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Showing posts from December, 2012

"Matchpix" - December 2012

(P.S: If you access this site via "", please click the "Facebook" icon after you click "HERE" when you want to view the album as that will redirect you to the album, thank you) Lions' 2012 Suzuki Cup Prep... Coach Raddy (wearing white cap) put the teams to drills I didn't apply for the necessary accreditation (which I eventually did, thanks to those you know who you are) that I thought it will be good for me to turn out for some shots two days before the semis against Philippines and only have it published after we won the game. PLEASE CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THE SHOTS 2012 NexLions Cup 16/12/12 Luis Cortez - to be the NEXT one? It was the dark horses in the likes of Sporting Lisbon U 19 emerged as the champions of this inaugural tournament beating Liverpool U19 2-0 in the final with another English side Manchester United U19 clinching third spot with a 2-1 win over gutsy hosts Singapore Youth Selection.

[Annual Review] Be Responsible and let Lim take his exam peacefully next year

"Lemme think properly, can or not?!" PREFACE  "Amid the general consensus towards newly proposed initiatives, as an individual, we would have to ask ourselves have we all gave a serious thought on why, how those initiatives came about and are we being swayed in an emotional turmoil before making any comment?" That was the question I posted on one of the postings on the blog Facebook Page following a commentary by Leonard Thomas of The New Paper urging the largely skeptical masses to give the much-criticized initiatives by the Special Business Unit (SBU) a chance to prove their worth with the year ended with another tumultuous finishing as the local football fraternity embarked itself for another new journey in 2013. EASY TO SCRAP THE S.LEAGUE "STAND BY ME ..." From time to time have we not heard cries urging the scrapping of the S.League to start everything afresh, given the kind of situation we are in now. It would be a sensible move and it&

Marketing Blitz is NOW the thing to do...

Skipper Shahril Ishak (left) and Hariss Harun hoisted the AFF Suzuki Cup Trophy  I may be wrong, but I can't recall and am not sure if the scenes at the Jalan Besar Stadium earlier were something we have not seen for years. I am not that certain when we were last crowned as ASEAN champions in both 2004 and 2007 and had something like what we saw earlier (I did remember the last victory parade at Orchard Road in 2004 did attract a similar turnout). However, what that is certain is you don't expect this to happen that often in recent years when Singapore football was in the doldrums. A snap of the fans who were there to welcome the Lions at JBS I think that was the first time since my involvement I saw fans and supporters eagerly gathered outside JBS to catch a glimpse of the Lions after the "Victory Parade" to celebrate the Lions' AFF Suzuki Cup triumph. Armed with their autograph books or another thing that can be scribed onto, these fans stretch

[Instant Reaction] The Sweetest Defeat...(as we won the Suzuki Cup)

Jubilation at Toa Payoh East CC after the defeat  I saw them sweat a bucket, I saw them toil under the heat in the obscure Geylang Field and amid all those uncertainties that led to the building up for the Suzuki Cup after the disastrous World Cup Qualifiers campaign that ended point-less and at the foot of their group. No one knows what to expect from them from the tournament they last won in 2007 on the same ground with uninspired friendly results before the real test began. It was only after the 3-0 win over the Malaysians that slowly regained that bit of confidence in those massive skeptics out there, but things took a sudden twist when they found themselves deprived of the services of key players like "Boy Wonder" Hariss Harun and Shi Jiayi due to unforeseen circumstance. It is either JBS or Geylang Field for Lions prep (file picture) It was then everyone on the team realized they had to grit their teeth to push themselves to the limit, they were aware o

AFF Suzuki Cup : Vindicated at least for now for Coach Raddy

Coach Raddy is aiming his hat-trick of Asean supremacy One would have felt that coach Raddy Avramovic is vindicated after taking a 3-1 advantage over hot favourites Thailand in the AFF Suzuki Cup final first-leg match (at least for now with the second leg due this coming weekend). Tasked with the enforcer role in the middle of the park by the Serbian tactician, both Fahrudin Mustafic and Isa Halim combined well to shackle the creativity of Datsakorn Thonglao who has been instrumental in the War Elephants' unbeaten run in the tournament. "Farra" (15) and Isa (center) - key Lions midfield enforcers Despite having to retake the penalty after the referee's order to do so, the calm demeanor of "Farra" (as Mustafic is popularly known) helped the hosts to take the one-goal lead over the Thais by cooling placing the ball into the net and much to the joy of those decked in red in the Jalan Besar Stadium in 9th minute. To some critics, the Lions may not

Confident Sporting's Ferreira hailed his team in NexLions Cup win

Coach Ferreira never doubts his team's ability FINAL: Sporting Lisbon U19 2-0 Liverpool U19 For a team that prided itself on producing many wonderful players throughout the year, one shall not fault Sporting Lisbon U19 coach Abel Ferreira for showing that kind of confidence during the post-match press conference following his side's 2-1 win over their more popular opponents Liverpool. "Are you surprised that my team won?" queried the former Sporting player in English at the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) boardroom at the Jalan Besar Stadium. This came after no question from the media was asked in the first place when requested by the emcee at the gathering. An impressive Sporting clinched the NexLions Cup When the mood set in, the former defender began to take some questions from the floor and mentioned the following (as far as I could remember). "To me, every player in my team is special and it's not just about one or two players beco

[Instant Reaction] Singapore 1-0 Philippines - WE ARE BACK TO THE FINAL!!

