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First and foremost, I would like to extend my congratulations to Warriors FC in clinching the S.League title (which they last won in 2009 when they were still known as SAFFC).

Secondly, I would like to pay my compliments to Brunei DPMM for being the pace-setters for large part of the campaign that pushed the benchmark to see another nail-biting ending.

End of an Era
Lastly, it is for Aleksandar Duric for being such a wonderful ambassador to the local game since making his debut with Tanjong Pagar United back in 1999.

Much had been said about the former Olympian's journey to this part of the world that I shan't dwell and recap that.

To me, it's a great honour to know him personally and he's always have the smile on his face whenever we met.

Presented a BOCAP to the legend before the match
"My man!" he would always said when I would be within his sight with my camera sling around my neck.

Throughout my snapping experience in local matches, he has always been the ideal component of the composition that brought life to the countless shots I had of him in action.

Much had been said of his fitness which I can vouch for that during a session of the "Beep Test" that took place years ago at Woodlands where he astonishingly completed the routine leaving some of his younger peers who either passed the test at the minimum requirements or dropped out half way before the end of the test.

Aleks was about to take the shot

Rounded by team mates with a shoe-shine celebrations
Such a feat left no doubt about how he disciplined himself to ensure such a longevity and it's not surprise to note that Duric will stay with the Stags as their fitness coach (as suggested via twitter by Axrosstheline).

Sadly though, time had really come this time for the great man to call it day and was duly honoured prior to the match against Brunei DPMM when a short video tribute was played on the scoreboard that brought tears to the 44-year-old.

"53" signified the number of Lions caps earned by Aleks
It was never short of an ovation when the father of three took on to the field after the interval for his last S.League appearance and proved to be an instrumental figure in setting up the second goal for his team in the 72nd minute with Miljan Mrdakovic's follow up after he had his shot blocked.

When referee blew his whistle to signal the end of the match, it wasn't just to confirm the Bruneians having to settle for the second spot behind the Warriors, who defeated Albirex Niigata (Singapore) in another correspond match, more significantly - it was a closing of an amazing chapter of the man who has always been looked upon as a role model on and off the field with that jovial grin on his face.

Thank You, Aleks ... from your man :)


  1. For the record 31/10/14
    - Tampines Rovers 2-1 Brunei DPMM
    - Warriors FC 1-0 Albirex Niigata (S)
    - Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Home United


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