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."

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

[TNP League Cup] - Clubs urged to "youth-first" but Young Lions missed out (again)

Group photo at the end of the session
Perennial absentees Garena Young Lions will not be competing in this year's The New Paper League Cup for the third consecutive year after they last featured this tournament back in 2013 which they finished as “Plate Final Runners-up”.

This notion was confirmed when the de-facto national U23 squad was not on the drawing list with the remaining eight teams of the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League had their fate in the competition decided in this afternoon at the News Centre.

Confirming another earlier report which was mentioned by citing unconfirmed sources a day before on this blog's Facebook page, was the omission of the amateur National Football League (NFL) sides from this season's edition, thus making this a genuine solitary League Cup contest.

S.League CEO Lim Chin
In his opening speech, S.League CEO Lim Chin thanks The New Paper (TNP) for their continuing support as tournament's title sponsors and lauded the Cup as a platform to allow clubs to expose their young players, an opportunity to be talent-spotted which he hopes the coaches will “embrace” such belief.

Concurring the thoughts of the former Chief of Artillery is Hougang United's Coach K Balagumaran.

Speaking to this blogger on the sidelines following the draw, the former Gombak United coach said:“I will use this tournament to try out some young players or players who have limited playing times (in the S.League) like Iqbal (Hussain) who is serving his NS (National Service) and Samuel Benjamin who just came back from an injury.”

TNP editor Dominic Nathan (left) drawn Albirex to Group B
The participating eight teams were drawn into two groups (Group A and B) of four by the various representatives from TNP, with a few of whom were asked to share their thoughts on the outcome while on stage.

Group A will see three-time winners Brunei DPMM, alongside powerhouses Tampines Rovers with Hougang United and Warriors FC. Defending Cup holders and league leaders Albirex Niigata (Singapore) found themselves accompanied by last season's runners-up Balestier Khalsa together with Geylang International and Home United.

After a “round-robin” stage, the top two teams from each group will proceed to the semi-finals with the bottom two of the each group will qualify for the “Plate” competition, whilst the actual dates of the fixtures are to be made known on a later date, it will be scheduled between 11th to 30th of July.

“Many said this (tournament) is about giant-killing, but in my opinion all teams in both Group A and B are all strong teams,” said Coach Balagumaran who shared his thoughts on the outcome.“So whoever plays well on that day will win the game and for Hougang, being underdogs (in Group A), we will have to work hard and qualify for the next round.”

1 comment:

  1. So they got this Cup that the coach will use to "test the reserves", and also the SG Pools FA Cup with the same format for the Prime League teams, just that the foreign clubs are replaced with NFA U17s and U18s.

    But honestly what are they trying to do?

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