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Another second chance for Stags in Asia

Three-peat for Tampines Rovers 
Unlike the previous two seasons that saw tight finishing to the S.League title race, Tampines Rovers had a relatively easy ride (amid some scares along the way) on their route to retaining the trophy.

Thanks to their closest rivals Albirex Niigata (Singapore)'s defeat to Balestier Khalsa last Sunday, the Stags were declared the league champions without kicking a ball and had their trophy presentation took place right after their 1-1 draw against Tanjong Pagar United last evening at home.

The presentation coincided with the Asian Champions League (ACL) final which took place on the same night and it's no secret the now five-time S. League champions have long harbour the thoughts to compete with the continent's elite.

Wonder if I would get another chance?
Depending on the outcome of the Asian Football Confederation's (AFC) criteria check weeks ago on the S.League (which is due to release next month), Tampines would then know whether they be heading to the elite competition via playoff (similar to SAFFC's case in the past) or to compete in the second-tier AFC Cup as in the previous years.

Whichever it is, the Stags know it too well that things have changed drastically around the region in recent years and with the ticket in the continent football secured again.

The last two seasons saw Tampines not able to qualify for the knock-out stages of the second-tier tournament since they first took part in 2005 had affirmed things are not longer easy as they used to be in the past, the club would have to ask themselves what would be the priority in their venture outside Singapore next season?

Able to see fans like Kashima Antlers back in Singapore?
To expose the players by telling them how things have changed or aim to do well to fly the Singapore flag high regionally.

Nonetheless, before they start planning to do anything for the upcoming season, they would be asking again if the league authority is going to facilitate things before allowing them to execute any plan.

Certainly, there's not resting period for all now...


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