For The Record...
"In an interview with Yahoo! Singapore, Zainudin (Nordin, FAS President) reiterated that the S-league will not become a "poorer cousin" once the LionsXII start their Malaysia Cup campaign."

Saturday, September 30, 2017

"Matchpix" - September 2017

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  • ACQ2019 - Singapore 1-1 Turkmenistan 050917
Hassan Sunny made sure the ball is safe in his possession
Ideally a win would be a better option than a draw in this fixture, we should have nailed in the first place if we were clinical in our finishing and, of course, having stamina to sustain the full ninety minutes.


  • S.League - Hougang Utd 2-1 Garena Young Lions 150917
Eyes on the ball ...
Hougang United's win over Garena Young Lions did little to alter the league table but Coach Vincent Subramaniam remains positive and pleased with the efforts shown by the national de-facto squad.


  • 11th Merlion Cup 230917
Adelaide 36ers' Shannon Shorter stretched his way to make this counted
5th - 7th Placing match saw NLEX-SCTEX of the Philippines beat Taiwanese SBL side Yulon Luxgen Dinos 81-76.

The Semi-Final (1) match saw CBA's Shanghai Sharks defeated home team Singapore Slingers 73-67.

Following Adelaide 36ers' 94-72 victory over a resilience Jeonju KCC Egis in the other semi-final match, the former will meet the Sharks to determine who will win the tournament.


  • 11th Merlion Cup 240917
Adelaide 36ers' Nathan Sobey thrilled the fans with this slam
NBL side Adelaide 36ers defeated defending champions Shanghai Sharks 101-81 to clinch Merlion Cup. While the Singapore Slingers retained their fourth position finishing after found themselves overwhelmed by an aggressive Jeonju KCC Egis from Korea.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Unlock That Potential Market ...

Best view in the house at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium
Being an avid baseball fan too, I headed to Taiwan, a popular tourist destination for many Singaporeans, to catch my favourite baseball team - Chinatrust Brothers (CT Bros, 中信兄弟) in action for the past six years.

It was something I never expected in my recent trip when I was offered an opportunity to join my Taiwanese friends in a hospitality event hosted by CT Bros at one of their home games in Taichung weeks ago.

From what I gathered, the hospitality event is exclusively for fans (and their guests) who are members of the team's official fan club.

Beside quality buffet were served to those who were present at the event, the organizers also arranged interactive sessions for the fans with one player from the roster and two members from the team's official cheerleading group before the game.

CT Bros' infielder Hsu Chi-hung (with mic) addressed the fans
Two members from the CT Bros cheerleading group addressed the fans
The event took place in one of the corporate boxes located at the top-tier of Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium (臺中市洲際棒球場), the primary home ground of the CT Bros, at the outskirts of the city of Taichung.

The 20,000-capacity stadium is also the de-facto home ground of the Chinese Taipei baseball team with facilities such as a baseball museum, merchandise shops and an event hall within its premises that emulated the Japanese model of such operation.

The hospitality event took place in one of the stadium's corporate boxes
Buffet reception for the fans
The concept of hospitality reception is nothing new in our own S.League too, although it is largely restricted to those "VIP" guests at stadiums having those corporate boxes like Bishan, Jurong West, Jalan Besar Stadium (JBS), etc. on match days and whereas corporate hospitality at games is a common revenue generating tool in established markets like in the English leagues.

"(Our club's) sponsors, committee members and special guests are usually those who we invited to our VIP Lounge (reception)." revealed Matthew Tay, general manager of Hougang United, on who are those on the club's guest list at games hosted by his club at the JBS.

Game Day at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium
The exterior of Taichung Baseball Museum

On the idea of the Cheetahs having a hospitality event similar to that of CT Bros', Tay believes it will be a good platform for both club and supporters to come together.

"I am sure supporters will endorse such initiative by the club," said Tay in his reply for comment on this concept. "There is always possibility for clubs to bring themselves closer to their supporters through event like this."

