OPOD News Center – Goal Arena Football League (GAFL) announced its merger with Amateur Football League (AFL) in a surprising move set to springboard GAFL to become the 3rd largest Sunday league organizer in Singapore.
GAFL, reemerging into the amateur football scene earlier this year after being defunct for the last 5 years, is seemingly determined to carve out a name for itself in the social league scene this time round. Largely seen as a strategic move to catapult itself into the realm of the big boys, the aggressiveness of GA is sure to set the alarm bells ringing among the established league organizers.
The most impressive part of this successful merger is the fact that AFL is not a fly-by-night league but one of a rather strong branding after more than 4 years in the football league business. Granted the brand has weakened ever since management issues led to the shutdown of its afternoon league, AFL is still one league which many football teams recognize.
The merger between GAFL and AFL will result in a 3 division 26 team Sun 9am tournament played in a whole new format never seen before in the amateur scene. The current GAFL which kicked off back in March will be renamed as the GA Northern Division, while 2 new divisions, namely the Eastern Division and Western Division will be formed after the current AFL season ends in May.
After completion of the league matches by all divisions, the top 3 teams from each division will come together for a “champions” tournament while the rest of the teams will go on to play off in a knock out Cup competition.
“We recognize that most of the leagues in Singapore scale through having multiple divisions and introducing promotion and relegation to spice up the tournament,” said GA Sports Club (the company behind GAFL) Managing Director Wilfred Lok. “And feedback from most teams we have is that they are sick of this format.”
“We hope this new format will serve the teams who are joining our league well,” he continued.
Ala Malaysia Cup?
One cannot help but notice that this format of the tournament bears a remote similarity to a tournament where we were once all too familiar with, the Malaysia Cup.
Back in the times when Singapore was still competing in the tournament, teams in the top 10 placing of the league table will qualify to play in the FA Cup. While winning the league is a much coveted honour, it is the Malaysia Cup that is the most highly regarded trophy.
“We expect teams to go all out to win their league,” added Lok with a smile, “But it is the prospect of playing in the champions’ tournament after the league that will drive teams on to fight for the top 3 position.”
“Only the winners of the champions’ tournament can claim to be the kings of GAFL.”
“For teams that finish out of the top 3, they can also look forward to the League Cup where they have another shot at some silverware.”
“And finally, once the season ends, teams who would like to play against new opponents can register for another division while having the chance to prove themselves as the best of GAFL during champions’ tournament after the league ends.”
Teams interested in signing up for the upcoming GA Eastern Division or Western Division League may contact the league management at 92382277 or 96918833. All matches will be played on Sundays at 9am. The tournament will kick off in June and will last about 5 months.