News Singapore Premier League • January 27, 2021

2021 Singapore Premier League season: Transfer Centre

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SINGAPORE, 2021 – Welcome to the Transfer Centre for the 2021 Singapore Premier League (SPL) season! Here, we will endeavour to keep you up to date on the latest official transfer movements of the clubs as they are announced. Keep checking back for updates!

 

27 January

Albirex Niigata (S) have added Kohga Tsuruhara to their defence for the 2021 season. The 20-year-old Hyogo native, who stands at 1.88 metres, joins from Ritsumeikan Moriyama High School.

 

 

26 January

The Young Lions have confirmed their first new arrival as Joel Chew joins from Tampines Rovers. The midfielder, who turns 21 next month, is currently serving his National Service. He already has two seasons of professional football under his belt and scored in the Stags’ Singapore Cup final triumph in 2019. More details here.

 

 

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Rudy Khairullah will continue to play for the Lion City Sailors as he makes it five consecutive seasons at Bishan. The 26-year-old goalkeeper will serve as backup to Hassan Sunny.

 

 

Former Young Lions defender Rusyaidi Salime, who turns 23 in April, has joined Tanjong Pagar United. The winner of the 2014 The New Paper Dollah Kassim Award, he started his professional career with the Young Lions in 2016 and played for them until 2019, before spending last season serving National Service (NS). Capped at Under-23 level for Singapore, Rusyaidi’s good form in 2018 saw him earn a call-up to the senior team in October 2018, although he remains uncapped at that level. Able to play at right-back and in centre midfield, Rusyaidi is also a capable dead-ball taker and becomes the Jaguars’ eighth new signing for the 2021 season.

 

 

25 January

Fumiya Suzuki, who turns 23 in April, will join Albirex Niigata (S) from Waseda University. The 1.82-metre striker has spent time with FC Tokyo’s youth teams.

 

 

24 January

Ito Makoto is the latest recruit for Albirex Niigata (S). The Aichi native, who turns 21 in February, is a midfielder who has graduated from Chukyo University.

 

 

23 January

Two more additions for Albirex Niigata (S), as Kosuke Chiku and Takahiro Tezuka arrive from Tsukuba University. Chiku, a midfielder who turns 22 in February, hails from Saitama and has spent time at Urawa Reds’ Under-15s. Tezuka, 22, is a Tochigi native and plays in defence.

 

 

22 January

Albirex Niigata (S) have added a second new Singaporean to their 2021 roster with the recruitment of Nicky Melvin Singh from Tampines Rovers’ Under-21s. The 18-year-old midfielder came through the now-defunct National Football Academy and has been at Tampines since U-18 level. He has also represented Singapore at U-16 and U18 level.

 

 

21 January

Montenegrin hitman Boris Kopitović has been retained by Tampines Rovers. The lanky number nine, who turns 26 in April, started all of the Stags’ 18 games in all competitions last season, scoring 12 times and making three assists. His nine league goals were joint-third highest with Song Ui-young (Lion City Sailors); his tally of eight non-penalty goals only surpassed by Golden Boot winner Stipe Plazibat’s 10.

 

 

That Lion City Sailors attack is shaping up very nicely indeed as Faris Ramli becomes the latest addition. The 28-year-old returns to Singapore after spending 2020 with Malaysian top-flight side Terengganu FC, where he scored thrice and registered three assists in nine league games. The Singapore international, who was named 2019 Player of the Year, will relish linking up with 2020 Player of the Year Gabriel Quak, last season’s Golden Boot winner Stipe Plazibat and blockbuster signing Diego Lopes. More details here.

 

 

Aurelio Vidmar has also made sure to reinforce his rearguard and the arrival of Amirul Adli will go some way towards boosting a defence that kept four clean sheets in 14 matches last season. The 25-year-old Singapore international has been a commanding and assured presence for Tampines Rovers over the last three years, and his ball-playing ability will suit the Australian’s tactics.

 

 

Fikri Junaidi is Albirex Niigata (S)‘s sixth new signing and their first local one. The forward, who turns 21 in April, made three appearances for the Young Lions last year. Fikri was given his professional debut in 2019 at Geylang International, where he played four times in the league.