"It is, after all, a win-win situation for both the club and their supporters where they can mingle with each other after the game to build stronger bond over a dinner."

"Ideally, each club should have a space big enough to hold such an enclosed event for their supporters, sponsors, business partners, board members at their home ground." he added.

The VIP Lounge at the Jalan Besar Stadium
Screening of the match in the VIP Lounge
When asked if he would be keen to attend such event if there is one, Hougang supporter Ernest Lim is open to this idea.

Said Lim:"I would be interested if there is one to be organized by Hougang United for their supporters, even though I felt such hospitality program should also target those in the corporate sectors like hosting a company dinner while watching S.League games at JBS.

"Having said that, I believe there's a market for having this kind of hospitality event for the fans but I do hope the cost of attending one should be affordable to working adults and school students as well."

To sum things up, this type of fan-oriented hospitality event shall be seen as an ideal platform where fans, players, coaches can come together to interact with each other in a let-your-hair-down ambience.

On the another hand while this hospitality event concept is a fan-centered one but it shall also be an avenue to explore as a revenue generating tool for clubs by providing a premium environment for fans to watch a football match in a comfortable setting.

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Tired Lions Shared The Spoils With The Turkmens

Hassan Sunny looked helpless as he saw the ball rolled in the goal
It should be a game Singapore could have wrapped it up convincingly, if only they had been consistent till the final whistle that eventually had them shared the spoils with Turkmenistan in AFC Asian Cup Group E qualification match played last evening at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

Buoyed by the new lease of life following the recent draw against Hong Kong on the same surface that saw a much adventurous Singapore side departed themselves from the usual pragmatic defensive game, the fans were hopeful to see a repeat of the same display that could place the Lions' fast fading continental dream back to the pedestal.

The crowd of 3,127 were not disappointed when the home team took onto the field by initiated a few attacking moves to unsettle their guests from Central Asia at the early part of the game.

Khairul Amri (19) lasted only 36 minutes of action
But such an adventurous performance failed to yield any dividend with plenty of chances being created in the game that were failed to see them crossed the goal line to the back of the net.

It proved to be a mammoth task for V Sundram moorthy's men when their striker-in-chief Khairul Amri was stretchered out of the game due to an injury with his replacement and fellow Tampines Rovers team mate Fazrul Nawaz failed to make any impact since came on the 36th minute.

The duck was finally broken in the 63rd minute with a well-taken strike from right-back Shakir Hamzah to give the Lions a jab of confident.

Safuwan Baharudin (21) played upfront in the game
Unfortunately, the elusive second goal of the match was not scored by the team in red but some sloppy defending in the Singapore backline that resulted an easy roller into the goal in the 82nd minute by Annadurdyyev Altymyrat.

By that time when the Turkmens levelled the scores, the Lions already found themselves handicapped by several substitutions made due to various injuries carried by the key players like Irfan Fandi and Nazrul Nazari prior to the equalizer.

Skipper Hariss Harun was lauded by Coach Sundram for his work rate
As the result, tactical changes were deemed necessary to preserve the slender lead by added the likes of Madhu Mohana and Faritz Hameed to shore up the defence but only to see them conceded the goal from Altymyrat which Coach Sundram opined was due to "ball watching" in his post-match assessment.

"The conceding of the equalizer was because of ball watching by the defenders," said the former national striker."I think in this match we had created chances that we could have scored the second goal."

"But when we have Nazrul, Irfan, Amri down and I don't have a Messi, we just have to be more confident.

"Overall, the boys had done well but in the last quarter of the game we should have done better probably we got tired faster than our opponents."

Thursday, August 31, 2017

"Matchpix" - August 2017

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  • AFC Cup Asean Zonal Final (1st-Leg) - HUFC 2-1 CNFC 020817
Home United surpassed expectations
Home United Football Club enjoying a slim advantage after defeated Ceres-Negros FC 2-1 in the first leg of the AFC Cup Asean Zonal Final at the JBS. The second-leg was played on the National Day at Bacolod but the Protectors failed to make the cut.


