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Thankfully, Fans Did Not Have Their Way

If not, we would not have seen what was claimed by many as the best-ever national team that played and won the Malaysia Cup in 1977.  I chanced upon the National Library Newspaper archive site one fine day, and out of curiosity, I decided to search through the site to see if I can find some of the clippings of the heydays of Singapore back in the 1970s. The result was these two clippings... 'Fans petition' in 1976 ( NLB archive ) It was interesting to note back on 16th December 1976, The Straits Times (ST) reported a fans' petition was organized to ask the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) to replace "Uncle" Choo Seng Quee, arguably the best coach we ever had, with Technical Advisor Englishman Trevor Hartley as the national team coach.  "POOR RAPPORT", "OUT-MODED" CLAIMED FANS These disgruntled fans claimed the coaching methods of Choo were "out-moded" and felt there was a "poor rapport" between him and several player

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1) I never utilize the "story" function available on Instagram until June last year when I posted my first "story" in June 2020. As I used to think why should I bother to post something which only lasts for 24 hours. It was only after I posted my first poll in November 2021 and realized how useful it is to solicit feedback and understand the ground's sentiments on various issues on local football. Like this poll, I conducted to find the fans' preferred mode to watch their AIA Singapore Premier League matches. A marginal majority preferred at the stadium 2) This recent poll was meant to be a tongue-in-cheek attempt to gauge how was the response seemed to be one-sided, and Shopee did reply after I tagged them in this story. I never expect Shopee would reply after I posted this 3) On a serious note, this poll was conducted right after the draw of the AFF Suzuki Cup which is scheduled to take place in Singapore at the end of the year. And seems like many are

Ibrahim Corner And The "Curva" Culture in Singapore Football

Snapped this before I was ushered back to the main stand No one, except for Sembawang Rangers fans, knows why it was called the "Ibrahim Corner" at this part of Yishun Stadium, where I took my place here prior to the start of the S.League match between Harimua Muda and Albirex Niigata (Singapore) back in March 2012. But one thing is for sure, for many Stallions faithful in the past, this stand facing the main stand of the stadium holds many memories for them. This was the place where local football used to have some of its most passionate supporters congregated during the Stallions' home games in yesteryears until the club decided to pull out in 2003 because of financial difficulties. One of the things I remembered of these Sembawang supporters was in 2005 when they turned up in numbers at Ibrahim Corner to show their support to former Sembawang Rangers coach Vorawan Chitavanich, who was in charge of Tampines Rovers, at a league game against the Young Lions at this sta

Those Being Underutilized 'Portable Seats' ...

Back in March 1996, after a few pre-season friendly matches saw huge crowds turned up in thousands at stadiums like Bedok, Woodlands and Tampines to catch S.League teams like Geylang United and Woodlands Wellington in action, safety and security concerns were raised and highlighted in the newspapers. According to The New Paper (TNP), approximately 7,500 fans packed the Bedok Stadium to witness a star-studded Geylang United skippered by Fandi Ahmad taking on Johor SEDC on the 12th of March. When was the last time we had sights like this? (credit: NLB archive) Headlined "Safety, security action" on one of the back pages of its 14th of March edition, the tabloid included a picture of a scene that had never since reoccurred at games in recent years - a sardine-packed crowd congested the main stand of the Bedok Stadium to see the aforementioned match. SAFETY CONCERN  Geylang star defender Kadir Yahaya was quoted in the same article saying: "Although the turnout was

NOT WANTED ...

I don't feel sorry or have kind words to say about the recent ground sharing move that will see only four (local) venues being used for the upcoming Singapore Premier League (SGPL) season. Why should I or rather we feel sorry to see clubs uprooted from their "roots" to find themselves sharing grounds with their contemporaries in a struggling league system plagued with so many woes that don't seems to have any remedy formula to cure them all? Toa Payoh Stadium will not be used in the 2019 SGPL season When our own professional football league was launched in 1996, one of the key emphasizes is community outreach by having clubs based strategically around the island in order to see themselves fused into the vicinities they were based. But two decades down the road since it started, it seems to me that most clubs are still aliens to where they are based and we hardly see the bonding between the clubs and residents (not fans) like how I asked a co-worker of mine i

Unlock That Potential Market ...

