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"Online" Players Shortlisted by the Tigers

A Balestier Khalsa supporter holding up a scarf bearing the name of the club
Balestier's latest move caused many jaws to drop

Having hyped up the fraternity with their out-of-the-box online recruitment process, S.League club Balestier Khalsa had identified a number of those who came forward to register their interest in pursuing a professional football career by interviewing some of those who had been shortlisted.

"We had identified a list of players from those who applied and interviewed some of them," said Mr Cheng Tim Nee, the club general manager who confirmed this information with this blogger over a series of text exchanges.

However, as mentioned by club chairman Mr S Thavaneson in the papers it's not because the club is facing a shortage of players for the coming season that will see the Tigers represent the Republic in the AFC Cup as the reigning Singapore Cup winners, but it's more about viewing it as a long-term program for the club.

Poh Yifeng (foreground) gets a chance to play in Asia this year
Poh Yifeng (foreground) gets a chance to play in Asia this year

As such, it was understood that the following up selection process, which will be held close-door, will not take place at the nearest date due to the non-availability of the field at their base - Toa Payoh Stadium, which is still under maintenance and other more pressing issues that the club did not elaborate much and that included the identities of those shortlisted applicants.

Citing the practice of maintaining confidentiality, Cheng explained: "It is not a practice that recruitment candidates at all industries are publicized."

Rizal Rahman stay loyal to the Tigers
Rizal Rahman stay loyal to the Tigers

In the meantime, Rizal Rahman will continue as Goalkeeping coach after being released as a player at the end of last season with notable signings such as Fadhil Noh (from Woodlands Wellington) and Hanafi Salleh (from Tanjong Pagar United). Emir Lotinac is the only import retained from last year's list.

When prompted if former Hougang United defender Croatian Igor Cerina is linked with the Toa Payoh-based side, Cheng revealed the club is entering into the "final stages of negotiations" with him and Lotinac.

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