  • S.League - Balestier Khalsa 2-2 Warriors FC 170817
Rain-soaked surface marred the game
The match was delayed due to the activation of the LWS and saw the game kick-off at 8.45pm amid continuing drizzle. It was a fair result for both Balestier Khalsa Football Club and Warriors Football Club on a wet, muddy surface.


Monday, August 07, 2017

[Guest Column] - ICCSG Eye Opener For Regional Fans

Yusof B Ibrahim was among the 104,407 spectators who made their presence weeks ago at the first ever International Champions Cup - Singapore (ICCSG) tournament which was held for the first time in South East Asian region since its inception in 2013.

Here is his summary of the tournament after caught the likes of Chelsea, FC Bayern Munich and FC Internazionale Milano in action in a space of five days at Kallang.

48,522 at the ICCSG opening night (Getty Images for ICC)
A total of 104,407 spectators from across the South East Asian region cherished the rare opportunity to catch their favourite teams and players in live action during the just concluded International Champions Cup - Singapore (ICCSG) tournament which was held for the first time in this region.

Beside the players who mesmerized the fans on the field, it was also a battle of wits between the the Italian coaches off the field where Chelsea FC's coach Antonio Conte found himself up against his mentor and predecessor Carlo Ancelotti on the sidelines in the opening match between the English Premier League champions and their German counterparts Bayern Munich.

In front of the 48,522 fans – the biggest turnout of the three matches played, fans of both Chelsea and Bayern made their vocal presence felt alongside with their club colours on display at the terraces.

Thomas Müller (red) got better of Chelsea's Cesc Fàbregas (Getty Images for ICC)
Both sides reciprocated their supporters' gestures by belted out a highly competitive display of football on the field with World Cup winner Thomas Müller placed his name on the scoreboard twice in the 12th and 27th minute to make it 3-0 for the Germans after the half hour mark following the opening of account by his Brazilian team mate Rafinha in the 6th minute.

The Blues reduced the deficit to just a goal at the very late of the game when Michy Batshuayi scored in the 85th minute, after they broke the duck through Marcos Alonso moments before the interval to make it 3-2 at the end of the evening which also saw the debut of their £70million signing - Álvaro Morata in the 63rd minute.

Unfortunately, the Bavarians did not maintain their consistency when they took on Italian side FC Internazionale or Inter in their second match two days later and saw them knocked out of the ICCSG on a two-nil margin with a double from Eder in the first half with assistance from Croatian Ivan Perisic, who is targeted by Manchester United according to media speculation.

The Bundesliga champions' night was further frustrated by a well-marshalled Serie A side defence commanded by their Brazilian skipper Miranda.

Ivan Perisic in action for Inter (Getty Images for ICC)
The result eventually set the night to see Inter up against crowd favourite – Chelsea on the final match of the tournament in front of 32,547 at the National Stadium.

Stevan Jovetic's quick reaction at the first instance saw him made up for the penalty miss that was blocked earlier by Chelsea's 'keeper Thibaut Courtois and made it counted on the second attempt in the stoppage before half time to give the Italians a morale boaster.

A neat finishing from Perisic following some swift counter moves increased the tally for the “I Nerazzurri” in the 53rd minute before a fluke own goal by Geoffrey Kondogbia that attracted global attention tarnished their clean sheet in the 74th minute.

Yusof at his ICCSG work desk (reproduced with Yusof's permission)
The consecutive victories over their much illustrious opponents resulted Inter in clinching the inaugural ICCSG title.

With the successful conclusion of this edition ICCSG, regional fans can be assured that it will open up more opportunities to see some of the biggest teams and names to grace Kallang in the next three years.

  • Views expressed may not be that of the blog owner.


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