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."

Thursday, June 11, 2015

[TNP League Cup] Extensive Coverage Expected for This Year's tournament

A new milestone with TNP sponsor the League Cup
The New Paper League Cup, which will be title-sponsored by the local daily of the same name, held its draw earlier of the day at the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) headquarters at Toa Payoh North.

Being the first trophy of the local domestic football scene up for grab every year, the tournament will see the participation from eight S.League clubs (with the exception of Courts Young Lions and Harimau Muda) and two NFL representatives in the likes of Singapore Recreation Club (the reigning FA Cup winners) and Sporting Westlake (the current NFL Division One champions) in this edition.

The objective in recent years to include teams from the NFL in this tournament is to see the gap between the them and the professional sides of the S.League to be narrowed through competition like this that offers rare interaction among the two.

LTC (Ret'd) Kok Wai Leong outlines the tournament rules
While the Cup may have seen foreign clubs clinching the honour more than the local team since the inception in 2007, no team have yet to achieve a back-to-back run with Brunei DPMM came close to complete a hat-trick during 2012 - 2014 period (when they lost to Balestier Khalsa in the 2013 final). The Wasps, however, for being a three-time winners of the tournament were awarded a replica trophy for their achievement after last year’s victory.

It was also announced at the event by LTC (Ret’d) Kok Wai Leong, the S.League Director of Operations, that this year’s tournament will not have a “Plate Final” as like in the past three years and will see the competition taking place from the 19th of June till 12th of July with the league season to resume from 21st of July onwards.

The ten teams were drawn into three groups with Group “A” having four teams, Group “B” and “C” having three each and will compete in a round-robin format that shall see top two teams emerge from “A” with team that finished top of “B”, “C” progress to the semi-finals.

TNP Sports Editor Lim Han Ming
All matches, due to the Ramadan period, will kick off at 8pm with contingency arrangements to be made should any match is to abandon by the activation of the Lightning Warning System (LWS).

“Extensive match reports with previews and analysis for this tournament will be provided by The New Paper.” said Mr Lim Han Ming, the papers’ sports editor when asked what can be expected from them with their involvement in this year’s competition.

Among the three groups, Group “B” has been labelled as the “Group of Death” by the papers’ senior correspondent Gary Lim who drawn powerhouses Warriors FC and Tampines Rovers together with reigning Singapore Cup holders Balestier Khalsa.

TNP senior correspondent Gary Lim
Meanwhile, Home United coach Philippe Aw hopes to see more of his younger players from the Prime League to gain the much-needed exposure via this platform.

Speaking to this blogger after the draw, the rookie coach said:“It’s our aim to blood young players, especially those from the Prime League, to play in this tournament that has always been the platform for youngsters to get exposure and gain some experience as well,

“As for us, the aim is to win this Cup which Home United have not done before but having drawn together with teams like Abirex (Niigata Singapore in Group “C”) is not easy when the tournament going to play during the fasting month which they don’t have to face this issue like we do.” added Aw.

The Result of The Grouping.
  • Group A: Brunei DPMM, Hougang United, Geylang International, Singapore Recreation Club
  • Group B: Balestier Khalsa, Warriors FC, Tampines Rovers
  • Group C: Albirex Niigata (Singapore), Home United, Sporting Westlake

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