Reds) *
Jeon Kyeong Joon (Brunei DPMM (MSL) -> Super Reds) *
Park Moon-ki (Cheongnam Dragons (K1)-> Super Reds) *
Yoon Bo-young (Goyang Kookmin Bank (N-league) -> Super Reds) *
SAFFC defender Faizal Hamid taking a year break
Geylang United ‘eye’ Brazilian forward
Noh Rahman, Aide Iskandar, Lau Meng Meng, Jonathan Xu, Syed Thaha and Hafiz Rahim (Geylang United) *
Lucian Dronca at Bishan?
Nazri: Alam Shah can return next season
Fadzu will stay with the Eagles
Shah Hirul (Geylang United Prime League -> Geylang United) *
SAFFC looking at Japanese midfielder
Nazri Nasir retires after 12 years of service in the S-league
Farizal Basri (Balestier Khalsa -> Geylang United) **
Faizal Senin (Gombak United -> Geylang United) **
Tampines Rovers ‘linked’ with Thai striker Pipat Thonkanya
Agu Casmir (Gombak United -> Tampines Rovers) ***
Noh Alam Shah joined PDRM
Gabriel Obatola (Gombak United -> Young Lions) *
Ishak Zainol, Jalal, Ruhaizad Ismail, Jaslee Hatta, Sevki Sha’ban, Kingsley Njoku and Precious Emuejeraye (Gombak United) *
Mirko Grabovac (Tampines Rovers -> Sengkang Punggol) *** Sutee Suksomkit (Tampines Rovers) *
Razali Johari (Geylang United -> Sengkang Punggol) **
Masrezwan Masturi (SAFFC -> Geylang United) **
Fadzuhasny Juraimi and Razali Johari (Geylang United -> ?) **
Hassan Sunny (Geylang United -> Tampines Rovers) *
Shaiful Esah (SAFFC -> Young Lions) ***
Mahmod Hashim, Firdaus Salleh, Suriyandi Naib and Haris Sumri (Sengkang Punggol) *
Amos Boon, Winston Yap, Mohd Mardani, Tan Sio Beng, Ross McKenzie, Jonathon Angelucci, Cole Tinkler and Paul Bekombo Ekollo (Sengkang Punggol -> ?) *
TODAY report Alam Shah in talks with Malaysia clubs
Pelita Jaya seeking 3 players from S-league
Ahmed Fahmie, Alimin Mohamed, Edward Tan, Firdaus Kasman, Naufal Omar and Kairuldin Ishak (Tampines Rovers Prime League  -> Tampines Rovers) **
Home website ‘confirm’ Peres rumors
Lucian Dronca, Laakkad Abdelhadi, Akihiro Nakamura & Park Tae Won (Woodlands Wellington) *
Shahri Musa & Syaiful Iskandar (Woodlands Wellington Prime League  -> Woodlands Wellington) *
Ahmadulhaq Che Omar (Tampines Rovers -> Woodlands Wellington) *
Peres de Oliveira (Tampines Rovers -> Home United) ***
Syed Fadhill (Geylang United -> Home United) ***
Khairul Amri  (Young Lions -> Home United) **
Razaleigh Khalik, (Geylang United -> SAFFC) **
Fazrul Nawaz & Baihakki Khaizan (Young Lions -> Geylang United) **
Noh Alam Shah (Tampines Rovers -> Pelita Jaya (Indonesia Liga)>) ***
Ridhwan Jamaludin (Young Lions -> Gombak United) *
Noor Ali (SAFFC -> Geylang United) **
Kone Hamed & Diakite Fode Bangaly (Home United -> ?) *
Ryuji Sueoka, Fortune Udo, Mba Onyekachi & Kaze Giscard (Balestier Khalsa -> ?) *
Ahmad Latiff (Woodlands Wellington -> PDRM (MSL)) *
Moudourou Moise (Woodlands Wellington -> Johor FC (MSL)) *


Home Clubs S-league news



Young Lions Moise moved across the Causeway

Malaysian Star have reported Johor FC, who is in the Malaysian Super League, have landed Young Lions Cameroon defender Moise Moudourou for the 2007-2008 M-League season.

The Super League club side presented the player at a contract signing ceremony over the weekend.

He will join former Public Bank's Argentine midfielder Gustavo Fuentes and long-serving Argentine Walter Ariel Silva, who is into his fourth season with the team, as the foreign signings of the Johore club.

Moise Moudourou had started for the Young Lions since the 2006 season after joining them from the now defunct Paya Lebar Punggol club.

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Ahmad Latiff off to Malaysia

Days after departing Woodlands Wellington, before the S-league season ended, Ahamd Latiff have found a new home.

PDRM, in a press conference in Malaysia, have announced they have come to an agreement with the Singapore ex-international midfielder.

The 28-year-old player will be playing in the Malaysia Super League for the first time but it is his second stint in Malaysia with him having play in the second tier, the Malaysia Permier League, in 2006 with Johore FA.

PDRM is Malaysia Police team and was pormoted to the Malaysian Super League after winning the 2007 Premier League title.

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Tigers released their foreigners

It was no surprise when it was revealed Toa Payoh based Balestier Khalsa have decided to part company with all their 4 foreigners for the upcoming 2008 season.

With club finishing just outside the bottom 3 thus failing to build on their 2006 performance, which saw them just 1 spot away from the top half of the league, the club believed it is time for a fresh start.

Ryuji Sueoka and Fortune Udo have failed to spark as an attacking upfront while Mba Onyekachi & Kaze Giscard failed to provide the leadership in midfield.

Tigers Chairman Balbeer Singh Mangat further signals that stance of a fresh start by also releasing coach Abdul Karim Razzak, who had guided the club for the past 4 years and highly regarded as the person who saved the Tigers from obviation. 

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Home see the departure of Kone Hamed and Diakite Fode Bangaly

A major surprise has emerged from Home United as the club released 2 of their most impressive foreigners, Kone Hamed & Diakite Fode Bangaly, from last season campaign.

It was especially surprising for Kone Hamed as he had been the player who ended fellow title challengers Tampines Rovers title hopes when he scored both goals at Bishan to send the Stags crashing down to earth.

The Ivorian had been a flashy midfielder all season long, impressing and wooing many with his dribbling, passing and shooting skills, and contributing 10 goals in the league campaign as well.

As for Diakite Fode Bangaly, he had originally been signed on as a defender but played so impressively as a defensive midfielder that the spot was his.

The club would be hard pressed to find another 2 players of such quality as replacement especially for Kone Hamed.

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Noor Ali heading back to Eagles

After 3 seasons with the Warriors, Noor Ali have departed the 6-times S-league champions and it is widely expected the 32-year-old midfielder will be heading back to the Bedok-based Geylag United.

Noor Ali had played for the Eagles between 2000 to 2004 and in the Eagles last championship win in 2001, Noor Ali had played a huge part scoring 12 goals in the league and contributing many assists for the Eagles leading marksman Aleksandar Duric.

In his 3 years with the Warriors, Noor Ali had a part in the Warriors revival back as the Kingpin of Singapore football as the Warriors won the last 2 championships after going 4 years without a single trophy.

Noor Ali have scored 25 S-league goals in 96 S-league appearances for the Warriors.

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Alam Shah eyes Indonesian chance

Singapore striker Noh Alam Shah, banned for a year for a frenzied on-pitch attack on an international team mate, could be handed an Indonesian lifeline.

The Tampines Rovers frontman was slapped with the 12-month ban on Monday for last month's Cup final attack on SAFFC defender Daniel Bennett.

Alam Shah kneed Bennett in the face and kicked him in the back as Tampines went down 4-3 in the fiery final. He had to be shepherded from the pitch by team mates as he struggled to break free.

The striker's ban only extends to Singaporean domestic competition, however, and former Singapore captain Fandi Ahmad is preparing to throw Alam Shah a lifeline at the Indonesian club he now coaches.

"Alam Shah will be an asset to Pelita (Jaya)," Fandi said. "He has the speed, physical presence and finishing power to be a feared striker.
"He is already very well known in Indonesia. He will be a good signing for us."

The fixture pile-up in Indonesia means Fandi does not know when he will be making a bid for Alam Shah, though.

"Once I know when the season finishes I can plan on bringing Alam Shah over," he told the Straits Times newspaper.

Pelita Jaya are 11th in the 18-team Indonesian league.

Alam Shah, who is still eligible to play for Singapore in their World Cup qualifying campaign, is his country's leading goalscorer with 28 strikes in 63 appearances.

He won the Golden Boot and Most Valuable Player awards at this year's ASEAN Soccer Championship after scoring 10 goals including seven in one match.