 

 

20 January

Is this the biggest ever transfer in SPL history? The Lion City Sailors have announced the signing of Brazilian midfielder Diego Lopes, who arrives from Portuguese top-flight side Rio Ave for close to S$3 million! It is the first time ever that a multi-million fee has been paid by a local club. Lopes, who can play anywhere across midfield, has been a regular for Rio Ave during his five-season spell and helped them finished a club-record equalling fifth place last year. It is a remarkable statement of intent from the Sailors, who are surely expected to win the title now. Get all the details here.

 

 

Singapore international Khairul Nizam has joined Hougang United as their eighth new arrival for the upcoming season. The 29-year-old scored four times in 10 games for Geylang International in 2020 and will reinforce a strong roster of attacking names that include Tomoyuki Doi, Shahril Ishak and Shawal Anuar. More details here.

 

 

Former Japan youth international Kondo Kuraba is Albirex Niigata (S)‘s fifth new signing for 2021. The 18-year-old moves from Cerezo Osaka’s Under-18 side, although he has made 11 appearances for their U-23s in J3 League since debuting in 2019.  The attacker has been capped at U-15 and U-16 level, and was part of the Japan side that won the 2018 AFC U-16 Championship title. More details here.

 

 

19 January

Tampines Rovers‘ Serbian star, Zehrudin Mehmedović, will stay for the 2021 season. Once coveted by the likes of Manchester City, Roma and Arsenal, the former wonderkid was brought to Singapore by Stags assistant coach Fahrudin Mustafic in 2019 and has established himself as one of the league’s best players in the past two seasons. The Novi Pazar native, who turns 23 in March, has scored 14 times and made 11 assists in 52 appearances across all competitions.

 

 

The Lion City Sailors have extended the stay of Haiqal Pashia, who joined from the Young Lions last season. The 22-year-old, who has been capped for Singapore from Under-16 to 22 level, started eight of his nine appearances in 2020.

 

 

Balestier Khalsa have signed young midfielder Hariysh Krishnakumar, 18, from Geylang International. He has been with the Eagles’ Under-19 side for the past two seasons and looks set to make his professional bow in 2021.

 

 

Geylang International have tied Fareez Farhan down to a third straight campaign. The 26-year-old made six starts in 10 appearances for the Eagles last season, registering one goal and two assists. The Singapore international will play his 11th SPL season in 2021.

 

 

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18 January

Hafiz Nor will spend a fourth consecutive season at Bishan Stadium after agreeing a contract extension with the Lion City Sailors. The 32-year-old winger joined Home United in 2018 and a good season in 2019 saw him earn a recall to the Singapore national team after a three-year absence. He started half of the Sailors’ 14 games last season and will play his 12th straight local top-flight season.

 

 

Hougang United have made one of the highest-profile transfers so far by bringing in former Singapore captain Shahril Ishak. One of the finest to ever pull on a Lions jersey, the Republic’s second-highest capped international moves from the Lion City Sailors to Hougang Stadium. The wily veteran still has plenty to offer despite turning 37 next month and will hope to inspire the Cheetahs to better things. More details here.

 

 

Young full-back Julian Tan has been promoted to Tanjong Pagar United‘s main squad for 2021. The 21-year-old undergraduate made his professional debut last season and will look to add to that sole appearance.

 

 

There’s another one in the Albirex Niigata (S) camp as Yu Tokiwa joins from the Niigata University of Health and Welfare. The defender turns 23 in May and is a Kanagawa native.

 

 

17 January

Shuya Yamashita has become Albirex Niigata (S)‘s third signing and first permanent arrival. The defender, who turns 23 in April, hails from Ishikawa and is a graduate of Tokoha University.

 

 

16 January

Playmaker Shahdan Sulaiman will stay with the Lion City Sailors for a second season. The 32-year-old midfielder, regarded as one of the most technically-gifted of his generation, scored once and made six assists in 13 appearances last year. It will be a 14th SPL season for the Singapore international, capped 64 times at international level.

 

 

Albirex Niigata (S) have made their second new signing by bringing in Reo Kunimoto. The 19-year-old defender has arrived on loan from J2 League side Renofa Yamaguchi.

