News • January 24, 2016

Madhu Hopes To Add Steel To Warriors Backline

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Written by: Shawn Lim

They had the unwanted ignominy of being the team that conceded the most goals in the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League 2015, allowing opponents to score a whooping 51 goals in 27 games against them.

Therefore, it came as no surprise when Warriors FC decided that it needed to revamp its entire backline for the upcoming season as they look to regain the title they won in 2014.

In came experienced and veteran campaigners like Yazid Yasin, Shaiful Esah, Zulfadli Zainal, Hafiz Osman, Ismail Yunos, Kento Fukuda and Madhu Mohana to shore up the leaky defence, which resulted in Warriors finishing in fifth-placed in the league table last year.

For Madhu, the former LionsXII centre-back told S.League.com that his main priority is to help the nine-times S.League champions tighten up at the back.

The 24-year-old is also looking forward to partnering with Fukuda in the heart of defence, having trained with the Japanese in the Singapore Selection XI team during the Barclays Asia Trophy 2015.

“The team is totally different from last season, especially the backline. So I think it is a good challenge for me as a defender to help the team not to concede goals,” said the former Woodlands Wellington player.

“That will be my main target this season – to help the team concede the least number of goals as possible this season.

“Kento is a really hardworking guy, he was called up for the Barclays (Asia Trophy), so I had the opportunity to train with him.

“He is a quite a good player, very disciplined and I can see he puts in a lot of effort during training, so it is a good sign that we will have a good partnership.

“I have not played much competitive games with him yet, but I think we will do fine even though we will need more games to understand each other.”

A winner of the Malaysian Super League and FA Cup during his time with the LionsXII, Madhu is no stranger to collecting silverware in his trophy cabinet.

Which was why when Warriors came calling for him after the LionsXII disbanded, the 1.83m tall player did not think twice about saying yes to the most successful club in the history of the S.League.

“I spoke to the management and I was very happy with what they were going to do with the club,” said Madhu

“They have a very rich history behind them as well, winning nine league titles. So I hope that I can help them win back the title.”

While Madhu is keen to use his championship-winning experience to help his new teammates, he feels that they can offer valuable lessons to him as well.

Apart from the defence, Warriors have also shored up their midfield and attack with foreign signings like Nicola Rak and Jonathan Behe.

Rak is famous for scoring a hat-trick on his debut in the UEFA Europa League with Slaven Belupo, while Behe spent many years playing top-flight football in France.

“This team is pretty experienced, with quite a number of senior players, so I hope to pick up some things from all of them,” explained Madhu.

“At the same time, I hope to bring some of the knowledge that I gained after playing in the MSL for four years to help and guide the players.”

Having spent four years away from the S.League, Madhu is happy to be back in Singapore’s only professional sports league and hopes the influx of former LionsXII players will encourage more fans to attend games.

“The last time I played in the S.League was in 2011 (with Woodlands) and the next four years, I was playing with LionsXII,” said the Singapore International footballer who has nine caps to his name.

“I wasn’t following the league closely, but I think it’s good for the league that the LionsXII players are back with different teams.

“We hope to bring more fans back and increase the atmosphere in the stadium. I hope that there will be rivalry and more fans will be interested in watching us.”