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Singapore Football Quarter-1 Update by Junpiter Futbol

Just when all Singapore football fans are starting to adjust to the new football scene in Year 2015, a couple of months quickly flashed past but not without any excitement. In fact if you ask

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Just when all Singapore football fans are starting to adjust to the new football scene in Year 2015, a couple of months quickly flashed past but not without any excitement. In fact if you ask us, these months could be one of the best Singapore football has ever started the New Year with.

Rising Star-fuwan in A-League

The hype of Singapore defender, Safuwan Baharudin playing and scoring almost regularly as a defensive player in Australia’s A-League is amazing. To give the young lad the well-deserved credit, who would imagine one day a Singaporean kid would don the jersey of an A-League club and impressed everyone with his gutsy display and goal scoring ability? And who would ever imagine apart from this name, Abbas Saad, Singapore football lovers would start to follow Australian football? Never.

All thanks to the Singapore defender who adapted very quickly in the foreign land with a much faster game tempo. For a moment,the era of Fandi Ahmad and V. Sundramoorthy playing in European soil has finally found a beautiful full stop – replaced by a truly, well deserved Safuwan Baharudin waving Singapore flag high up at  Down Under. Of course, the next question is amidst giving his best for the club and great performance, will Safuwan secure a permanent move to Melbourne City FC? And again, not forgetting, we still have Hassan Sunny playing a vital role with Army United in the Thai Premier League.The duo has certainly done Singapore proud. #WishForSGFootball2015

S.League football

At the point this article is written, Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League has moved into Round-4 of the competition. Nearly all teams have registered 4-5 matches each except Courts Young Lions and Malaysia’sHarimau Muda who only played 3 matches each so far.

Pre-season’s favorite, Tampines Rovers does not
look as formidable as before the competition kicks off. The Stags only managed
to register 3 wins out of 5, losing to Home United and Geylang International.
Having said that, the five times S.League Champion certainly has the caliber to
hijack all papers’ headline anytime this season.

Sharing the same fate as Tampines Rovers, another
S.League All-Time favorite, Warriors did not enjoy the first Quarter of the
Year too. Warriors are booted out of the AFC Champions League Playoff and
currently searching for its first point in the AFC Cup campaign. Domestically,
the club is lying in the 6th position. However, the heavy 6-0 defeat
to Albirex Niigata Singapore last month would have raised an alarm within the camp
– shocking defeat. It is obvious that the club is finding it hard to fill up
the Goalkeeper position vacated by Hassan Sunny. In this case, S.League Young
Player of the Year 2014’s Nicolas Velez could have to work doubly hard to
inspire his team to move up the table.

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Boots
on Fire

S.League Player of the Month, Brunei DPMM’s huge Brazilian
forward, Rafael Ramazotti is leading the table with 6 goals while Home United’s
Ken Ilsø coming in second with 4 goals under his name. Albirex Niigata
Singapore’s Atsushi Kawata, Balestier Khalsa’s Miroslav Kristic, Geylang
International’s Jozef Kaplan and Warriors’ Nicolas Velez are all equally firing
up with 3 goals each. The newly Brunei DPMM signed, Paulo Sergio also  announced his intention to storm the League and
the Top Scorer List with 2 goals on his debut against Hougang United. What a
great plan to create a healthy competition between Rafael and Paulo within the
club – a typical but great move from Stephen Kean.

Among these established names, Atsushi Kawata is
our Man to watch. The 23yrs old was drafted straight from Hannan University, an
University which Japan’s top National Age-Group would always have friendlies
with, has got a decent outing so far. He commands great shot particularly
outside the box and with the attacking style which Albirex Niigata Singapore
has been playing all these while, Atsushi’s style is certainly a compliment to
the Japanese team.

By the way, if you think Wayne Ronney’s goal
against Aston Villa is good, we think Hougang United’s Francisco Ela’s effort
against Brunei DPMM is much better.

Asian
Football

To be very honest, this is one competition which
we really hope to see Singapore’s flag flying high. After Warriors’ exit from
the AFC Champions League Playoff, AFC Cup has become the highest level of
football which Singapore teams are involving in.

With all the hardwork and determination,
Balestier Khalsa has achieved its first ever point in the AFC Cup and club’s
history by defeating India’s Kingfisher East Bengal 2-1 at home. Looking at the
fixtures now, Balestier Khalsa could well know their fate if they would
progress to the next stage this month after playing Kingfisher East Bengal (14
Apr, India) and Hong Kong’s Kitchee (28 Apr, Singapore). Malaysia’s JDT will be
Balestier’s last opponent on 12 May (Malaysia).

On the other hand, Warriors are still searching
for their first point in the competition. They will face off with JSW Bengaluru
(14 Apr, India), Persipura Jayapura (28 Apr, Indonesia) and Maziya S&R (12
May, Maldives). 

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Across
the Causeway

The success of the 2013 season sets an extremely
high standard we guess. The current squad and performance was nothing
impressive but kudos to the team which has been traveling non-stop for
high-intensive matches. Currently, LionsXII is in the 8th position
and the defeat to Pahang last evening, ended their five-game unbeaten run.
Apart from the Malaysia Super League, LionsXII is also through to the Malaysia
FA Cup Quarter-final where they will face off with JDT II on 8 April 2015 at
home. Winger, Faris Ramli has been outstanding so far and we hope to continue
to see more of his contribution this season.

New
Appointments

Former Singapore International, Kadir Yahaya has
joined up with Singapore U-23 to assist Aide Iskandar to prepare the team for
the upcoming SEA Games this coming June. As much as we would like to see
positive result, Kadir is unlikely to contribute much to the team due to the
short time frame. The results from the series of friendlies’ are not exactly a
very positive sign if we are heading to one of the most prestige Southeast
Asia’s football tournaments as a host. But we hope the final preparation could
spur the team to do well in front of the nation. To sign off, we wish Coach
Aide, Coach Kadir and their team all the best.

Over the years, we have come
to realize that credential of a profile doesn’t yield affirmative result. FAS has
appointed Michel Sablon as Technical Director on a two-year contract. Challenges,
certainly a huge handful of it. We hope that with this new appointment, we are
moving into a new football era with convincing and positive development
domestically. And eventually, result.

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christian@node8.net

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