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Showing posts from July, 2011

Wishful Thinking...

I am not sure how the whole phenomenon started, following the announcement of the FAS-FAM MOU in Kuala Lumpur . Seen as a mere exercise to foster better footballing ties between both countries with each side sending a team to take part in each other's domestic league as a "cornerstone" arrangement in this symbolic partnership. HUGE "PR MACHINERY" TO WHIP UP THE "GOOD OL' DAYS" The next thing we saw was a huge "PR machinery" that went ahead on the mainstream media to stir the nostalgic emotions long locked in some of the fans' hearts with a daily dosage of old pictures from "good ol' days" coupled with those "feel good" sentiments from those who endorsed the move to the so-called "rejoining the Malaysia Cup" as "positive move to save our football". One of the "pro-Malaysia Cup" views shared On the other hand, only in the cyberspace where harshest opinions can be seen from the mon

[Media Information] Singapore to face China PR, Jordan and Iraq in the Third Round of the 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP BRAZIL ™ ASIAN QUALIFIERS

{Media Information from the Football Association of Singapore } The image of the Official Emblem of 2014 World Cup is obtained from the official 2014 World Cup site SINGAPORE, 31 July 2011: Preliminary Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ The Preliminary Draw for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ was held in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday 30 July 2011. Singapore, having defeated Malaysia with a 6-4 aggregate over two legs earlier this month were in Pot 4 of the Asian Qualification Zone (Third Round) along with Thailand, Indonesia, Korea DPR and Lebanon. Brazil’s legendary Zico along with rising star Lucas from Sao Paolo were on hand to conduct the ASIAN Zone draw and decide the fate of how things would unfold over in third round. As the draw took shape, Singapore was picked and grouped with China PR , Jordan and Iraq in Group A . Also in the spotlight was the intercontinental play-off draw which paired Asia’s representative with their South American counterpart while the

Sorry... I was not concentrating..

As I was filing my match report for the earlier 3rd-4th placing match between Home United and Tampines Rovers that I wasn't paying much attention during the League Cup final match between Hougang United and Albirex Niigata (Singapore). But what I did realize was Canadian winger Jordan Webb was the man of the night for the wrong reason when he came so close to end the trophy drought of the under-achievers in the dying moments of the second half of the extra time, before agonizingly saw his spot-kick saved by White Swans' keeper Yoshito Matsushita that gifted the Japanese their first ever title since joining S.League in 2003. According to one of the tweets I gathered Webb was inconsolable that he was not present at the prize presentation.  At the post match press conference, the Cheetah coach Aide Iskandar (pictured above) credited his boys' performance as "well-disciplined" which he hopes to carry forward to their remaining campaign. "Both teams starte

[Instant Reaction] Why I sometimes hate football

At the final whsitle (from TV screen) Just because it caused my irregular heart beat with the tempo of the match swing up and down. It was definitely a sign of relief to see the referee blew the final whistle to signal the end of the match amid a tense atmosphere at the 80,000 Bukit Jalil Stadium. Yet again, Hariss Harun had the game of his life following that "thumb-up" performance on Saturday at Jalan Besar with his flawless performance and combination with Fahrudin Mustafic in the middle of park that added the steel in front our backline , who were much under criticism over the last weekend's display, but redeemed themselves for a much better showing this time. Even though, the only glitch they had was ball watching that allowed Harimau's skipper of the night, Safee Sali to finish off easily after they thought the referee would have blew for a perceived infringement. But Jiayi's equalizer in the 72nd minute silenced the crowds, after he latched o

Gearing for the BIG ONE- Hariss Harun

(The entry is formulated from the transcript obtained via Integrated Marketing Solutions Group -IMSG , the PR agency of Nike Singapore ) (P.S: The copyrights of the images and video depicted in this blog entry belong to Nike, unless stated on the images itself.) With its "DRI-FIT" apparel and Tiempo Legend by Nike, Hariss is always at the top of his game His performance on the last Saturday night captivated those who were at the Jalan Besar Stadium and also the millions of those who watched the crucial World Cup Qualifier match between Singapore and Malaysia at home. Such an eye-catching display against the Harimaus by the 20 year-old Hariss Harun who stamped his authority in the midfield had prompted a single-out by various local coaches for renowned football agent Jorge Mendes, alongside with four others, who is presently scouting for players having potential playing in top European leagues . Just less than 24 hours before the two fierce rivals of South East Asia

Leaky defence continued to haunt both sides of Causeway...

