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, March 05, 2020

"Our Unity Is Our Strength"

(This entry is formulated by the media release issued by Tanjong Pagar United Football Club)

The logo of TPUFC (credit)
Having stabilized the club's finances during their sit-out period with measures such as prudent budgeting which allowed them to reduce their debts and accrue savings that saw them received the nod to be back at the highest echelon of Singapore's football pyramid, staying financially viable remains one of the utmost priorities as Tanjong Pagar United is set to embark their unfinished journey they left behind in 2015.

In a media statement released to the media a day prior to their first Singapore Premier League (SGPL) match against Lion City Sailors at Jurong East Stadium, club chairman Raymond Tang added another challenge of the Jaguars is to stay competitive in the nine-team league.

Said Tang:“Our squad is a blend of experience and youth. We did not fill our team with plenty of star names but our players are humble, hungry and hardworking..., now our challenge is to be a competitive team and stay financially viable.”

Indeed, a glance at the team roster provided by the club in the said media statement saw 10 players of the 21-man squad aged 23 or younger with a number of those, however, are seasoned campaigners in the local professional scene such as team captain and Lions defender Faritz Hameed who joined the team from Home United, ex-Hougang United midfider Raihan Rahman was signed from Balestier Khalsa with 28-year-old Delwinder Singh returning to the club where he started his senior career back in 2011.

Raihan Rahman is one of the club's signings for the campaign (file)
Entrusting the task to lead the team in this new campaign is 46-year-old Hairi Su'ap who will be making his coaching debut at the top-tier level of the Republic's soccer scene, the former Yishun Sentek Mariners gaffer will be assisted by former Geylang International head coach Hasrin Jailani with ex-Singapore striker Noh Alam Shah named as the team manager of the club.

On top of that, Tanjong Pagar also recruited two Brazilians and two Japanese players to fill up their import quota for the coming season.

No stranger in this region, former Brazil U-17 striker Luiz Carlos Junior plied his trade last season with Sabah FA in the Malaysian league and turned out for Persija Jakarta and Madura United in Indonesia back in 2017, his compatriot 20-year-old Yann Motta will be filling up the U-21 foreigner slot together with defender Takahiro Tanaka and midfider Shodai Nishikawa who used to play for Rudar Pljevlja and FK Kom in the Montenegrin league.

Noh Alam Shah (black outfit) is the Jaguars' team manager (file)
Despite the short preparation period given to them, Coach Hairi is happy with the positive attitude shown by his players during their pre-season trainings

“I can feel that they all want to prove their worth.” said former SAFFC defender “Even though there are no easy fixtures in the S(G)PL and we can expect a tough game every round, we are committed to playing attacking football. Our squad is not the deepest but every player can contribute. Our unity is our strength.”

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