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Hat-trick hero Fazrul on way back to Eagles

After scoring a hat-trick in the SEA Games to help Singapore under-23 secure a bronze, Fazrul Nawaz is now expected to be on his way back to his debutant club, Geylang United.

Since being loan from the Eagles to the Young Lions team 2 years ago, the 22-year-old striker have hit a decent 15 S-league goals in 59 appearances for the Young Lions.

But with him not eligible for the SEA Games in 2009, the forward will be going back to the Eagles where since his debut in 2004, he has scored 10 S-league goals in 50 appearances.

Following him back to Eagles will be Baihakki Khaizan who had also been loan to Young Lions by the Eagles back in 2004.

Baihakki Khaizan is a key member of the Singapore Under-23 and National Team as shown in the recent semi-final against the Thailand Under-23 game where he was badly missed by his suspension.

Baihakki has make 92 appearances for the Young Lions in his 4-years stint with the club.

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Razaleigh Khalik to be a Warriors

With Baihakki Khaizan pending return back to the Eagles fold, Razaleigh Khalik is the player to make way as the defender has been released by the Eagles.

However the 26-year-old defender could be joining S-league Champions SAFFC in the upcoming season as contract talks have begun between the pairs.

Razaleigh would be a welcome addition to the Warriors camp with his experience in the league and Asia as they looked to win the 3-pelat of league title as well as continued success in the AFC Cup and RHB Singapore Cup.

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Amri set for Home

Khairul Amri is set to join Home United for the upcoming 2008 season.

The forward, who is serving his National Service with Police, is expected to be released by Young Lions to join Home United as the Bishan club is in the AFC Cup next year and it is believed he will benefit much from playing in Asia.

The forward who have only appeared for the Young Lions in the S-league has make 109 appearances for the club scoring 48 goals.

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Fadhill rumored to be joining Home

Syed Fadhill who had been Eagles most consistent midfielder of the past few seasons is rumored to have agreed to join Home United.

If true, the 26 year-old midfielder will be leaving his debutant club and - discounting his stint with Young Lions where he was on loan - he will be leaving the only club he had known.

Since his return from the Young Lions, the player had always been among the first name on the name sheet of the Eagles and last season he had his most impressive season ever scoring 7 goals, as many as his total in all the previous seasons,and leading the Eagles to a top half finish, their best performances in the last 4 years.   

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‘HOMEsick’ Peres?

As the Christmas period near, Home United appear to be in a shopping mood as the rumors suggest with former hero Peres de Oliveira the latest to have his name linked to the Bishan club.

Peres de Oliveira had played for Home United from 1999 until 2003 scoring 106 S-league goals – 87 in the league and 19 in Cup competition – and is in third place in the club list of leading scorer behind Egmar Gonclaves and Indra Shadan as well as winning his first and only individual award, the 2003 Player of the Year, while at Home United.

The Brazilian had left his club of 2 years, Tampines Rovers, suggesting he wished to go overseas but it may be a case of ‘HOME sick’ Peres with the rumors swirling.

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Rams retain their 4 foreigners

Despite finishing a disappointing 7th in the league, Woodlands Wellington have retain all 4 of their foreigners  Lucian Dronca, Laakkad Abdelhadi, Akihiro Nakamura & Park Tae Won – for the 2008 season.

Coach Jorg Steinebrunner explained the decision was based on the quartet’s ability to gel with the squad in a media interview with FW.

“Our 4 foreigners have added quality and have a good mentality and I always believed that the foreigners must mix and socialize with the local players and I think we have found a good mix.”

“If the like of Laakkad Abdelhadi and Park Tae Won, who missed a combine of about 20 games last season, we can expect more from them next season.”

However Jorg Steinebrunner refused to set a target for the league next season but set a semi-final target for the Singapore Cup.

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Home website ‘confirmed’ Peres rumors

In an article Season 2008 - What's latest @ HUFC, Home United have confirmed they are talking a great player familiar to Bishan.

That would only leave the logic choice of Peres de Oliveira as the rumors have suggested and it should be no surprise that the club is looking for a player as flashy and  brilliantly as Peres to replace Kone Hamed, who had a brilliant 2007 season with Home United, in the midfield role.

Peres record in the S-league is undisputable having won 2003 Player of the Year at Home United and scoring, up to date, 137 S-league goals in his 9 years in the S-league.

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Pelita Jaya seeking 3 players from S-league

In a TV interview conducted in Indonesia, Fandi Ahmad, coach of Indonesia Liga side Pelita Jaya, reveal he is seeking 3 players from the S-league to play in his side for next season once the current league season end.

Top of his list is striker Noh Alam Shah but as for the other 2, he decline to reveal any details.

The Indonesia Liga run until January next year while the Big 8 run until February.

If Fandi is looking for top talents, he will certain be disappointed if he waited until January to conduct his business for such talents will have been snatched before December ended even with the attractions of higher salaries in Indonesia Liga.    

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TODAY report Alam Shah in talks with Malaysia clubs

TODAY Paper have reported they understand Super League clubs have approached Alam Shah for the 2007/2008 Super League that have already started.

Ahmad Latiff is currently the only Singaporean player playing in the Malaysian Super League plying his trades for PDRM.

Alam Shah also confirmed he had received such offers from other countries as well, but said his plans are not confirmed yet.

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Shaiful Esah called up for Young Lions?

There were indications that FAS will be calling up the members who are eligible for SEA Games 2009 for the upcoming 2008 S-league season even if they maybe regular starter in their respective clubs.

This may mean Shaiful Esah, who has been a regular in a strong Warriors side, will re-join the Young Lions, having started his S-league debut there in 2004.

However the Warriors may appeal such a move as the SEA Games are 2 years away and the club is playing in Asia in the AFC Cup which will benefit Shaiful Esah more if he can continued playing for the Warriors.

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Dolphins make sweeping changes

Regular Wooden Spoon contender Sengkang Punggol have make sweeping changes for the 2008 season.

The Hougang club have released veterans players like Amos Boon, Winston Yap, Mohd Mardani and Tan Sio Beng and club manager Robert Tan stated it was mainly because the club was looking towards the future.

Only 4 players – Mahmod Hashim, Firdaus Salleh, Suriyandi Naib and Suriyandi Naib – were retained as the club management believed these players are still young enough to develop into better players as well as guiding the younger players the clubs are looking at.

As for the foreigners the club have released, Tan pulled no punches in declaring these players as ‘disappointing’.

Tan commented to FW: “Our local players can perform and be even better than the foreigners we had and that’s why we have released them.

They also have not done well in term of discipline and foreigners, with the high salaries we’re paying them, are supposed to be better than locals but that’s not been the case.” 

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SEA Games goalkeeper star move to Tampines

In the weeks building up to the SEA Games, where Singapore Under 23 won a bronze and Hassan Sunny impress between the woodwork, he did not know whether he would be playing football in the S-League next season.

There was no indication from his club, Geylang United, they were going to renew his contract, which ends on Dec 31, or even renegotiate.

But all’s well now for the Singapore under-23 star as Tampines Rovers have come knocking and he has put pen to paper on a two-year deal with the Stags.

Hassan began his career with Geylang in 2003 where he had a successful start keeping 13 clean sheets in 35 S-league appearances. He then was loaned to play for the Young Lions in 2004 and 2005. He rejoined the Eagles in 2006 and spent the last two seasons there but has struggled to recapture the form of 2003 with a leaky defence in front of him but still keeping a further 11 clean sheets in 54 S-league appearances.

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Eagles moved for Amos Boon

The Eagles has moved for Sengkang Punggol goalkeeper Amos Boon to replace the departed Hassan Sunny as the Eagles looked to rebuild for the 2008 season to regain their spot among the Big Clubs.

Amos Boon has been with Sengkang Punggol since 2006 after joining from Home United, where he make his return to football in 2005 after retiring in 2003 when the club he was with, now defunct Sengkang Marine folded with debts woes.

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Duos depart Eagles

It is believed striker Fadzuhasny Juraimi and midfielder Razali Johari have departed Geylang United as both could not get assurance from the club head coach, Jozef Herel, of being first team regulars next season.

Fadzuhasny Juraimi still had a contract with the Eagles up to December 2008 but the former international could not stomach a season on the bench having played for the likes of powerhouse SAFFC and Home United previously.

Therefore the 28-year-old forward requested for a release from his contract and the club has cede to his request. 

For Razali Johari, it is another step indicating how badly the former Under-23 international have fared in recent times that he cannot keep his place in the Eagles squad.

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Masrezwan Masturi joined Eagles revolution

SAFFC forward Masrezwan Masturi has join Geylang United revolution.

Since the end of the season, the Eastern based club has been signing and releasing a host of players as the former Singapore kingpin looked to continue to build on last season top half finish – their first after 4 seasons of bottom half finishes.