 

 

15 January

Abdil Qaiyyim will play a seventh straight season at Bishan after extending his contract with the Lion City Sailors. The one-time Singapore international defender, 32, has been a mainstay at Home United since joining in 2015 and stayed on when they were privatised to the Sailors.

 

 

Hougang United have signed teenage goalkeeper Aizil Yazid as their third-choice custodian. The Singapore Under-15 international, who turned 16 last December, moves from Albirex Niigata (S). He is the second son of former Singapore goalkeeper and SPL stalwart Yazid Yasin, who played for 21 seasons, and will hope to get an opportunity to make his professional debut.

 

 

There is a first new arrival at Jurong East’s other side as Kiyoshiro Tsuboi joins Albirex Niigata (S). The forward, who turns 21 in February, moves on loan from J2 League outfit Tokushima Vortis. It will be Tsuboi’s fourth professional season, having spent the past two campaigns on loan in the lower echelons of Japan’s leagues.

 

 

Albirex Niigata (S) have confirmed the transfer of Kotaro Takeda to the Japanese fourth tier. The 23-year-old centre-back played every minute of their title-winning campaign and will now link up with FC Tiamo Hirakata, who are based in Osaka. Founded in 2004, the club won their fifth-tier league championship last season to move to the fourth tier for the first time.

 

 

14 January

Today’s first piece of news is that of Stipe Plazibat‘s contract extension with the Lion City Sailors. Last season’s Golden Boot winner will hope to be fit and firing as the club aims to win titles in their second season. You can read all about the Croatian marksman’s hopes and dreams here.

 

 

14 January

Rio Sakuma, a key part of Albirex Niigata (S)‘s title-winning side, will depart for Cambodia to join Royal Cambodian Armed Forces Football Club FA, or Tiffy Army as they are known. The centre-back, who turns 24 in April, scored once in 13 appearances in his maiden professional season.

 

 

13 January

Veteran goalkeeper Hassan Sunny has committed to playing the 2021 season with the Lion City Sailors. The 36-year-old made eight appearances for the club last year, having spent the previous two in Thailand with Army United. Capped 85 times by Singapore, it will be Hassan’s 14th SPL season.

 

 

Wow. In a stunning turn of events, Tanjong Pagar United have convinced former Singapore star Ridhuan Muhammad to come out of retirement! The 36-year-old left the scene quietly in 2018 after a short stint with Indonesia’s Borneo FC Samarinda but will now play for a fifth different SPL club in his 12th domestic campaign. A promising star at 19 when he broke through in 2003, Ridhuan went on to become a fearsome winger blessed with pace and skill. That earned him a move to Arema in Indonesia in 2009, where he became wildly popular, while he was also part of the Lions’ victorious AFF Championship triumphs in 2004 and 2007. More details here. Didn’t see that coming, did you?

 

 

Hougang United have pulled off a big coup by securing the signature of Tomoyuki Doi, who scored 11 times and made three assists in 14 games to lead Albirex Niigata (S) to the SPL title last season. The 23-year-old Japanese attacker was one of the league’s standout performers and was a nominee for Player of the Year. More details here.

 

 

Midfielder Mahiro Takahashi, who turns 20 in June, will stay at Albirex Niigata (S) for the 2021 season. He made nine appearances, all off the bench, in 2020 and will aim to get more playing time for the new campaign.

 

 

12 January

The Lion City Sailors have announced, on his birthday no less, that Adam Swandi will stay at the club for another season. The 25-year-old attacker returned to action after a year out on the sidelines last season and made 11 appearances, chipping in with four goals and two assists. The 10-time Singapore international will play his seventh SPL season.

 

 

Skilful attacker Ryosuke Nagasawa will terrorise opponents for Albirex Niigata (S) for a second straight season as the 22-year-old penned a contract renewal. The Osaka native, capped at Under-16, Under-17 and Under-18 level for Japan, scored thrice and led the club’s assists chart with four to help them win the title.