The crazy scoreline had protruded the leaky defensive woes facing both Singapore and Malaysia in this much-anticipated "Causeway Derby" for the ticket to the group stages of the Asian World Cup Qualification. "Farra" scored in the 44th minute to make it 3-1 to Singapore It was virtually a game of two halves with Singapore shackled off the early scare for letting the Malaysians to score in the first minute through dangerman Safee Sali by walloped four goals in reply from Aleksandar Duric, Qiu Li, Fahrudin Mustafic and Shi Jiayi before the end of first half. Like a friend who said the problem facing the Lions is that they looked lost the moment they were given a commanding lead. "It just that they don't know what to do next when they are having such a comfortable lead as in whether to defend or attack." said this friend whom I met while on my way home after the game. Safee Sali's second goal in 71st minute gave the Harimau the much-need

The heat is on for the "Causeway Derby"

(Pictured above from left to right) Singapore skipper Shahril Ishak, coach Raddy Avramovic, Malaysia coach Datuk K Rajagobal and captain Safiq Rahim Rain came unexpected when I reached Tanjong Pagar area for the pre-match press conference for the World Cup Qualifier between Singapore and Malaysia aka "Causeway Derby" (being the fact that the island republic is connected to the Peninsular Malaysia by the bridge known as the Causeway). It is a match that would normally guarantee a "sell-out" given the rich footballing heritage that bond these two lands since the colonial times. To the Singapore team, it's an examination that coach Raddy Avramovic and his Lions since the .... (if you read the papers of late, I shouldn't repeat here) have to take to see any improvement being achieved since then. To the Harimau, it set a stage to reaffirm their regional supremacy after winning two of the most important titles this part of the world - the AFF S


(This entry is formulated from the media release issued by the Football Association of Singapore )  A new management structure will be in place to lead the S.League Strategic Business Unit. In a media statement issued by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) on Tuesday evening, it is also made known that the present S.League CEO Winston Lee, who serves concurrently as the FAS Secretary-General, will be relinquished the post he served since taking over in 2006. “In view of the extensive workload, coupled with the fact that we have more resources, we have decided to strengthen the management of S.League. We will build a management team for S.League and this team will be headed by the CEO of S.League.” said FAS president Zainudin Nordin in the statement. It is understood that the role of the S.League CEO had been redefined and will report to a separate Executive Committee that would include persons of commercial experience in sports marketing and branding. Following his re

Honestly... not a perfect win for the Lions...

The Singapore team bench before the kick-off I did something I seldom do during a football match - switch side ... in order to get some shots from stocking my archive. We were told to confine ourselves to a small white perimeter box located at the far corner of the field that to our dismay with much of action taken place on the opposite flank. So not surprisingly, it from that flank saw Hariss Harun floated the cross that was to be finished off by Aleksandar Duric from close range which the Taiwanese claimed the veteran marksman was offside in 17th minute. Duric's opener in the 17th minute was claimed offside by the Taiwanese. Soon after the match restarted in the second half, the Lions failed to build up from where they left behind and were uncharacteristically allowed the Taiwanese to equalize in the early period of the second half through Lo Chih An. But Duric responded well in the 54th minute when he muscled pass the porous Taiwanese defence before planted in his

Countdown to the "Causeway Derby"....

While waiting for a friend outside Jalan Besar Stadium, I saw a car slowed down along the way. "Tiket bola mana?" asked the driver of the Johor licensed plate vehicle in Malay, as he would like to know where could he buy the tickets for the 2014 World Cup Qualifier match between Singapore and Malaysia. "Dah habis lah..." I replied to him implied that all tickets to the "Causeway Derby" had been snapped up before 2:30pm after gone on sale since 8am in the morning with some eager fans queuing up overnight to snap the tickets. The Lions in warming up. "It's great to see fans coming back again." said veteran striker Aleksandar Duric after the first day of centralized training session on his thoughts of sell-out crowd be anticipated at Jalan Besar on the 23rd of July clash with the Harimau. "Probably because we are playing against Malaysia, but it's great to see a full house in Jalan Besar which I hope the fans will cheer for u

A voice of a 14 year-old fan

Rennard Ho, a 14 year-old Courts Young Lions supporter, who penned a letter to one of the papers regarding his thoughts on the recent announcement of the joint FAS-FAM MOU that would see a Singapore team playing in the Malaysian League for the first time since 1994. Below is the unedited version of the letter Rennard emailed and many thanks to him for allowing me to republish it. "First and foremost, I do not actually expect this to be published. I'm 14 this year, and I support the Courts Young Lions. This move to the Malaysia Cup, has brought disappointment and shock to me, and many others in the football fraternity. I'm upset that, after those attempts to secure major sponsors, fans and a TV show about the team, we are going to Malaysia. This is from the BOTTOM of my heart. Have FAS ever thought about how fans think? They EXPECT us to be happy. Wait. What about those players? Don't they have an education here? So should we expect them to travel to and fro from

Is it still in-line with the "Strategic Plan"??