Masrezwan Masturi has found his second stint – he had played for the Warriors from 2001 to 2002 – in the Warriors arena tougher with heavy competition from fellow forwards Ashrin Shariff and Norikazu Murakami as well as midfielders Therdsak Chaiman and John Wilkinson who could slot in as forwards.

Finding his chances limited as he only make 20 appearances in the league and half of them as substitutes in the 2007 season,  the 26-year-old forward requested a transfer, which the Warriors agreed to, and which Geylang United have make a move for.

The former Warriors and Rams forward will be replacing the departed Fadzuhasny Juraimi at Geylang United.

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Sutee to stay with Stags

Stags midfielder Sutee Suksomkit has agreed a new contract with Tampines Rovers to extend his stay at the Eastern club for another season.

The Thai only moved to the Stags last season after his departure from Home United where he played for the previous 4 years and he had a decent 2007 season contributing 8 goals in the S-league and 1 goal in the AFC Cup but failed to help the Stags win either the league or the Cup.

This will be the Thai 7th year in the S-league since coming here as a dropout from the Thai Under-23 team and he has now scored 56 goals in the S-league. 

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Dolphins aim for Grabovac

In a one of the surprising rumor of the close season, there are talks that regular Wooden Spoon contender Sengkang Punggol is aiming to sign S-league highest ever goalscorer Mirko Grabovac.

The ex-international forward had been released by the Stags after 4 years of service as the club refused to extend his contract for he had also contacted other clubs in negotiation.

During his 4-years with the Stags, it was the golden era for the Stags with 3 trophies laden years as they won 2 league titles and 2 Singapore Cup and the forward contributed with 92 S-league goals in 121 S-league appearances.

Before that, the forward had an ever better resume with the Warriors notching up 152 S-league goals in 5 seasons and finishing 4 of the seasons as top scorer.   

It is no wonder then the forward remain a hot property even with his advanced age of 37 next season.

The Dolphins are reportedly offering him the post of assistant coach along with a player contract as it is known the forward is looking toward the future when he will have to hang up his boot.

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Bulls dismissed rumors of exodus 

Gombak United chairman John Yap quelled rumors of an exodus of players as he unveiled the retaining of 7 players –  Ishak Zainol, Jalal, Ruhaizad Ismail, Jaslee Hatta, Sevki Sha’ban, Kingsley Njoku and Precious Emuejeraye –  for the 2008 season.

He explained that they were late in negotiating with the players before the retain list date but had assured the core of the team, that finished an impressive fourth place in 2007, they will be retained and will receive their due rewards in the new contract.

Having retained 7 members with more likely to follow including top scorer Agu Casmir, the Bulls will be expected to follow up on their successful 2007 season but John Yap refused to set a higher goal.

He said: “Last season, we told the media we targeted mid-table but we ended up fourth so this season will be the same aim of mid-table

“Of course, we would like to retain fourth spot but it’s difficult to topple Big 3 and I don’t want to put unnecessary pressure on the team.

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Cubs recruit Gabriel Obatola

In an interview with FW, Gombak United chairman John Yap revealed Gabriel Obatola, who had an impressive 2007 season with the Bulls, has left the club to ply his trade with the Young Lions under the Foreign Talent Scheme (FTS).

He said: “Gabriel has left to join the Young Lions after his outstanding season. He was reluctant to leave but we had to look at Singapore’s big picture since he is targeted for the FTS scheme so therefore we had no choice but to let him go.”

It was also noted head coach Salim Moin was also recruited by FAS for the National Football Academy.

Yap said: “Salim had a good offer to join NFA as a staff coach to join the likes of Terry Pathmanathan and we couldn’t stand in his way.

“If he was moving to a rival club, we would have blocked him but he’s moving to greener pastures so it was a different thing.”

Salim assistant of the past 2 years, Swandi Ahmad have been handed the job of Bulls head coach for next season.

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Noh Alam Shah joined PDRM

Noh Alam Shah will start a new life across the Causeway in the new year with Selangor club Polis Di-Raja Malaysia (PDRM).

The Tampines Rovers striker, banned one year by the Football Association of Singapore for attacking Singapore Armed Forces defender Daniel Bennett in the Singapore Cup final, has signed for Malaysian Super League team Polis Di-Raja Malaysia (PDRM).

This was by PDRM assistant manager Mohd Gifari, who revealed that Alam Shah signed a one-year deal.

He said: 'We secured Alam Shah's signature late last week and he will join the squad on Jan 1. 

“To us, he's the best striker in the Asean region and one of the best in Asia. He is a quality player and I'm confident he will be a great signing for us.”

Coach K. Thayanathan added: 'Alam Shah is well-known in Malaysia. He is one player I would love to have in my side.

'I can't wait to see him in action for PDRM.'

Alam Shah will not be the only Singaporean in the team as he will be re-united with former national team colleague Ahmad Latiff who has already made a good start to his career across the Causeway, netting against Penang and Sarawak.

PDRM's other foreign players are from Kenya - midfielder Hilary Echesa and striker Joohn Mawalma Barasa.

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Agu linked with Stags

Bulls forward Agu Casmir has been linked with Tampines Rovers as the 2004 and 2005 S-league champions looked to replace strikers Noh Alam Shah and Mirko Grabovac.

Grabovac has not been retained by the club, after he had negotiated with other clubs angering the Stags, while Alam Shah has been banned 1 year by FAS for attacking Singapore Armed Forces defender Daniel Bennett in the Singapore Cup final thus depriving the Eastern club of their lethal strikeforce of recent years.

Combined, the both of them scored a total of 171 S-league goals and a further 27 Asian goals in 4 years.

Therefore it is not surprising the Stags will be seeking a forward with Agu resume as the forward has scored 103 S-league goals in 6 seasons and is the youngest player to reach the milestone of 100 S-league goals while for the national team he has scored 7 times in 19 appearances.

Furthermore Agu Casmir is a free agent as he has yet to sign on the dotted line with Gombak United for the 2008 season.

So it could well be no surprise to see Agu Casmir wearing the yellow jersey of the Stags in the upcoming season ahead. 

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Tampines Rovers ‘linked’ with Thai striker Pipat Thonkanya

As the 2008 season get closer, the rumors mill continued to spin with Thai striker Pipat Thonkanya the latest to be linked up with Tampines Rovers as the club search for a forward line for 2008.

Rumors are spreading the Stags are ready to sign up a Thai striker and Pipat Thonkanya will be the player joining.

Pipat Thonkanya was in the 2007 ASEAN Football Championship and Asian Cup for the Thai national side but is not a regular as yet.

However he has a nose for goals as he was Thailand’s top scorer in the ASEAN Football Championship in 2007 with four strikes, including both of his team’s goals in a 3-2 aggregate defeat to Singapore in the Final.

He also scored both goals in his country’s memorable 2-0 victory over Oman in the 2007 Asian Cup, which Thailand had co-hosted with three other Southeast Asian countries.

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Nazri Nasir retires after 12 years of service in the S-league

Singapore ex-international captain Nazri Nasir has chosen to stick with his earlier decision in the year to retire after the end of the 2007 season.

The midfielder turned defender later in his career was unwilling to extend his career another year after the Stags disappointingly failed to win any silverware at the end of the 2007 season.

The team had been aiming for Asia and wanted to win the AFC Cup badly but like previous years they were knocked in the quarter-final, this year by Jordanian team Al Faisaly, while on the domestic front the Warriors won the Double, leaving the club with nothing.

Nazri started out his S-league career in 1996 with Sembawang Rangers but left the club after just 1 season feeling the club lacked the vision and ambition to match his own with the Stallions finishing in the bottom two for both Series.

It resulted in a tussle for him as Nazri Nasir had a 2-year contract with the Stallions but the lure of winning his first S-league championship medal proved too much as he demanded a transfer to powerhouse SAFFC.

Nazri, in wanting to prove money was not his main motivation, paid half of the Warriors S$30000 transfer fee to pave the way.

It soon saw him getting the dividend as the Warriors won the domestic Treble while for himself; he scooped the Player of the Year award that year.

More trophies followed with the S-league title again in 1998 as he played an important part in the final game against Gombak United as he clear a goal-bound goal in the dying moment of the game to win the crown by goal difference.

There was also the 1998 Tiger Cup – Singapore first ever international trophy – as he became the first ever Singapore captain to lead Singapore to international glory.

He won two more trophies during his stay with the Warriors - S-league 2000 and Singapore Cup 1999.

Joining Tampines Rovers in 2002 proved no different as the hunger remained as he lead the Stags to their first ever trophy, the Singapore Cup, in the same year as well as the Double in 2004 and defending the S-league crown the following year.