 

 

11 January

Afiq Yunos has returned to Hougang United ahead of the new season. The 30-year-old centre-back started the 2020 season on loan to Thai top-flight outfit Trat FC, but returned in April after terminating his contract by mutual agreement due to the league being halted amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The Singapore international, capped 12 times for the country, did not return to the pitch thereafter and will now have to compete for a spot in the Cheetahs line-up. It will be Afiq’s 11th SPL season, having begun his journey with the Young Lions in 2008 before going on to have stints at Tampines Rovers, Home United and Geylang International. The strapping defender, who spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons with the LionsXII, joined Hougang in 2019.

 

 

The 2021 season will be Song Uiyoung‘s 10th in the SPL and it will be with the Lion City Sailors. The 27-year-old South Korean midfielder has established himself as one of the league’s shining lights since first arriving in Singapore to play for Home United in 2012. He scored nine times in 12 appearances in 2020 – his second-best ever seasonal haul, just one short of the 10 he tallied in 2018. A dynamic presence, Song will be key to a title tilt from the Sailors.

 

 

The busiest club in the transfer market have made a sixth addition to their squad, as Emmeric Ong signs for Tanjong Pagar United. The 29-year-old moves from Hougang United, whom he re-joined last August, making the Jaguars his fourth SPL club. Capped twice by Singapore, the former Young Lions, LionsXII and Warriors FC player can play at right-back, centre-back and in midfield.

 

 

Fairoz Hasan has agreed to play the upcoming season with Albirex Niigata (S). The 32-year-old signed for the Japanese side last October and scored once in eight appearances to help them win the league. It will be the attacker’s 14th consecutive season in the SPL.

 

 

10 January

The reigning SPL Player of the Year stays at the Lion City Sailors. A splendid 2020 season from Gabriel Quak saw him win the big prize and the 30-year-old attacker will look to build on a campaign that saw him score five times and make a league-leading seven assists.

 

 

Left-back Yasuhiro Hanada will play the 2021 season with Albirex Niigata (S), having made 11 appearances (one start) last season. The defender, who turns 21 in May, chipped in with one goal and three assists as the White Swans won the title.

 

 

9 January

It’s a big one from Geylang International, who have announced the arrival of Izzdin Shafiq from the Lion City Sailors. The 30-year-old central midfielder is known for his precise passing and playmaking abilities, and moves on after four years at Bishan. Capped 39 times at international level, Izzdin found regular game time hard to come by with just three starts in his 11 appearances last year. He is set to complement combative Dutchman Barry Maguire in the Eagles midfield. More details here.

 

 

The new arrivals keep coming – Tanjong Pagar United have announced the signing of defender Shahrin Saberin from Geylang International. The 25-year-old centre-back made 13 league appearances over two seasons for the Eagles, having made his professional bow with Home United in 2015. Capable of filling in at right-back as well, the 2017 SEA Games captain will reinforce the Jaguars’ rearguard.

 

 

Veteran custodian Hyrulnizam Juma’at will stay at Albirex Niigata (S) for a third consecutive season. The 34-year-old joined the Japanese side in 2019 and has made one appearance. Part of the Singapore side that won the 2012 AFF Championship, Hyrulnizam started his career with the Young Lions in 2009 and has played for Home United, Tampines Rovers and Warriors FC during his career.

 

 

Midfield maestro Kyoga Nakamura will play for Tampines Rovers in 2021, having been retained as part of the club’s foreign roster. The 24-year-old completed all 14 league games in his maiden Stags campaign last year and laid on four assists. The former Under-17 World Cup player caught the eye with a stellar debut SPL season the year before with Albirex Niigata (S), which led to nominations for the 2019 Young Player of the Year and Goal of the Year awards. We sat down with him for a chat last year, which you can read here.

 

 

8 January

Tampines Rovers round off today’s transfer activity by landing Amirul Haikal from the Young Lions. The 21-year-old made his professional debut with the Young Lions last year and registered 11 appearances (10 starts). A Singapore youth international at Under-18 level, the left midfielder was part of the U-22 squad that took part in the 2020 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) U-23 Championship qualifiers in 2019. Amirul is the Stags’ second signing from the Young Lions after Marc Ryan Tan and their third overall.