Picture courtesy of FAS If you guys want to know what are my thoughts on the announcement made this afternoon at Kuala Lumpur (pictured above), I would say I'm still struggling to formulate my thoughts. As everything to me still looked so vague, nonetheless, I allowed a journalist friend to quote me as follows when he called earlier. "We have just disqualified ourselves with Malaysia from taking part in the ACL (Asian Champions League), as I understand AFC (Asian Football Confederation) do not allow participation from member countries if they having foreign teams in their domestic leagues" citing an earlier announcement that saw us redraw from the Asian elite club competition because of the insistence of having foreign teams in our league. "Furthermore, it's been 17 years after we pulled out from the Malaysia Cup and during the period we see a new generation of supporters grown-up that who might not see/appreciate the significance of it as in the past, on Rediffusion

Got an email from Friz, who is a DJ of Rediffusion Radio that he would like to feature me on their morning show on SYNC - Your Lifestyle Radio . With DJ Friz  (pictured right) who is the host of  "SYNC - Your Lifestyle Radio" Rediffusion has been in Singapore since 1949, during its heyday from 1950s to late 1970s it was a common sight everywhere in Singapore to have its trademark "box" receiver strategically located at places like kopitiams, shophouses to allow listeners to tune to their programs with Chinese Dialect Operas and Story-Telling segments by the legandary Lee Dai Shau being the mainstay of the station from decades. As times evolved, so did Rediffusion as well with the station broadcast its programs using Digital Audio Broadcasting (DBA) System that provides crystal clear sound quality. Here I was in the recording studio doing the recording Just like the "Razor TV" segment I was on earlier, this program was pre-recorded as well

How many of you would bother?

How many of you actually bother about this picture? For those who know the game well it's a keenly contested S.League title race that is well underway. And yet, how many of you bother? It's the most unfortunate to have the scene being associated with much negativity that the unfair comments, suggestions, perception have been unwilling tag along with Singapore football. And since it has been so unconvincing to tell the positive side of the league at this stage I thought something visible should be presented for those skeptics to see before passing any judgement. (screen grab from Liga Singapura )

[Media Information] 25 man squad for 2014 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers Round 2‏

(Media Information from the Football Association of Singapore ) Could this herald a new era under Coach Raddy? (File Picture) SINGAPORE, 5th July 2011: Singapore National Team coach, Radojko Avramovic has selected a list of 25 players for the upcoming FIFA World Cup Brazil Qualifying Round Two matches against Malaysia to be played on 23rd July and 28th July 2011. The first leg will be played on 23rd July in Singapore at the Jalan Besar Stadium while the second leg will see Malaysia play hosts to the Lions in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 2014 FIFA WORLD CUP BRAZIL™ ASIAN QUALIFIERS ROUND 2 PLAYERS LIST S/N Popular Name Position Club Caps Goals 1 Andrew Tan FW Balestier Khalsa FC 2 Hariss Harun MF Courts Young Lions 16 0 3 Izwan Mahbud GK Courts Young Lions 4 Ruzaini Zainal MF Courts Young Lions 2 0 5 Afiq Yunos DF Courts

Appreciation Nite by the organizers of the 23rd Canon Lion City Cup

FAS president Mr Zainudin Nordin (left) received the mock cheque from Mr Andrew Koh (right0, Senior Director and General Manager of the Consumer Imaging & Information Products Divsion of Canon Singapore with NFA U16 skipper Dukhilan Jeevamani (second from left) and U15's captain Adam Swandi (partial hidden). Was at the appreciation dinner hosted by the organizers of the recently concluded 23rd Canon Lion City Cup at Fika , which is located around the Kampong Glam area. Making their presence at the venue were the two NFA squads - the U15 and U16 teams (pictured below) who finished third and runners-up spots respectively in the tournament. As a commitment pledged by the title sponsors, Canon , before the tournament, a contribution of $13,000 was donated to the National Football Academy for the development of these two teams. The finalized amount was the result of total number of goals scored by the two teams that tallied at 13 goals (nine by the "Baby Cubs" -

Redemption for the "Poor Cousin"...

The League Cup Trophy The scheduling of the League Cup has long been a debatable issue since the inception of this tournament some five years old that either saw it took place during the pre-season or middle of the league fixtures. Being widely perceived as the "poor cousin" of the more prestigious two - the league championship and the Singapore Cup, it's no wonder regional football blogger, Antony Sutton of "Jakarta Casual" have this to say. "Just because they have a League Cup in England doesn't mean every other country needs to copy it... This is an unnecessary addition to an overcrowded fixture list." commented Antony in his recent entry upon received the media release of the Cup draw held on Friday. What the Jakarta-based blogger said is not without his concern. Bear it in mind that weeks ago, the league had undergone a massive fixture scheduling that as many as 40 matches (as I was told) were being postponed as the result due to v