Photo Courtesy of SAFFC
It is going to be a busy weekend for all at Football OPOD as we look to bring you coverage on all the friendlies that will be played involving the S League clubs.
Most of the action will start at 5pm as we will see games kicking off at the various S League stadiums.
First up will be the Eastern Derby at the Bedok Stadium where we will see local powerhouse Tampines Rovers take on hosts Geylang United. Geylang will be looking to give their new Slovakian signings a run out but will not have Skipper Yazid Yasin in the lineup after spraining his ankle in the loss against Woodlands Wellington.
The highlight of the game however shall fall upon Tampines who finalized their business in the transfer window in swift fashion. The squad will have 6 Croatian speakers including the club captain Aleksandar Duric and Mustafic Fahrudin with the odd Frenchman Benoit Crossiant standing out in defence. Regardless of nationality, the club promises quality with Ahmad Latiff, Jufri Taha and new signing Sazali Salleh among their ranks for the new season.
In the northern part of our sunny little island, we will be having Woodlands Wellington hosting Gombak United at the Woodlands Stadium. Woodlands have already finalized the squad for the season despite the sudden departure of Head Coach Bala but OPOD got a sneak glimpse of them in action during the 2-1 win against Geylang United. They already look more promising than they were in the midst of last season especially with Goh Swee Swee in sizzling form and 3 new foreigners in the squad including old boy Daniel Hammond.
Gombak on the other hand has remained extremely secretive on their signings despite losing a lot of their players to Balestier Khalsa after Gaffer Darren Stewart made the move from the west to Toa Payoh. Rumour has it that they have signed former Burnley trainee Chris Anderson and according to ‘sauces’ in the FAS (no prizes for guessing who the source is), they are also looking to sign former Magpie Laurent Robert as their marquee signing. However the squad turns out, rest be assured Gombak still has defensive rock Obadin Aikhena in the team while local signing has seen the likes of Hafiz Rahim, K. Vikraman, Adrian Dhanaraj, Mustaqim Mazur and Fairoz Hassan joining the club.
Football will also be gracing the newly laid pitch at Balestier Khalsa as they welcome NFL Division 1 side Keppel Monaco. The Tigers have a new coach at the helm and Darren Stewart who is no stranger to all you S League fans has gone for a Down Under flavour this season bringing in Goran Subara and a mystery Australian who will be revealed by the club in due course. Australia’s next door neighbours will also see themselves being represented in the S League as club captain Paul Cunningham remains with the team. Local signings by no surprise came from the west as Darren Stewart raided his former club of players like Tengku Mushadad and Jaslee Hatta among many others while Patrick Paran has joined from Tanjong Pagar.
The game may seem to be a pushover for the Tigers being a professional outfit against an amateur team but don’t be too surprised if Keppel Monaco springs an upset as they have a certain Indra Shadan in their team. Last played in the S League with SAFFC last season, Indra will be looking to prove his doubters wrong and show that he still has energy in his legs to play against S League sides.
Last but not least, the last game for Saturday has been lined up at 7pm at the Jalan Besar Stadium where SAFFC will take on new look Hougang United and hopefully we will get to see all their players in action together. SAFFC will also have new signing from Japan Seiji Saito in the squad along with the other two new Japanese Shimpei Sakurada and Tatsuro Inui as well as Croatian Marksman Mislav Karoglan . Hougang United has already finalized their squad and will look to build on their 4-0 win at the Padang. Jordan Webb is expected to be back in the squad while the Hougang Hools are expected to be their noisy jovial self providing support for the Cheetahs.
Sunday will see another round of action as the Courts Young Lions will be taking on League of Champions Winner Dream Team H Two O with a charity element to it as Jamiyah Children’s Home will stand to benefit from goals scored by the Dream Team courtesy of Yeo’s. Fans will also stand the chance to win prizes in a lucky draw and the day will wrap up with a media challenge where the media will take on H Two O’s goalkeeper in a shootout. Regardless of goals scored, the children of Jamiyah will still benefit at the end of the day.
Tanjong Pagar United will also be playing at the Clementi Stadium as they take on a ‘new’ Albirex Niigata while both games will kick off at 5pm.
Admission for all games is free.