 

 

It’s a busy day in the market as Geylang International announce a second recruit, with Iqram Rifqi joining on loan from the Lion City Sailors. The 24-year-old can play at left-back and also on either wing upfront, and follows Faizal Roslan in moving to the Eagles from Bishan. Iqram made just one appearance last year for the Sailors after spending most of the season injured, having enjoyed regular playing time at their predecessors, Home United, since breaking through in 2017. His good form led to a Singapore call-up in November 2019 and saw him make his international debut against Asian champions Qatar in a friendly, before adding one more cap in the Lions’ final game of the year – a 2-1 away win against Yemen.

 

 

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Meanwhile at Hougang United, there is a third new signing – Idraki Adnan, who joins from the Young Lions as well. The fleet-footed winger also made his professional debut last year and clocked six appearances. The 21-year-old returns to the Cheetahs, where he turned out for their Prime League side in 2018 before enlisting for National Service.

 

 

There’s a fourth arrival at Tanjong Pagar United, who have secured the services of Shahib Masnawi. The 20-year-old made his professional debut with the Young Lions last year and appeared six times in the league. Able to play at both left-back and left wing, Shahib is the elder brother of current Jaguars attacker, Syahadat.

 

 

Midfielder Ryoya Taniguchi, who scored the title-winning goal for Albirex Niigata (S) last season, will play for them in 2021. The 21-year-old Ishikawa native scored four goals and made two assists as he featured in all 14 league games.

 

 

Taufik Suparno will play a fourth consecutive season for Tampines Rovers, having extended his contract. The 25-year-old forward scored thrice in 12 games last season and it will be his fifth overall campaign with the Stags, having spent 2015 and 2017 with the Young Lions.

 

 

7 January

Geylang International have made Faizal Roslan their first new signing of the 2021 season. The 25-year-old defender joins on loan from the Lion City Sailors, where he found playing time limited to seven substitute appearances and one start in 14 games last year. Prior to that, Faizal had completed every game bar one of the 48 league matches over two seasons for Home United, their predecessor. Capable of playing at both full-back positions as well as centre-back and defensive midfield, Faizal made his professional bow for the Young Lions in 2016 and stayed there for another season before moving to Home.

 

 

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Farihin Farkhan will don Tanjong Pagar United‘s colours for a second straight season, having made his professional debut last year. The 22-year-old attacker scored once in eight appearances in 2020.

 

 

There’s been a third new signing over at Tampines Rovers and it is Iman Hakim, who moves from Albirex Niigata (S). The 18-year-old midfielder started nine games in his first professional season and earned plaudits for his enterprising performances. Capped at both Under-16 and Under-19 level for Singapore, Iman was the recipient of the prestigious Dollah Kassim Award in 2019 and is regarded as one of the country’s brightest talents.

 

 

Young midfield star Ong Yu En will continue his journey with Albirex Niigata (S). Having made his professional debut last season and scored his first goal on his first start, the talented 17-year-old will look to build on some promising displays from his four appearances in 2020.

 

 

Tampines Rovers revealed Irfan Najeeb as their second new signing late last night, noting that the defender will link up with the team after completing National Service (NS) at the end of this month. The 21-year-old made his debut with the Stags in 2018 and caught the eye with some solid displays, before turning out for the Young Lions last year during NS. The nephew of Singapore legend Shahril Ishak, Irfan was also part of the Southeast Asian Games squad in 2019. The Stags also confirmed the stays of Shah Shahiran, Hamizan Hisham, Danish Siregar and Andrew Aw earlier this morning.

 

 

6 January

Versatile midfielder Ammirul Emmran will play a second season with Tanjong Pagar United. The 25-year-old signed for the Jaguars in the latter half of last year and featured 11 times (nine starts), after a career that saw him spend time with the Young Lions and Warriors FC.

 

 

Hougang United have unveiled their second new signing and it’s a big one. Centre-back Kaishu Yamazaki, 23, is expected to helm the Cheetahs’ back-line as he joins from the Lion City Sailors. Since arriving in Singapore with Albirex Niigata (S) in 2018 and winning the SPL that season, the Japanese defender has established himself as one of the best in the league. He was named to the SPL Team of the Year in 2019 and 2020, and bolsters a rearguard that kept just one clean sheet in 14 games last year. More details here.