Nazri had retired from international football after the 2002 Tiger Cup having amassed 100 international caps with Singapore.

The player has won a remarkable five S-league, four Singapore Cup and one FA Cup medal in his 12 years in the S-league as well as the 1998 Tiger Cup with Singapore and scoring close to 40 S-league goals from his midfield role.

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SAFFC looking at Japanese midfielder

Thai Premier League club Bangkok University Japanese striker Masahiro Fukasawa has been spotted at Choa Chu Kang stadium.

The 30 year-old midfielder is believed to be having a trial with the 6-times S-league champions as the Warriors still have 1 foreign slot not filled up for next season.

Masahiro Fukasawa has played in J1 and J2 with Yokohama F. Marinos and Albirex Niigata respectively from 1996 until 2004 and has make 154 league appearances and scoring 10 goals for both clubs before moving abroad.

The midfielder first went to Argentina before a stint with USL first Division team Montreal Impact where he was awarded Newcomer of the Year award.

He joined Bangkok University at the start of the 2007 season and become the first Japanese footballer to play for a non-Japanese club in AFC Champions League.

In the RHB Singapore Cup which the Thai club participated in as 1 of the foreign team, Masahiro Fukasawa had a creditable outing as he had a hand in Bangkok University finishing in third place as he scored an important hat-trick against Balestier Khalsa in the quarter-final tie.

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Fadzu will stay with the Eagles

Contrary to earlier rumors, it now appears Fadzuhasny Juraimi has come to an agreement with the Eagles management and will serve out his contract.

Fadzuhasny Juraimi still has a contract up to December 2008 with the Eagles but the former international will have to improve his form vastly for the upcoming season having only found the net 3 times in 23 appearances with the Eagles in 2007.

This compared poorly when marked against Juraimi’s time at Tanjong Pagar United and Home United when the forward found the net a combined 39 times; especially Home United as he was a substitute on many occasions but still score an average of 1 goal every 3 games in the league.   

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Nazri: Alam Shah can return next season

Tampines Rovers new general manager Nazri Nasir has given the clearest indication of next season biggest transfer.

In an interview with the Today paper, Nazri spoke about Alam Shah’s transfer to PDRM after his 1-year suspension of the domestic league.

He commented the club did not wish to see Alam Shah year wasted thus was glad he can go across the causeway to PDRM and the management will await Alam Shah return and they will give him the greatest support when he does return.

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Lucian Dronca at Bishan?

Woodlands Wellington defender Lucian Dronca has been spotted at Bishan sparking rumors the Romanian defender may be jumping ship.

While the chances of such a move are slim as the Rams has already committed Dronca to a new contract for 2008, it is not surprising why Home United is linked to the Romanian.

Home United backline is the smallest in the league with almost every defender below 1.8 m and lacking a towering player and a player who has the heading ability as well has hamper the team in set-pieces when defending or attacking.

As Home United is also in the AFC Cup, the problem is magnified as Kedah and South China are known to employed physical big man tactics upfront with Kedah using  Marlon Alex James and South China using Santos Silva and both are known to use their physical height and build to overpower defenders to either score or create chances.

At this moment if the Protectors do not get a new big man at the back, they will be outgunned.

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Geylang United ‘eye’ Brazilian forward

Words are emerging from Bedok that Geylang United is eyeing a Brazilian forward who has impressed coach Jozef Herel in trials conducted by the club.

If true, the Brazilian will be Jozef Herel first foreign recruit as the club had released all their foreigners from the last campaign and has yet to sign anybody to replace them.

Little is known yet on the Brazilian forward except his name which is rumored to be Rivaldo but it is unlikely to be the same player who once played for Barcelona.

At the time, the club in addition to retaining Noh Rahman, Aide Iskandar, Jonathan Xu, and Syed Thaha, before the turn of the year, has now retain Lau Meng Meng and Hafiz Rahim as well as both signed on the dotted line.

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SAFFC defender Faizal Hamid taking a year break

SAFFC and Singapore defender Faizal Hamid is taking a year break from football.

The 26-year-old defender is concentrating on his new career as a prisons officer thus decided it is best to take a break from football as he received intensive training during that time.

Faizal has also played for Geylang United and Young Lions previously. He joined the Warriors in 2006 and won 2 championships and 1 Singapore Cup in the 2 years with the club.

He also won all his 6 international caps last year despite having been called up to the National Team way back in 2004.

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2006 N-league MVP joining Super Reds

The Super Reds has staged a major coup as they captured Goyang Kookmin Bank forward Yoon Bo-young.

The 29 year-old forward was voted N-league MVP in his debut season with Goyang Kookmin Bank in the N-league in 2006.

He had played for 4 times K-league Champions Pohang Steelers back in 2001 but struggled to get his Steelers career off the road as he found the net only 5 times in 45 appearances in the top flight in the next 3 years and seeking a new direction, Yoon Bo-young joined the army in 2004.

He played for the army team, Gwangju, as he served his national service for the next 2 years before departing in 2006 to join Goyang Kookmin Bank.

Still the forward is not known for his goalscoring abilities having only notch up 4 goals in 21 league appearances with Goyang Kookmin Bank.

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Cheongnam Dragons defender joined Super Reds

Cheongnam Dragons defender Park Moon-ki has joined the Super Reds.

The 24 year-old defender has been with Cheongnam Dragons first team for the last 3 years but only make 1 appearance during that for Cheongnam Dragons and it was back back in 2006.

However he will be expected to bring much needed stability to the Super Reds backline as they conceded 80 goals last season with an inexperienced team with o K-league experience.

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Super Reds announced their squad for 2008

In an article in the S-league website – Super Reds get down to business – the Super Reds revealed names for their 2008 season.

5 players Kim Sang Eun, U Ja Rang, Lim Dae Geun, Jeong Byung Euk and Joo Ki Hwan were retained from last season Super reds team while former Home and Reds Jeon Kyeong Joon will return to play from Brunei DPMM.

He will also be one of the assistant coaches along with former Jeju United player Hyun Ho Shin and like Jeon Kyeong Joon, Hyun Ho Shin will be playing for the Super Reds.

2006 N-league MVP and Goyang Kookmin Bank forward Yoon Bo-young and Cheongnam Dragons defender Park Moon-ki are also joining thus boasting the Super Reds team with even more experience.

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Siviaji: Faizal Hamid will join us in July

Home United coach P.N.Sivaji is delighted to know Faizal Hamid has joined the Police Force as it will mean the national defender is only eligible for the Bishan team.

The former national coach had wanted to immediately include the national player for the Protectors team for the 2008 season but as Faizal Hamid will be undergoing intensive training for the next 6 months, it was decided it will be best to leave the player out until the mid-season transfer window as least.

Sivaji said: “Faizal’s a big talent. After he finishes the first 6 months of intensive training, we may register him for the latter half of the season.”

Faizal is also delighted with this outcome as he wants to concentrate on his new career as a prisons officer first.

He said: “I’m willing to put my football career on hold, and make sure I have a job to fall back on after I retire from sports.”

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Pipat Thonkanya is a Stags

It has been confirmed Thai striker Pipat Thonkanya will sign with 2-times S-league Champions Tampines Rovers.

The club has been looking for a new strikeforce since the departure of both Mirko Grabovac and Noh Alam Shah who both combined to score 171 S-league goals in 4 years.

Fellow Thai Sutee Suksomkit could be lining up beside Pipat as it is likely Sutee will return back to being a forward in the S-league, after being converted to a winger in his days with Home United, where he has some success having scored 31 S-league goals in 2 seasons with Tanjong Pagar United.

However there will be pressure for the all Thai front line to deliver quickly and there are questions if the Thai pair can have as much success as the Mirko and Alam Shah combination.

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Faizal delayed joining Police Force

In a boost for the Singapore national team, defender Faizal Hamid has rejoined Radojko Avramovic’s team for the Word Cup Qualifiers.

Today report that the 26-year-old defender has decided to apply to join the Singapore Prisons Service next year as the opportunity to represent the Lions in the third round of the World Cup Asian Zone qualifiers proved too good for the defender to turn down.

Last week, Today had also reported Faizal, who played for SAFFC in 2006 and 20007, was contemplating a career as a Prisons officer.

He has yet to sign on with an S-League club this season but claimed he was in negotiations with a team.

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S-league leading marksman going to Hougang

After much negotiations and discussions between Sengkang Punggol and Mirko Grabovac, the pair have come to an agreement with Mirko Grabovac joining the Dolphins as assistant coach cum player role.

It showcases the ambitions of the Hougang team for the upcoming 2008 season that a player with Grabovac resume is joining.