Best view in the house at Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium Being an avid baseball fan too, I headed to Taiwan, a popular tourist destination for many Singaporeans, to catch my favourite baseball team - Chinatrust Brothers (CT Bros, δΈ­δΏ‘ε…„εΌŸ) in action for the past six years. It was something I never expected in my recent trip when I was offered an opportunity to join my Taiwanese friends in a hospitality event hosted by CT Bros at one of their home games in Taichung weeks ago. EXCLUSIVELY FOR THE FANS... From what I gathered, the hospitality event is exclusively for fans (and their guests) who are members of the team's official fan club. Besides quality buffets being served to those who were present at the event, the organizers also arranged interactive sessions for the fans with one player from the roster and two members from the team's official cheerleading group before the game. CT Bros' infielder Hsu Chi-hung (with mic) addressed the fans Two mem

Better QC Is Needed To Ensure Innovative Ideas Flow ...

Despite the proliferation of social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter, writing to the papers' forum pages to express their views in printed is still a preferred choice of many. HOT TOPIC IN FORUMS ... Given its fair share of problems in recent years that dominated the headlines for the wrong reasons, opinions shared by members of public on Singapore football has always been a hot topic on these columns. Opiners' favourite topic - Low crowds at S.League matches However, if those opiners have nothing more than repeating the same worn-out suggestions to improve local football, they should try harder to conceive more innovative suggestions. Talk about revamp of all aspects of Singapore football by anyone around us is nothing new at all, since it's always surfaced whenever something catastrophic happened (i.e.: poor performance in major tournaments). SAME ISSUES SINGLED OUT ... Beside singled out the shortcomings of the S.League whose inability to support th

Spread Out OR Remained Parochial In Fan Engaging?

We tried but it has been largely a futile effort to see some clubs fused into the vicinity they based despite the reaching out that yield limited progress over the years. Just name me a list of which club had been able to mobilize the whole town to their home game when there is one? It may have come to a juncture that building rapport with nearby residents isn't really a workable model that clubs should cast their net wider to tap on those unearthed fan bases, not necessarily being parochial. AWKWARDLY LOCATED ... Given the small land area Singapore has, it has proven to be a challenge to create those cross-town or regional rivalries we have seen in other countries. Furthermore, the constant dynamism in the electoral boundaries has neither help to foster a sense of belonging (Take one example in Hougang Stadium - located in Ang Mo Kio GRC, bordered by Aljunied GRC and Hougang SMC). Politically, Hougang Stadium isn't part of Hougang SMC  Given our relatively homogeneou

Home ENGAGING ...

Fans waiting patiently for their turn Not very often we would have an S.League club do something like this before the start of any season, but it is an encouraging sign. Judging from the turnout at the “Meet and Greet” session organized by Home United at the Bishan Stadium this evening which, at the same time, allowed supporters to catch a glimpse of the players' training session. Prior to the start of the first autograph session, both players and backroom staff were individually introduced to the crowds before it was adjourned to the open training session that was concluded with a match between “Team A” and “Team B” with the former scored a 4-1 victory over the latter. By then, eager fans were already formed along the stairways of the main stand for the second autograph session with new signings like Faris Ramli, Khairul Nizam, Irfan Fandi with skipper Juma'at Jantan at the first of the row on the limited edition posters that went on sale in conjunction with the even

Geylang Utd's not-exactly "U-TURN"

2012 Geylang United HOME kit Having heard the outcry over the decision to change the traditional green home strip to a maroon one, Geylang United decided to revert, although not entirely, the unpopular choice of colour. Instead, the maroon kit will become the Eagles' away jersey with a mainly white-coloured based uniform (pictured above, depending on your browser settings) be the choice of the home outfit for the new season. BACK DOWN FROM THE BOARD In a media statement issued today, the club said: "After gathered response and feedback from the fans, the club management has decided to make the necessary changes in our jersey colour arrangement. "With approval sought from FAS (Football Association of Singapore), the maroon kit will become the away outfit, while the white/green kit will be our 2012 home jersey choice of colour." The Eagles added new home kit will be mainly white in colour, with a stripe of green across the chest to give the jersey a more &

Clash of Colours as Eagles and Jaguars go different way...

Jozef KaplÑň (left) with Coach Mike Wong Fans of Geylang United would have to take some time to get used to seeing their beloved Eagles trooped out Bedok tunnel in not their usual green outfit. "WHY CHANGE OUR COLOURS?" EAGLES' FAN Instead of the colour that was long associated with the most successful team in the pre S.League days, the players will be donned in the maroon top. "We have always been green, why changed our identity?" said web designer Md Noor Hadi, an Eagles supporter who was surprised with the club's decision that was made known recently. He added: "It may be a small matter to many, but to people like me, who supported the club since the early 90s (Geylang International days), it's just not right lah. Green is the club colour, not maroon." Jozef KaplÑň's (middle) only time in GREEN A similar sentiment is not alone with a Geylang fan who voiced his disapproval on the club's official Facebook page when the new m