 

 

Kazuki Hashioka will lead Albirex Niigata (S) for second consecutive season. The right-back, who turns 24 later this month, played every single minute of the White Swans’ victorious league campaign and established himself as one of the league’s best full-backs with his rampaging forays and eye for goal. The older brother of Japan international Daiki, he scored once and made four assists – a joint-best tally amongst the league’s defenders.

 

 

Defenders Madhu Mohana and Ryaan Sanizal will stay at Tampines Rovers for the 2021 season. It will be a ninth SPL campaign for Madhu, capped 30 times by Singapore and capable of playing at both centre-back and right-back. The 29-year-old has made close to 150 league appearances and played for the Young Lions, Woodlands Wellington and Warriors FC before joining Tampines in 2017. Ryaan, 18, has been capped at Under-16 and Under-19 level for Singapore and made his debut in 2019. He can also play at both right-back and centre-back and scored once in 10 appearances last season.

 

 

5 January

Young attacker Marc Ryan Tan has been announced as Tampines Rovers‘ first new signing for the new season. The 18-year-old, who can play on either flank, joins from the Young Lions. Tan made nine appearances last season in his maiden professional campaign, notching one assist. He follows in his father’s footsteps – Steven Tan, the former Singapore international who made his name as a super-substitute, won the 2004 and 2005 league titles with the Stags and then became the first to do it as both player and coach when he led them to the 2011 crown.

 

 

Suhairi Sabri continues his journey with Tanjong Pagar United. The 24-year-old central midfielder made his professional bow with Home United in 2018 and moved on to the Jaguar last year, for whom he started all 14 league games and scored once.

 

 

Yasir Hanapi will captain Tampines Rovers for the 2021 season, with Daniel Bennett as his deputy. The Stags confirmed the duo’s stay at the club earlier this morning. Yasir, 31, has made over 100 appearance for Tampines since joining in 2016, having started his career at Geylang United in 2008. Capped a record 142 times for Singapore, Bennett, 42, has played for Tampines since 2017 after spending time at six different local clubs and winning the league five times at Warriors FC. Fellow defenders Baihakki Khaizan and Irwan Shah also stay, meaning the Stags have a wealth of experience at the back.

 

 

The Stags have also confirmed their trio of goalkeepers – Syazwan Buhari will face competition from Zulfairuuz Rudy and Danial Iliya.

 

 

4 January

New signing alert – Hougang United have added Mukundan Maran to their goalkeeping ranks for 2021! The 24-year-old is back in the SPL after spending the past two years in National Service with the Navy. The custodian, who stands at close to 1.9 metres, was part of Warriors FC’s Singapore Pools FA Cup-winning side in 2017 and made his professional debut the same year in the League Cup. In 2018, he established himself as the team’s first-choice goalkeeper in the league, keeping five clean sheets in 18 games. Mukundan is the Cheetahs’ first new arrival for 2021 and will compete with Ridhuan Barudin for a starting place.

 

 

 

Midfield hardman Raihan Rahman will play his 10th SPL season after extending his contract with Tanjong Pagar United. The 29-year-old featured 11 times for the Jaguars last season, whom he joined after spending three years with Balestier Khalsa. Raihan, who has been capped thrice by Singapore, also counts the Young Lions, LionsXII and Hougang United amongst his former clubs.

 

 

3 January

Delwinder Singh has extended his contract with Tanjong Pagar United to play the 2021 season. The 28-year-old centre-back, who started his professional career with the club in 2011, returned to don their colours when the Jaguars made their SPL comeback last year. Capped five times by Singapore, the no-nonsense defender was one of the team’s standout performers and made nine appearances.

 

 

2 January

Faritz Hameed will skipper Tanjong Pagar United for a second consecutive season as he extends his stay. It will be the 30-year-old’s 10th season in the SPL, having begun his career with the Young Lions in 2009. The right-back spent 2013 to 2015 with the LionsXII and returned to Singapore with Geylang International. Faritz spent two seasons there before another two at Home United, with Tanjong Pagar his next port of call in 2020. Capped 33 times at international level, Faritz made 11 appearances for the Jaguars last year and has amassed over 160 in the league.