Mirko Grabovac is S-league all-time leading Marksman with 244 S-league goals with 152 S-league goals scored with SAFFC and 92 S-league goals with Tampines Rovers.

He has also scored another 17 goals in Asian competitions.

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Qiu Li and Jonathon Angelucci on trials with Stags

Still feeling the effect of the loss of their 2 leading marksman, Tampines Rovers are undecided on their new attacking lineup as Ex-Home United Qiu Li and Ex-Sengkang Punggol Jonathon Angelucci have been spotted having trials with the team.

It is clear the club is looking for a target man as Pipat Thonkanya and Sutee Suksomkit are not the biggest upfront and they will need a more physical presence alongside 1 of them.

But the Stags fans will not be delighted to know or even believe it will be 1 of them for Qiu Li is not known for his goalscoring with only 8 goals last season with a team like Home United noted for it attacking football while Jonathon Angelucci has better goal ratio, with 44 goals in 102 league matches and a better goal ratio in Cup matches with 12 goals in 18 matches, he is also noted for his high ratio of shocking misses of goalscoring chances.

If given the choice between the pair though, it will be Jonathon Angelucci they hoped will be chosen.

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Albirex Niigata (S) working with Japan Soccer College to select 2008 squad

In an announcement on their website (In Japanese), the White Swans will be working with Japan Soccer College to select players for their 2008 squad.

This will be on top of players chosen from their own squad as well as their Under-19 team as well as from other team squads and their Under-19 squads as like previous years.

The Japanese Swans have released Hideaki Iwahana, Eiichiro Ozaki, Kosei Yokoi and Junjiro Tani, who are from their own squad in Japan, after their contracts have expired while at the same time they returned 14 players back to their respective clubs after their loan ended at the end of the season.

The players are Kazuma Miyauchi, Masato Anzai, Jun Ishikawa, Yoshitaka Komori, Hideaki Sasaki, Takayuki Motoshimizu, Taiki Hamada, Masatoshi Saiga, Yohei Machida, Kenta Toyota, Genji Nakamura, Akihiko Shimizu, Takayuki Watanabe and Yutaka Ozawa.


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Goh Swee Swee moving to Young Lions

Home United player Goh Swee Swee has been selected to join the Young Lions for the 2008 season.

The 21 year-old player had an excellent start to the 2007 season in the SingTel League Cup where he make an impression as he scored to secure a third -place for the Bishan team.

2 weeks later as the League got on the way, the forward score another to lead Home United to a 2-1 win against Liaoning Guangyuan but he found his chances limited as the trio of Qiu Li, Indra Shahdan and Kengne Ludovick kept him out.

Therefore he had to be shifted into defence, where Home United needed help on the full back positions, to get his chances but  he failed to spark in unfamiliar territory.

He will be hoping the move to Young Lions work well for him and see him back to the front where he will then be able claim a stake at the National team.


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Pipat Thonkanya move to Stags blocked

It seems the reported trials of Ex-Home United Qiu Li and Ex-Sengkang Punggol Jonathon Angelucci was not to find a partner for Pipat Thonkanya but to replace him.

News are surfacing that Thai forward Pipat Thonkanya move to Tampines Rovers could be off.

The 29-year-old was earlier said to be on the verge of moving to Tampines Rovers from Thai powerhouses BEC Tero Sasana but the Stags is now resigning themselves to the fact that the move might be off as BEC Tero had blocked the move.

The Thai club is withholding the player’s transfer by refusing to transfer the international transfer certificate to Singapore.

Tampines team manager Syed Faruk confirmed the news as he said, “It’s true that the move hasn’t worked out yet.

“There is a slight problem Pipat is facing back in Thailand with his club. That is one of a few reasons why the move has been left hanging.

“But we are still keeping contact with Pipat, and there is still a bit of a waiting game we have to play. We might still be able to pull the move off.”

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Qiu Li signed to replace Pipat Thonkanya

It is official now. Thai forward Pipat Thonkanya is not joining 2-times S-league champions Tampines Rovers.

S-league website has reported Ex-Home United forward Qiu Li has been signed by Tampines Rovers for the 2008 season.

The Stags has now filled up their quotas of foreign players with Sutee Suksomkit, Santi Chaiyaphuak and Sead Muratovic all signed up earlier.

Apart from Qiu, the RHB Singapore Cup finalists have also acquired the services of Imran Sahib, who has left Woodlands Wellington after one season, and SAFFC centreback Razif Mahamud, out of favour at the double winners.

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Faizal signs on with Bulls

Today report Singapore defender Faizal Hamid has signed a one-year contract with S-League club Gombak United.

The right-back had earlier in the week decided to postpone a career as a Prisons officer to rejoin Radojko Avramovic’s team for the World Cup Qualifiers.

Gombak finished fourth in the S-League last year and chairman John Yap is delighted with his latest signing for 2008.

Said Yap: “He’s a good signing. We are glad to be able to secure a player of his calibre. I'm sure he’ll add stability and strength to our team.”

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Lionel will be at having trials with Grasshoppers Zurich

S-league website has reported Singapore international keeper Lionel Lewis will be undergoing a one-week trial at 2003 Swiss champions Grasshoppers Zurich from Sunday 13 January.

The Swiss Super League is currently in the middle of its winter break and will resume on 2 February.

Lewis, 25, will link up with the National Team in Muscat, Oman on 21 January to prepare for the World Cup qualifying tournament match against Saudi Arabia on 6 February.

"The Manchester City training stint was a great experience for me and I’m delighted to be invited for trials at a big club like Grasshoppers," said Lewis.

"It’s every footballer’s dream to be given such an opportunity and I will definitely do my best when I’m over there. I will like to thank Lt-Gen (Ret) Ng for arranging the Man City stint and Grasshoppers trial for me. I will also like to thank Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee and coach Raddy (Avramovic) for their support."

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Geylang United signed 2 Brazilians and eyeing 2 Slovak players

Geylang United head coach Jozef Herel has signed his first 2 foreign recruits and both are Brazilians.

Little is known yet but one is forward, as mentioned before, and his name is Rivaldo while the other is an attacking midfielder who is known as Junior.

The club are also eyeing another 2 more foreigners from Slovakia, Jozef Herel homeland, with one reportedly a forward while the other is a defensive midfielder.

It is hoped both will be signed up before the season began, which is starting in 5 weeks time, so as to familiarize them with the team and the surrounding.

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2008 Super Reds squad 

Kang Su-ho (Jeju United)
Han Dong-suk

Ju Ki-hwan (Goyang Kookmin Bank)
Park Moon-ki (Chunam Dragons)
Kim Sang Eun

Hyun Ho Shin
Joo Ki Hwan
Kim Sang-woon (Baejae University)

Lim Dae-keun (Yewon University)
Kim Tae-young (Yewon University)
Woo Ja-rang
Shin Young-chul (Soongsil University)
Seo Su-jong (Yewon University)
Kim Dong-hoon (Aju University)
Jung Kwon-ho (Woosuk University)
Kim Jae-hong (Daegu FC)
U Ja Rang
Lim Dae Geun
Jeong Byung Euk
Jung Young-choon (Seonam University)
Kim Sung-bae (Seosan Omega)

Yoon Bo-young (Goyang Kookmin Bank)
Moon Soon-ho (Incheon Korail)
Jeon Byung-wook (Yewon University)
Choi Young-min (Incheon Korail)
Kang Dong-joon (Daejeon HNP)
Jeon Kyeong Joon (DPMM Brunei)
Oh Tok-i (Ulsan Mipo Dockyard)

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Slovakians sign for Geylang United

Both rumored Slovakian players ‘eyed’ by Geylang United coach Jozef Herel have signed for the club for 2008.

They are Rastilav Belicak who is a forward and Miroslav Latiak who is a defensive midfielder and both have played in Malaysia previously where Jozef Herel has been based, before coming to Geylang United, thus he believed they are of decent quality.

With the 2 Slovak inclusion, the Eagles have filled up their 4 foreign slots for the season and also completed their recruitment of the local players.

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Albirex Niigata (S) signed on 4 players from 2007 squad

4 players from Albirex Niigata (S) has been retained by the White Swans for the 2008 season.

They are keeper Norio Takahashi, defender Takatoshi Uchida and forwards Akira Takase and Keisuke Ogawa.

At the same time, the White Swans will also be welcoming 2 high school players to the team.

They are midfielder Saito Nomura from Akatsuki High School and forward Taisuke Akiyoshi from Luther Senior High School.

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Bah Mamadou joined the Bulls

Defender Bah Mamadou has joined Gombak United for the 2008 season.

He is returning to the club he started his S-league career with back in 2000 and the Singaporean is not hiding the delight it is giving him.

He was quoted in FW saying, “Gombak was the first club I played for in the S-league and I played with them for three years and my heart was always with Gombak.”

