Singapore Football January Round up
Baihakki in need of a club, Ambitious Hougang, Tampines banks on youth and more
End February Kick-Off
FAS has kept their cards close to their chest but we have received unofficial news that the 2019 season of the Singapore Premier League will kick off in the last week of February with the Charity Shield match, although we are as yet unsure of the format of the curtain raiser fixture.
Baihakki Khaizan, who has 129 caps for Singapore and was in the Singapore squad for the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup, is looking for a new club after leaving Udon Thani in the Thai League 2, but there have been few takers.
Ambitious Hougang United
2018 wooden spoonists Hougang United have appointed Clement Teo as their new head coach on a permanent basis and the club has backed him in the transfer market with the signing of Stipe Plazibat who recorded 38 goals and 14 assists in all competitions for Home United in 2017. Hougang have also signed Singapore international Zulfahmi Arifin who returns after a one year stint in Thailand with Chonburi, as well as Hafiz Abu Sujad and Fazrul Nawaz from Tampines Rovers.
Singapore’s most successful club in 2018, Home United have become a victim of their own success. The Bishan club lost Coach Aidil Shahrin and the impressive Shakir Hamzah to lucrative offers from Malaysian Super League giants Kedah FA but the good news is they managed to hang on to South Korean hotshot Song Ui-Young, who resisted a million dollar offer from Indonesia’s Persija. Aidil’s assistant Saswadimata Dasuki will take over the hot-seat, assisted by Noh Rahman and the club has also signed Singapore International Ho Wai Loon from Warriors FC to fill the left-back slot vacated by Shakir.
Tampines Rovers have signed a host of young players from the national U17 and U18 teams, including 18 year old Joel Chew, the winner of the 2017 Dollah Kassim Award. They have also brought in Mirza Delimedjac, 19, and Zehrudin Mehmedović, 20, on trial from Serbia on trials but could sign both as the club takes the cue from the FAS and SportSG, to develop the next generation of Singapore players. The move will also help to build a more sustainable club after the excesses of the Krishna-years.
Coaching turmoil at Warriors
Warriors FC was expected to appoint South Korean Lee Lim Saeng to the hot seat after a disappointing 2018 under Croatian Mirko Grabovac but were left stumped when Lee opted to sign instead for K-League side Suwon Bluewings – a no-brainer really. Warriors FC head of youth development Razif Onn will now head the senior side.