 

 

31 December

Amirul Adli has indicated he will leave Tampines Rovers for new pastures. The 24-year-old Singapore international has made his mark with the Stags, where he has spent the last three years as a first-team regular.

 

 

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Another goalkeeper will extend his stay at Tanjong Pagar UnitedJoey Sim will look to add to a single appearance for the club in 2020, having made a comeback to professional football after leaving the scene at the end of the 2017 season. The 33-year-old started his journey with Home United in 2007 and went on to play for Sengkang Punggol, Balesiter Khalsa, Geylang United and Tampines Rovers. He has also been capped once at international level for Singapore and was part of the 2012 AFF Championship-winning squad.

 

 

Meanwhile, Singapore international midfielder M. Anumanthan has joined Malaysia Super League side Kedah FA. The 26-year-old began his career with the Young Lions in 2012 and was named Young Player of the Year at the end of his maiden season with Hougang United in 2016. He spent 2017 and 2018 with Home United, and won the AFC Cup ASEAN Zone final in the latter season, before returning to Hougang in 2019. Injury restricted Anu, capped 19 times for the Lions, to seven appearances in 2020 and he will hope to make a big impact in his first venture overseas. According to The New Paper, he will depart for Malaysia this weekend.

 

29 December

Hougang United announce a third batch of contract extensions, this time confirming the stays of Shawal Anuar, Naufal Azman, Shahfiq Ghani and Sahil Suhaimi.

 

 

Tanjong Pagar United have retained the services of goalkeeper Fashah Iskandar, who made four appearances last season. The 25-year-old made his professional debut in 2016 with the Young Lions and turned out for Warriors FC before joining the Jaguars in 2020.

 

 

There is a new arrival at Bishan as Balestier Khalsa announced late last night that centre-back Amer Hakeem has become their second signing for the upcoming season. The 22-year-old made his professional debut with the Young Lions in 2018 and sat out the 2019 season while he was enlisted in National Service. Amer then returned to action with the Young Lions earlier this year and has clocked 12 league appearances to date. The younger brother of Geylang International’s Adam will reinforce the Tigers’ back-line and follows Gareth Low in making the move to the club.

 

 

28 December

More contract extension news out of Hougang United, from where we have also learned that Lionel Tan‘s nickname is Buzz Lightyear. The centre-back will turn out for the Cheetahs for 2021, alongside defenders Hafiz Sujad, Nazrul Nazari and Faiz Salleh, as well as midfielders Fabian Kwok, Muhaimin Suhaimi, Nikesh Singh, Farhan Zulkifli and Afiq Noor.

 

 

26 December

Hougang United have officially confirmed the contract extensions of goalkeeper Ridhuan Barudin, and defenders Anders Aplin and Maksat Dzhakybaliev. Ridhuan, 33, was first-choice for the Cheetahs last year in his sixth season at the club while centre-back Aplin, 29, started every league game and scored twice in his debut campaign for Hougang. Dzhakybaliev, 20, featured seven times in his maiden season, six of which were off the bench, and is the only foreigner retained by Hougang for 2021.

 

 

18 December

Midfield general Barry Maguire will play a third consecutive season with Geylang International. The 31-year-old scored thrice and missed only one game in 2020 to help the Eagles clinch AFC Cup qualification for the first time since 2010. We spoke to the former Netherlands youth international earlier in the year – you can read that interview here.

 

 

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It’s another big statement from Tanjong Pagar United, who have announced the signing of former Singapore international Khairul Amri today afternoon. The 35-year-old forward returns to the SPL after spending 2020 with Felda United and joins a forward line that already comprises Luiz Junior and Reo Nishiguchi. An expert predator who has scored over 100 goals in the league, Amri will surely add to that tally in 2021. More here.

 

 

16 December

Geylang International confirm the contract extensions of seven more players: Christopher van Huizen, Zikos Chua, Nur Luqman Rahman, Amy Recha, Firdaus Kasman, Azri Suhaili and Umar Akhbar.