Continuing he added, “The (Gombak United) chairman Mr John Yap have been since he first brought me to the club and we always chat and I still called him sometimes even when I wasn’t playing for them.”

“So when he asked me to join, I was pleased to be able to join back with him again.”

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Bulls looking at yet another African to join them

The Dark Continent could once again be supplying the Bulls their foreign player according to rumors.

With the departure of Gabriel Obatola to the Young Lions under the Foreign Talent Scheme (FTS), the Bulls has freed up 1 foreign slot and they have decided not to promote either of their foreign Prime League player, Emmanuel Emuejeraye or Paris Dimie Zidougha,  it mean the Jurong-based club will be recruiting from outside.

And with chairman John Yap so impressive with the African recruits he has on his books, he is once again set to look towards the Dark Continent for the Bulls final foreigner.

This, if it happens, will increase the Bulls already impressive African contingent to 7 players, counting the 2 African Singaporean – Bah Mamadou and Precious Emuejeraye – while not including Agu Casmir who has not signed yet.

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Sivaji: Lewis’s fate will be known by January end

In an interview with the S-league website, Home United coach P N Sivaji admitted the fate of Singapore custodian Lionel Lewis, who is currently attending trials in Switzerland with Grasshoppers, will be known by the third week of this month.

If Lewis does clinch a move, Home United will not denied him that golden chance to prove himself in Europe and will use 1 of the foreign slot to recruit a foreign keeper to replace Lewis as the rest of the nation best keepers, after Lionel Lewis, are already on the books of the other S-league clubs.

Tampines Rovers has ex-international Rezal Hassan and Under-23 Hassan Sunny while SAFFC is keeping Shahril Jantan and the Young Lions is keeping Under-23 reserve Jasper Chan.

He also reveals another spare foreign slot will be used up to get a defensive partner for Subramani to strengthen the Home United backline for the S-league and Asian campaign.

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All Chinese forward line at Young Lions?

There have been talks that Balestier Khalsa Prime league forward Andrew Tan has been called up by the Young Lions for the 2008 season.

It could mean the Young Lions could end up with an all Chinese forward line next season and maybe even the next SEA Games in 2009 as ex-Home United forward Goh SWee Swee is already with the Young Lions.

Andrew Tan had a decent season with the Tigers in 2007 as he notched up 3 S-league goals in 7 appearances, of which 4 are as substitutes, in his debut season but for the 20-year-old forward to be a regular upfront for the Young Lions would still mean he has to improve himself a few notches higher as he is still a work in process.

This would also be the case for Goh Swee Swee as he along with Andrew Tan, if the Balestier Khalsa player is called up, compete to be a starter at Young Lions alongside Nigerian Gabriel Obatola who would be a sure bet as starter at this point.

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Hiroyuki Yamamoto at trial with Sengkang Punggol

Ex-Albirex Niigata (S) defender Hiroyuki Yamamoto is on trial with Sengkang Punggol with an eye to joining the club.

The defender, who was with Albirex Niigata (S) from 2005 until 2006 and scored a total of 7 goals in the league, had earlier had a trial at 6-times Champions Warriors but was reportedly rejected by them.

But as the defender is determined to get a club in the Republic, he has now gone on trial with the Dolphins and the signs are good the Hougang team would be interested in the defender as they build for 2008.     

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Sead Muratovic on the way out?

Tampines Rovers Serbian defender Sead Muratovic could be well on the way out of a job as the 28-year-old once again failed the Beep Test and rumors of a foreigner currently on trial at the Tampines Stadium.

It is looking like a repeat of last year, and the year before, fracas when Sead Muratovic repeatedly failed his Beep Test and missed the start of the season but last year was especially bad as the defender took until the start of May and 2 months into the S-league season to meet the required mark.

The defender saw his wages cut by 20% during his absence but the image of footballers in the local league as unfit was a terrible stain and it seem the player has still yet to learn his lesson with him unwilling to keep himself conditioned during the off season.

Passing of the Beep Test is a requirement before players are allowed to play in the league and this year passing mark is 12:12, up from last year 12:10.

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Home United complete their foreign signings

S-league website has announce Home United has finish signing their foreign players by capturing Thai striker Kornprom Jaroonpong and Cameroon defender Valery Hiek.

Valery Hiek has an impressive resume having played in Cameroon’s First Division and was part of the Indomitable Lions’ squad for the 2006 CEMAC Cup – the Central African football championship.

The signing of Jaroonpong, on the other hand though, can be seen as a gamble of sorts as Jaroonpong, 20, is a Thai youth international and played in the amateur rank for Bangkok’s Assumption College before making his move to the Republic.

Singapore international midfielder Tengku Mushadad has also join the Protectors from the Young Lions and the 24-year old combative midfielder, who was a member of last year’s SEA Games bronze-winning national under-23 team, will likely fill up the vacuum created by the departure of influential anchor man Diakite Bangaly.

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Fadzuhasny Juraimi joined Woodlands Wellington

In the end, it was meant to be as striker Fadzuhasny Juraimi depart Bedok and joined Woodlands Wellington.

The 28-year-old forward has left Geylang United after just 1 season at the club where he had a disappointing time making 22 appearances and had only 3 goals to show for it.

He is certainly hoping to find better form up north and in a friendly match played against NFL side Eunos Crescent, the striker found the net and will be hoping it is indication of things to come.

“It’s good to score for your new club anytime,” said Fadzu.

“You can say I haven’t had a great time in the last couple of years.

“I had quite a lot of injuries last year, especially, in the early and middle parts of the season. Hopefully I’ve had enough of that now.

“I’m feeling a better start already to this season, but I want to take things slowly. With a steady start, there’s a good chance things will go quite well.

“Having worked with the boys here for a few weeks, I think I can combine well with Laakkad, Aki and the other players. Hopefully I can get lucky with the goals this year.”

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Sengkang Punggol signs Hiroyuki Yamamoto

Talks are suggesting Sengkang Punggol has signed Japanese defender Hiroyuki Yamamoto as the Dolphins start to put the finishing touches on their extensive squad overhaul.

Yamamoto first featured in the S-League in 2005, when he linked up with then-Albirex Niigata (S)skipper Kenji Arai in one of the strongest central defensive partnerships to be seen that term.

A calm and composed figure known for his big hair as much as for his all-round ability, Yamamoto also had an eye for goals, scoring seven in his two years for the White Swans.

His decision to join Sengkang Punggol come after a year with Japanese regional side Valiente Toyama and sees him join a growing club of Albirex Niigata (S) alumni in Singapore, which includes Arai, Nakamura and Norikazu Murakami.

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Delights in Japanese camp as Hiroyuki Yamamoto make S-league his home

Albirex Niigata (S) vice-chairman Bogdan Brasoveanu was pleased to hear of Sengkang Punggol decision to sign Yamamoto, after he revealed that the player had in fact informed him of his intentions.

“Hiro contacted me back in December, and he told me he wanted to come back here and play for an S-League club,” said the Romanian.

“He is a good stopper, he had scored some goals too, and he is always welcome to come back and play in Singapore. I am happy for him that he has found a club.

“This is good for the league and good for us. It has always been our objective to produce players for the Niigata team, the J2 teams in Japan, and other S-League teams, and Hiro’s return to Singapore shows we have succeeded.”

Also equally delighted was Woodlands Wellington midfielder Akihiro Nakamura as he commented, “Hiro coming back to play in Singapore will be good for Japanese players.

“If he has a good time here, more Japanese players will want to come. I think he will do well, he is a very similar defender to Kenji at SAFFC, and he can lead in the game.

“It will also be good for those of us already here like Kenji and Nori, because we all meet up once every two weeks or so to have lunch together. This year, together with Masahiro (Fukasawa), he can join us and make it a bigger lunch crowd!”

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Dolphins complete their foreign quartet

Apart from Japanese defender Hiroyuki Yamamoto, Sengkang Punggol have also offered playing contracts to Chilean duo Luis Eduardo Hicks and Ivan Cesar Asenjog, as well as Croatian defensive midfielder Zdravko Simic.

Left-back Hicks joins the Dolphins from Indonesian side PSMS Medan, while Asenjog, who recently turned 26, had played for Johor Pasir Gudang last season. Simic has also experienced Malaysian football for the last two years, having turned out for Malaysian Premier League side Sabah.

Saswa explained the delay in the signing of foreign players was due to his desire to assemble a squad that he could keep together for a long time, in a clean break with the club’s chop-and-change past where overseas players were concerned.

“We wanted to be very careful with our foreigners this time, and make sure they can commit with us for at least two or three years,” he stressed.

