|Group photo at the end of the session|
This notion was confirmed when the de-facto national U23 squad was not on the drawing list with the remaining eight teams of the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League had their fate in the competition decided in this afternoon at the News Centre.
Confirming another earlier report which was mentioned by citing unconfirmed sources a day before on this blog's Facebook page, was the omission of the amateur National Football League (NFL) sides from this season's edition, thus making this a genuine solitary League Cup contest.
|S.League CEO Lim Chin|
Concurring the thoughts of the former Chief of Artillery is Hougang United's Coach K Balagumaran.
Speaking to this blogger on the sidelines following the draw, the former Gombak United coach said:“I will use this tournament to try out some young players or players who have limited playing times (in the S.League) like Iqbal (Hussain) who is serving his NS (National Service) and Samuel Benjamin who just came back from an injury.”
|TNP editor Dominic Nathan (left) drawn Albirex to Group B|
Group A will see three-time winners Brunei DPMM, alongside powerhouses Tampines Rovers with Hougang United and Warriors FC. Defending Cup holders and league leaders Albirex Niigata (Singapore) found themselves accompanied by last season's runners-up Balestier Khalsa together with Geylang International and Home United.
After a “round-robin” stage, the top two teams from each group will proceed to the semi-finals with the bottom two of the each group will qualify for the “Plate” competition, whilst the actual dates of the fixtures are to be made known on a later date, it will be scheduled between 11th to 30th of July.
“Many said this (tournament) is about giant-killing, but in my opinion all teams in both Group A and B are all strong teams,” said Coach Balagumaran who shared his thoughts on the outcome.“So whoever plays well on that day will win the game and for Hougang, being underdogs (in Group A), we will have to work hard and qualify for the next round.”