 

Left-back Takahiro Tanaka and centre-back Yann Motta have left Tanjong Pagar United. Tanaka, 27, topped the club’s assists chart with four assists while Motta, 21, scored twice. The Jaguars added in their social media post that Motta will join Indonesian giants Persija Jakarta next year.

 

There is a first new arrival for Balestier Khalsa, who have recruited midfielder Gareth Low. The 23-year-old midfielder moves on after one season at Albirex Niigata (S), where he made six appearances. The former Singapore youth international made his career debut with the Young Lions in 2016, where he returned to in 2018 after spending 2017 with Hougang. Capable of deputising at left-back, Low will bring versatility to the Tigers.

 

 

The clubs announced their retained and released lists earlier this week – you can find that here.

 

15 December

Tanjong Pagar United have announced that Brazilian star Luiz Júnior will play on for another season! The 30-year-old scored seven times in 14 games in his debut season and was arguably the brightest spot of the Jaguars’ campaign. Together with Reo Nishiguchi and Blake Ricciuto, there is some serious firepower there…

 

 

Balestier Khalsa have confirmed the retainment of their current foreign quarter for the 2021 season. Forward Šime Žužul, 24 and attacker Kristijan Krajček, 27, will don their colours for a third year while striker Shuhei Hoshino, 24 and centre-back Ensar Brunčević, 21, will ply their trade with the Tigers for a second consecutive season.

 

 

14 December

Statement move Part Two? Following the signing of Blake Ricciuto, Tanjong Pagar United have added Japanese hotshot Reo Nishiguchi to their foreign roster. The 23-year-old attacker scored in each of his first five SPL matches for Albirex Niigata (S) in his debut season this year, before injury struck and restricted him to just six more appearances.

 

Meanwhile, Geylang International announced that seven players have stayed on for next season: goalkeepers Zainol Gulam, Hairul Syirhan and Wayne Chew, and defenders Yuki Ichikawa, Darren Teh, Adam Hakeem and Harith Kanadi. The Eagles, who qualified for the AFC Cup on the final day, termed the slew of announcements as “Wave 1”, so expect more news to come…

 

 

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12 December

Statement move? Tanjong Pagar United have announced the signing of Blake Ricciuto, who was ever-present in Brunei DPMM’s 2019 title-winning campaign. The 28-year-old Australian midfielder is the Jaguars’ first recruit for the new season and will look to help them do better than the last-place finish of 2020.

 

 

11 December

Young goalkeeper Zacharial Leong has signed on with Balestier Khalsa for the 2021 season. The 22-year-old custodian featured thrice on the bench (2017 – one league and one Singapore Cup; 2018 – one league) before making his professional debut in April 2019 against Brunei DPMM, which ended in a 7-1 home defeat.

 

10 December

Big news out of the Tampines Rovers camp, where it has been announced that Jordan Webb will be leaving. The 32-year-old Canadian attacker, who scored his 100th SPL goal earlier this year, joined the Stags for a second spell in 2018. Webb first arrived in Singapore in 2010 and began his professional career with Hougang United, before spending time at Home United, Young Lions and Warriors FC. Tampines also confirmed the departures of defender Shannon Stephen and midfielder Huzaifah Aziz.

 

 

9 December

The Lion City Sailors have released three big names – club captain Izzdin Shafiq, veteran attacker Shahril Ishak and centre-back Kaishu Yamazaki. Midfielder Izzdin, 29, joined in 2017 while Shahril, 36, joined a year later. Shahril, who made his professional debut in 2003 with the Young Lions, became the oldest scorer in the SPL at 36 years and 317 days when he scored on the final day against Balestier Khalsa – since Daniel Bennett (40y 248d) netted in Tampines’ 2-1 away defeat to Brunei DPMM in September 2018. Yamazaki, 23, leaves after one season at Bishan, having played the 2018 and 2019 seasons with Albirex Niigata (S).

 

 

7 December

Versatile defender Ahmad Syahir will continue to turn out for Balestier Khalsa in 2021. The 28-year-old, who has been with the club since 2013, can play on either flank and also at centre-back. He surpassed 150-appearance mark for the club in 2020.

 

 

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