"We are in the Final!" (screenshot from TV) What I really hope is the outcome of us heading to the AFF Suzuki Cup Final for the first time in five years is not being overshadowed by the "PalmerGate" that took place so suddenly this afternoon. The Lions kept their composure throughout the game and were unfortunately not able to add more to the tally after Khairul Amri's 25-yard shot from outside sent the mostly red-shirted supporters into a state of euphoria in the 19th minute. With midfield anchor Fahrudin Mustafic being replaced at halftime due to some knocks (apparently), it was thought that the Azkals could finally seize the opportunity and capitalize the Tampines Rovers' stalwart's absence to make inroads to Singapore's frail defence. Yet, unlike the vigour they showed in Manila, the Filipinos found themselves banging onto the stout midfield that was well coordinated by Isa Halim with Aleksandar Duric, dropping deep behind to disrupt the

Duric:"Why should we feel any pressure?"

Everything looks normal with the Singapore national team resumed their preparation for the ultimate AFF Suzuki Cup second-leg semi final showdown against the Philippines this evening. Following the first-leg scoreless draw in Manila with the "away-goals" regulation looming over them, the Lions are fully aware of what is in stake on Wednesday. Duric (pictured extreme right) cautioned the 'away-goals" rule With veteran Aleksandar Duric cautioned the impact of this ruling that would normally place the 'away' side on advantage, has on his team. "We must be cautious of 'away goals' rules," said the evergreen striker at the end of the one-and-half hour session at the Jalan Besar Stadium. "It's important for us to score in order to win the game with Philippines losing to us." he added. Coach Raddy (wearing white cap) put his team into drills In spite of that slight regulatory disadvantage, the affable striker remain

Countdown to NexLions Cup (Part Two) - The "Nursery" and Local Pride

(This entry is formulated based on the media release obtained via CROWD Pte Ltd, the PR agency of “NexLions Cup” together with the images being provided, unless credited) Coach Aide is confident of his team (file picture) With his squad's opening game to face a team that comprised no less than four players with Europa League's experience, Singapore Youth Selection coach Aide Iskandar is unfazed of the challenge ahead posed by Liverpool Academy side in the upcoming Nex Lions Cup. Much of that confidence stemmed from the match that the former Lions' skipper's boys drew 2-2 with Johor FA side, who is coached by another ex-Singapore skipper, the legendary Fandi Ahmad at Larkin Stadium in Johor Bahru days ago. Said coach Aide:"I have seen the squad list for Liverpool and I understand that they are bringing a strong squad for the NexLions Cup," "We will have a tough game on our hands against them, but I think that the team is well prepared and read

[Instant Reaction] It's experience to make up for the shortfall of pace...

Watched the game with LATW at Ogopogo It's the experience that counted in a match such as a semi-final like the one we saw earlier on TV. A depleted strength saw Aleksandar Duric starting the game for the second time in the AFF Suzuki Cup campaign for that physical presence upfront with Isa Halim added the much-needed steel alongside with Fahrudin Mustafic in the middle of the park. The tactical switch proved to be working as it helped to stabilise and buffered the pressure on the Lions' back four of Shaiful Esah, Baihakki Khaizan, Safuwan Baharudin and Daniel Bennett in the first half. While the visiting Singapore side may have the better chances of the two, but the excellent showing by the Azkals' keeper Sacapano had once again proved to be stumbling block of the Lions like he did against them weeks ago in Cebu. Much better showing from the Filipinos in the second half by playing more ground passing style of play using their pace to penalize the Lions on thei

Countdown to NexLions Cup (Part One) - The English Rivalry

(This entry is formulated based on the media release obtained via CROWD Pte Ltd, the PR agency of “NexLions Cup” together with the images being provi ded ) Weeks of building up leading to the inaugural NexLions Cup must have whet the appetite of football fans. With the array of talents to be showcased over this next weekend (14,16th December), local fans are expected to see many of the up-and-coming European footballers pipped alongside with some of the finest Singapore youth players. Chilean wonderkid Angelo Henriquez One such player being singled out is Manchester United's 18-year-old Chilean striker Angelo Jose Henriquez. "He’s very quick and a good finisher," said Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson of the Santiago-born forward, who is the youngest member of Red Devils' first team squad, in the tournament press release made know to the media. "He's strong and with great shoulders on him for a boy of 18. Angelo has made a tremendous

Lionel Lewis :“Time to Move On...”

Lionel in action for Home Utd in AFC Cup Apparently, the stone has been cast for Home United goalkeeper Lionel Lewis to call it a day from professional football, despite earlier media reports suggesting that he might carry on if the ankle surgery he is undergoing soon would be a success. THE REASONS BEHIND THE DECISION In an email interview with this blog, the 30-year-old explained this latest development that caught a few off-guard, especially since many perceive a goalkeeper's lifespan on the field would stretch beyond 35 like one of his Lions predecessors, David Lee, who retired in 1997 at the age of 39. “Many people tell me goalkeepers peak from 30 onwards. For me, the minute you are a professional player, you have to always be at your peak.” opined Lionel. “I actually plan to start playing part-time a few years back. I always believe having a stable job is very important. A footballer’s career is a short one. I wanted to start building my career after football years a

[Instant Reaction] A close shave win came with a heavy price

The travelling supporters celebrate another Lions victory (from TV) When I first saw the starting lineup against Laos, my first reaction was it was an attacking tactics with Farra (Fahrudin Mustafic) holding the middle alone with Baihakki Khaizan, Safuwan Baharudin and Daniel Bennett staying behind to man the fort with the likes of Aleksandar Duric, Fazrul Nawaz, Qiu Li, etc. prowling forward to search for those early goals to calm the nerves. While Fazrul almost had that first chance coming his way at the edge of the Laotian box that eventually had their 'keeper replaced due to injury sustained from that "50/50" ball with the former Gombak United striker, it was then all the Indo-Chinese dominated the play in the near-empty Stadium Shah Alam. Thus, not surprisingly that the fragile backline wasn't able to cope with the inroads by the Laotians and saw the Lions trailed by two goals in the first 45 until Shahril Ishak reduced the deficit at the injury period be