“That’s why we took longer to settle on our choices, as team building and continuity are very important to us. Another factor is their experience in the region; two have played in Malaysia, one played in Medan, and Hiro was with Albirex here.

“They are all skilful players who will add flair to our team, and although two of them are about 30 years old, all of them have very high fitness levels. They will be very good guides for our younger players.”

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2008 Home United squad

1 Ridzuan Fatah Hasan
2 Farhan Farook (Sengkang Punggol)
3 Indra Sahdan
4 Juma'at Jantan
5 S. Subramani (Captain)
6 Shahril Alias
7 Shi Jia Yi
8 Kamarulariffin Karim
9 Kornprom Jaroonpong (
Bangkok’s Assumption College)
10 Kengne Ludovick
11 Syed Fadhil (Geylang United)
12 Syaqir Sulaiman (Home United Prime League)
13 Valery Hiek (Fovu de Baham (Cameroon Div 1))
14 Rosman Sulaiman
15 Tengku Mushadad (Young Lions)
16 Harun Juma'at
17 Shahril Ishak
18 Lionel Lewis
19 Fazli Jaffar (Gombak United)
20 Peres De Oliveira (Tampines Rovers)

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2008 Geylang United squad

1 Amos Boon (Sengkang Punggol)
Noh Rahman
Belicak Rastislav (MFK Zemplin Michalovce (Slovak League))
Shah Hirul (Geylang United Prime League)
Aide Iskandar (Captain)
Baihakki Khaizan (Young Lions)
Farizal Basri (Balestier Khalsa)
Noor Ali (SAFFC)
Latiak Miroslav (MFK Ruzomberok (Slovak League))
Carlos Junior (Nanchang Bayi Hengyuan (Chinese League Div 1))
Syed Thaha
Faizal Senin (Gombak United)
Jonathan Xu Wei Hua
Fazrul Narwaz (Young Lions)
Fabian Tan Wei Ming (Young Lions)
Masrezwan Masturi (SAFFC)
Hafiz Rahim
Lau Meng Meng
Fajar Sarib
Rivaldo Costa (Esporte Clube Tupy (Brazil League))

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Khariul Amri can only move in July

FW has reported the Young Lions has retained the service of striker Khariul Amri for another half the season as the player’s national service run until June.

This sit nicely with the S-league mid-season transfer window which will open from June 30 until July 25.

And obviously Cubs coach Sundrammoorthy is delighted about retaining the forward as he was quoted, “He will be a key player for us next season.

“His presence being there will give a massive boost for the youngsters and he will be there to guide the young team along”

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Bulls ‘looking’ to sign Nigerian midfielder

SPH Chinese Paper Lian He Zhao Bao has reported a Nigerian midfielder is currently on trial at Gombak United.

The Bulls Club chairman John Yap believed if everything goes well at the trial and the player impressed the coaching staff and management, he can be expected to sign with the Bulls within the next two weeks.

But it was not the only delighted news the Bulls received as S-league has implemented new rule this year concerning foreign Prime League players.

They can now played in the S-league as long as 1 of the 4 foreigners are not on the pitch maintaining the 4 foreigners rule and the Bulls has Nigerian players Paris Dimie Zidougha and Emmanuel Emuejeraye in their Prime League squad.

The quotas of Prime League foreign players remain at two and they must be Under-21.

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John Yap: Agu yet to sign on the dotted line

Gombak United has come out to admit an uncomfortable truth which is national striker Agu Casmir has yet to sign on the dotted line with the club.

The forward, who is latest addition on the S-league 100 goals list, has been linked with Tampines Rovers since the Eastern club lost both it main strikers Noh Alam Shah and Mirko Grabovac.

However club chairman John Yap is confident Agu Casmir will sign on the dotted line with the Bulls when he returned from international duty.

The 23 year-old is currently in West Asia with the Singapore National Team preparing for the World Cup qualifiers. 

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Tampines could move for Pipat in June

Tampines Delay Pipat Move To Junethat the headline S-league website has on the latest development of Thai striker Pipat Thonkanya joining the 2-times S-league Champions, Tampines Rovers.

Tampines Rovers team manager Syed Faruk revealed to the S-league website that the club has come to an in-principle agreement with BEC Tero to take Pipat on loan, once there is room for the player to be included.

This is however not expected to happen before the start of the S-League season on 18 February, but the Stags, who remain in need of attacking firepower, appear happy to wait.

“Pipat cannot come as of now, because Qiu Li is holding the fourth foreigner’s spot,” said Faruk.

“The problem is that we couldn’t wait when BEC Tero had a small problem that affected Pipat’s transfer. After we signed Qiu Li, they suddenly came back and said that the problem has been resolved.

“So now we can bring Pipat over when we want to and we are ready to. It is however subject to a loan fee, because we had agreed on a loan deal that will run for two years.

“Since we’ve signed Qiu Li, it means we have to wait, probably until the transfer window opens. But Pipat won’t be without a club; he’s still with BEC Tero as far as I know.” 

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Syed Faruk: Sead was sick

Tampines Rovers has rejected rumors circulating about their Serbian anchorman Sead Muratovic.

The 28-year-old has once again failed his Beep Test leading to rumors he was on his way out as the club has foreign players on trials at the club.

Stags team manager Syed Faruk defend Sead for his failure to pass the Beep Test for the third year running stating: “Sead have been down with viral fever for the past two weeks.

“The doctor had suspected dengue. The blood test eventually showed it wasn’t dengue, but Sead could not train at all because of the sickness. He only started training again yesterday, so it will be another two weeks before he can take the test, which we need to arrange for after the trip.

Tampines Rovers are travelling to Bangkok, Thailand for their upcoming preseason, where they are slated to play five friendly matches against various Bangkok-based teams.

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Sengkang Punggol: We are spending $840000 on salaries

Regular S-League Wooden Spoon contender Sengkang Punggol is confident of a good 2008 season as the Dolphins undergoing a massive shake-up, both on and off the pitch.

They are currently in the advanced stages of negotiations and are expected to announce their main sponsor within the next two weeks.

Based on the deal with the new sponsors, Sengkang revealed their budget for the upcoming season is their highest ever at $40000 monthly and they have already recruited a squad of 18 players.

Enter S-League highest ever goalscorer Mirko Grabovac, four new fireigners and a host of established S-League players such as Ratna Suffian, Adi Salleh, Razali Johari and Ali Imran Lomri as well as the retaining of promising players like Firdaus Salleh and Haris Sumri.

And it has lead to club chairman David Rowe being quoted in the TODAY Paper that the current squad is the strongest ever, “With no disrespect to our previous squads, this is the strongest outfit we've had in the last few years." 

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2008 Sengkang Punggol squad

1 GK Adi Salleh (Gombak United)
2 DF Winston Yap
3 DF Azli Yusof (Tampines Rovers Prime League)
4 FW Mirko Grabovac (Tampines Rovers)
6 DF Mahmod Hashim
7 FW Suriyandi Naib
8 MF Razali Johari (Geylang United)
9 MF Haris Sumri
10 MF Zdravko Simic (Sabah (Malaysian Premier League))
11 MF Firdaus Salleh
12 GK Joey Sim (Home United Prime League)
13 DF Ratna Suffian (Balestier Khalsa)
15 FW Ivan Cesar Asenjo (Johor Pasir Gudang (Malaysian Premier League))
16 DF Hiroyuki Yamamoto (Valiente Toyama (Hokushinetsu Regional League))
17 DF Ali Imran (Woodlands Wellington)
18 GK Hafez Mawasi (Free agent)
19 MF Sobrie Mazelan (Sengakng Punggol Prime League)
20 DF Luis Eduardo Hicks (PSMS Medan (Liga Indonesia))

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2008 Tampines Rovers squad

1 GK Rezal Hassan
2 DF Shariff Abdul Samat
3 MF Ridhuan Muhammad
4 DF Satria Mad
5 MF Ibrahim Noh
6 DF Sead Muratovic
7 DF Razif Mahamud (SAFFC)
8 DF Yusiskandar Yusop (Young Lions)
9 FW Ahmed Fahmie (Tampines Rovers Prime League)
10 FW Qiu Li (Home United)
11 MF Imran Shahib (Woodlands Wellington)
12 DF Zulkarnaen Zainal
13 GK Alimin Mohamed (Tampines Rovers Prime league)
14 MF Sutee Suksomkit
15 MF Shahdan Sulaiman
16 MF Santi Chaiyaphuak
17 MF Mustafic Fahrudin 
18 GK Hassan Sunny (Geylang United)
19 FW Aliff Shafaein
20 MF Rafi Ali

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Young Lions ‘set’ to sign a Japanese from the J-league

Rumors are circulating the Young Lions has secured the services of White Swans defender Shogo Yoshizawa for the 2008 season.

