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[Annual Review] - Having The Same "Fried Rice" Served (again) by Perry Ng, etc.

Watch a content from a mobile phone and got a shocked expression
Why are we repeating?

I have to be brutally honest on this - I really see no point in coming up with this year's "Annual Review" when most of the stuff that I going to talk about are mere repetitions all along.


Seems like much of what happened in the past twelve months stayed largely status quo with the Young Lions remaining bottom at the Singapore Premier League (SPL) table for another year.

To make things worse when the bulk of the Young Lions that formed the SEA (South East Asian) Games squad got hammered 7-0 by arch-rivals Malaysia (highlights below from Mediacorp Youtube channel), it triggered a massive public outrage on how things went bad to worse.

The above-mentioned coupled with that disastrous AFF Mitsubishi Electric Cup outing months earlier did little help but more damage to the beleaguered sport which used to be a focal point of the nation in the long-gone past.


Instead, local football relegated itself to be a source of memes, jokes, ridicule, etc. which is likely to stay on for a while unless we begin to see some fruits harvested from the seeds sown by the much-touted "Unleash the Roar!" (UTR!) - the national project that aims to lift local football out of the slums.

Despite the optimism the decision makers have been trying to convince the masses that UTR! is the way to move forward, it is not hard to tell the bugbear of the failed GOAL 2010 still lingers on most local football fans.


If the performance of a national football team is to serve as a gauge, it is not rocket science that the Singapore Premier League (SPL) failed.

After all, a strong competitive local league is pivotal to gearing a country's national team to be ready for the grinding of any international tournament.

Sadly, it has not been the case when in recent years we witnessed plenty of undesirable occurrences in the SPL that do not suggest it has done any good to the local game.

SPL is still struggling to make an impact

VAR is still trying to gain acceptance everywhere with Singapore included

Some undesirable occurrences included lopsided scores, dismal attendance, poor streaming quality of matches, VAR malfunctioning, etc.

For years, we have been talking about sending our players to top leagues around the world to improve themselves to lift us out of the slums, yet when the SPL has not fulfilled its role effectively as that conduit to the outside world, it is literally wishful thinking.

Until the SPL can see itself competent enough to prepare a strong Singapore National Team to do us proud, our clubs need to do well in continental tournaments when allowed to do so at this stage.


The Straits Times decided to refresh our memory of this matter weeks ago after I assumed it had already been filed away in the attic.

It is like having a plate of fried rice re-heated but given to you as a new dish despite having had it before.

The idea of getting both Ng and O'Nien to be Lions = fried rice

Even if Perry Ng and Luke O'Nien play for us tomorrow, is the existing core able to complement them on the field in terms of skill levels, etc.? Surely we won't see the team's overall performance lift just because those two arrived?

I'm just wondering how many of those who want Ng and O'Nien to play for us realize it's not the call of either the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) or UTR! but that of the relevant authorities?

It is simple: If either Ng or O'Nien is determined to play for us, they should do what Daniel Bennett did - renounce their British citizenship and become Singapore citizens.


Having said all the above, I am aware that various ongoing initiatives are going to lift our local game out of the doldrums.

So at this stage, it is not fair to pass any judgment on them until the time is right.

One of those initiatives I am happy to see is the implementation of the Academy Accreditation System (AAS).

As in the past, I was under the impression that academies or schools conducting football training were isolated from one another (I may be wrong but that was my impression) by having their own curriculums.

The implementation of the AAS came at a time when there was a dire need for one we certainly hope that training programs conducted by the accredited academies will be standardized under a set of unifying curricula under the said program.

It is with great anticipation that we look forward to the upcoming Singapore Youth League, which is scheduled to begin early next year. Let's hope it is one of the catalysts to kick-start the revamping of our beloved game.

Till then, let's keep our fingers crossed.


  1. Good insights, and your article kind of speaks on behalf of some of Us the Fans. But one thing I still don't understand till now is , why FAS didn't continue with Foreign Talents scheme? No doubt it is hits and misses, but no harm taking the ones that really set the bar higher than local talents, I mean surely maybe one or two will fulfill the requirements. I have to admit the last batch of Foreign turn citizens players did helped raise our standard, at least on Asean level.

    1. If I remember correctly, there were some resistance coming from local fans about the FTS and even (envious) neighbouring countries also had their say on it. But years down the road, everyone else is doing the same while FAS has funnily kept it in fridge.

    2. I would say it will be different schools of thought when we debate the FTS issues.

      To some, it would be a short gap measure taking place in between to allow our local born players to get ready while using those naturalized players.

      While some are worried that the over reliance of naturalized players through the FTS scheme would deny the nurturing of the local born.

  2. The (FTS) scheme appears to be more successful than not, particularly when considering the starting lineup that includes Duric, Mustafic, Qiu, and Shi. With such players, it is unlikely that the team would entertain the notion of losing to Malaysia.

  3. And do you think UTR will work? They started to recognise the lots of academies to start the youth league soon. And when it comes to regional age group tournaments the bulk of players will come from sports school and the nfa ... and a couple or so from Ics. to me, utr is basically the sub committee of the association and doing the same things only under different name.... i hope i am wrong

    1. Abang, I reserve my comment for the time being on the feasibility of the UTR! Although I hope the decision makers would not procrastinate on any problems that come along the way. We seen for ourselves what happened to Goal 2010 which started with a bang before being ridiculed till this day.


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