Shogo Yoshizawa was with the White Swans J-league team last year but has been released by the White Swans for this year campaign.

He played for the White Swans in the S-league back in 2006; scoring 4 goals and impressing well enough to be promoted to the first team for 2007.

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Ahmad Latiff back already?

Ex-international Ahmad Latriff has been spotted in Choa Chu Kang in trials conducted by the Champions as the midfielder looked set to make a return to the S-league, less than 4 months after departing across the Causeway to join PDRM in Selangor.

It seem the midfielder has been unable to settle with PDRM in Selangor as he could not uproot his family to move there and with the Selangor club struggling in the bottom half of the MSL and seeking to reinforce themselves with reports indicating Liga Indonesia Persik player Budi Sudarsono is already on the verge of joining PDRM; both sides were willing to end the relationship.

Should the 28-year-old be successful in his trials with the Warriors and convinced head coach Richard Bok to take a chance with his discipline problems legendary, Ahmad Latiff will be joining the Champions for the third time in his career having played for them from 1999 until 2000 and 2002 until 2003.

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Indra off to MLS - 6 months late

It has taken a while, up to 6 months in fact, but Singapore forward Indra Sahdan is finally set to get his chance in the MLS.

The Home United striker has been invited for trials with Major League Soccer (MLS) club Real Salt Lake and will leave for a training camp in Florida, from Feb 15-25.

Indra was already linked to Salt Lake City back in late July in a story broke by the TODAY Papers. 

Indra’s agent, Dave Roberts revealed the reason behind the delay to TODAY: “They (Real Salt Lake) have seen some videos of Indra, seen how he plays and how he scores goals.

“They were interested in him a year ago, but couldn’t pursue him as it was too close to the start of their season.

 “Now they’re renewing their interest in him.”

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It Obadin Aikhena who heading to the Young Lions

Whether it a case of mistaken identify or miscommunication by FW but what is clear is it is not Gombak United midfielder Gabriel Obatola who is heading to the Young Lions but Obadin Aikhena.

Earlier FW broke out with the news that the Young Lions have recruited Gabriel Obatola under the FTS but now in an S-league report by the S-league official website the player going to the Young Lions is Obadin Aikhena instead.

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2008 Gombak United squad

1 GK Fadhil Salim (Woodlands Wellington)
2 DF Faizal Hamid (SAFFC)
3 DF Jaslee Hatta
4 DF Sevki Sha'ban
5 MF Ruhaizad Ismail
6 DF Bah Mamadou (Woodlands Wellington)
8 MF Jalal
10 MF Theerawesin Seehawong
11 MF Ridhwan Jamalhudin (Young Lions)
14 GK Azhiim Kassim
15 MF Shafuan Sutohmoh
16 DF Precious Emuejeraye
17 FW Emmanuel Emuejeraye (Gombak United Prime League)
18 GK Razif Yahya
19 FW Kingsley Njoku
20 FW Gabriel Obatola

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Warriors and ex-Protectors Aidil Sharin retires

SAFFC and former Home United defender cum midfielder Aidil Sharin has retires from competitive football for medical reasons according to Warriors coach Richard Bok.

In a press conference to announce the Warriors 2008 squad, Warriors coach Richard Bok spoke out on why Aidil Sharin was not in the squad as he revealed the player has chosen to retire as he failed to recover from a persistent injury.

Aidil Sharin rose to prominence in Steve Darby time at Home United.

In a squad full of superstars at the start of 2003, Aidil Sharin managed to force himself into the squad with decent performances and even won a regular place in the starting lineup  becoming one of the player first on the list from 2005 season onwards either at the back or as the ‘water carrier’ in front of it

He did so well that that National coach Raddy gave him a start in 2005 against Malaysia in the Causeway International Challenge and the player won the last of 4 caps against Oman in 2006.

He moved to SAFFC at the start of the 2007 season as Home United underwent a major revamp under then head coach Vincent Subramaniam.

Now at the age of just 30, he had to hang up his boots as he failed to overcome his injury.

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2008 SAFFC squad

1 GK Toh Guo'an
2 DF Shaiful Esah
3 DF Kenji Arai
4 DF Hafiz Osman
5 DF Fazial Aziz
7 MF Masahiro Fukasawa (Bangkok University (Thai Premier League))
8 MF Therdsak Chaiman
9 FW Aleksandar Duric
10 MF John Wilkinson
11 FW Norikazu Murakami
12 MF Jamil Ali
13 DF Razaleigh Khalik (Geylang United)
14 GK Shahril Jantan
16 DF Daniel Bennett
18 FW Ashrin Shariff
19 MF Mustaqim Manzur
20 MF Syed Karim (Gombak United)

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2008 Woodlands Wellington squad

1 GK Yazid Yasin
2 DF Azlan Alipah
3 DF Azmi Mahamud
4 MF Kamal Nasir Haja
5 DF Lucian Dronca
6 FW Fadzuhasny Juraimi (Geylang United)
7 DF Jerry Bartholomeusz
8 FW Abdelhadi Laakkad
9 MF Akihiro Nakamura
10 MF Hasrin Jailani
11 MF Ismadi Mukthar
12 DF Anaz Hadee
13 MF Sazali Salleh
14 MF Shahri Musa (Woodlands Wellington Prime League)
15 MF Syaiful Iskandar (Woodlands Welllington Prime League)
16 MF Park Tae Won
18 DF Zahid Ahmad
19 GK Ahmadulhaq Che Omar (Tampines Rovers)

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2008 Balestier Khalsa squad

1 GK Zakaria Bin Normat
2 DF Seto Haruki (YKK AP (Japan Football League)
3 DF Kaze Teffo Etienne Giscard
4 DF Jufri Taha (Balestier Khalsa Prime League)
5 DF Mushthafa Kamal (Geylang United Prime League)
6 DF Abdul Hamid (Balestier Khalsa Prime League)
7 MF Nawfal Shahib(Balestier Khalsa Prime League)
8 MF Han Yiguang (Balestier Khalsa Prime League)
9 MF Anantha Rajan s/o Gunaseelan (Balestier Khalsa Prime League)
10 FW Bekombo Ekollo Ntonye Paul (Sengkang Punggol)
11 FW Tan Wee Tat Andrew(Balestier Khalsa Prime League)
13 DF Lenan s/o Govindaraju
14 FW Yusri Bin Waris (Woodlands Wellington)
15 MF Muhamad Taufiq(Balestier Khalsa Prime League)
17 MF Faizal Bin Amir (Geylang United Prime League)
18 MF Mba Vitus Onyekachi
19 GK Ang Bang Heng

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Gombak United website ‘announce’ Agu departure

It should come as no surprise as Singapore forward Agu Casmir continually refused to sign a contract with Gombak United and now the Bulls website has let loose on the news the forward will depart the Jurong West club.

It seem despite the 2005 incident, when Agu Casmir signed for Persija Jakarta and then ran off with the US$20000 signing –on– fee which nearly resulted in a FIFA worldwide ban on him before Woodlands Wellington came to his rescue by repaying Persija Jakarta that sum, has not deterred  foreign clubs seeking to sign the player.

The Bulls club website wrote Agu Casmir has attracted the interest of several regional clubs and he looks set to leave with their blessing.

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Obadin Aikhena only on trial with Young Lions

It was a mystery why Nigerian striker Obadin Aikhena has yet to register with Young Lions almost weeks after transferring to the Young Lions but now all is reveal.

The Gombak United striker was only on trial with the FAS club and has yet to sign on the dotted line as the coaching staffs are still wondering whether to offer him a contract.

As the transfer window only close next month in mid-March, the Young Lions are in no rush to make a decision and they have also brought in an Englishman and Japanese on trial as well.

The Young Lions however have make a decision Chinese forward Yan Minghao, who played with them last season, and have retained his services.

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Young Lions sign Obadin Aikhena and Danny Hammond

The Young Lions have signed two new players, both of whom passed the Beep Test this week.

They are former Gombak utility player Obadin Gabriel Aikhena and the English defender Danny Hammond, who played in a number of pre-season trials with his new team and looks a player of promise.

Both new men are among the older members of the Young Lions’ squad, with the tall Hammond coming from a background in Conference football in England and he appears to be a man likely to fill the shoes left by the departure of Baihakki Khaizan to Geylang United.

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Tampines Rovers released Sead Muratovic and Razif Mahamud

Sead Muratovic and Razif Mahamud have been released by Tampines Rovers as both failed to pass the Final Beep Test before the end of the transfer window.

The club released a statement that that it make no sense to keep them on the club payroll as they would not be able to play in the S-league.

Ex-Tigers utility player Fathi Yunus was then signed by the Stags before the window closed.

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