Singapore Premier League • February 21, 2022
2022 SPL Club Guide: Geylang International
21 FEBRUARY 2022 – Ahead of the 2022 AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) season, we take a look at each of the eight clubs that are participating in the 27th season of the domestic top flight. Today’s focus is on Geylang International!
Nickname: The Eagles
Stadium: Our Tampines Hub
Highest finish: 1st (1996, 2001)
2021 finish: 6th
Chairman: Thomas Gay
Head coach: Mohd Noor Ali
Captain: Zaiful Nizam
Foreigners: Rio Sakuma* (Japan), Šime Žužul (Croatia), Vincent Bezecourt (France), Takahiro Tezuka (Japan)
Social media platforms: Facebook | Instagram
Hopes were high that the Eagles could soar higher in 2021 after finishing fourth the year before but inconsistency plagued them as they eventually ended up two places off the bottom.
Matheus Moresche and Amy Recha hit 11 and 12 goals each to provide many of the highs, but both have left for greener pastures and Mohd Noor Ali will have to hope that their replacements, Hazzuwan Halim and hotshot Šime Žužul – both from Balestier Khalsa – can fill their boots. At the back, Rio Sakuma and Fadli Kamis have been recruited to bolster the league’s joint-worst defence while Zaiful Nizam, who joined the club late last year, should prove to be a safe pair of hands in goal.
A number of new faces have come in as Noor revamps the midfield. Japanese defensive midfielder Takahiro Tezuka enjoyed a stellar debut season with Albirex Niigata (S) and his distribution ability, not to mention his set-piece prowess, will be a boon. Frenchman Vincent Bezecourt arrives with plenty of pedigree, having won the Armenian Premier League with Alashkert last season and turned out for the New York Red Bulls in Major League Soccer a few years ago. Huzaifah Aziz and Suria Prakash will be eager to prove themselves, although Geylang do look to be a little lacking in depth.
Squad (as at time of publication)
Goalkeepers: Zulfairuuz Rudy, Zaiful Nizam, Hafiz Ahmad
Defenders: Fadli Kamis, Ilhan Noor^, Abdil Qaiyyim, Rio Sakuma, Ahmad Syahir, Faizal Roslan
Midfielders: Takahiro Tezuka, Joshua Pereira, Vincent Bezecourt, Huzaifah Aziz, Umar Akhbar, Noor Ariff, Khairul Hairie^, Suria Prakash
Forwards: Hazzuwan Halim, Fareez Farhan, Šime Žužul
*All SPL clubs, excluding Albirex Niigata (S) and Young Lions, are allowed to register up to four foreign players; at least one has to be of an AFC Member Association (Asian) nationality. A maximum of four foreign players can be named or fielded in any one match.
^Indicates Under-23 player (born on or after 1 January 1999) of Singaporean nationality. All SPL clubs, excluding Young Lions, are required to field a minimum of one such player during the entire first half of every match. All clubs, except Albirex Niigata (S) and Young Lions, may also include a maximum of five players from their Centre of Excellence (COE) Under-21 Team, either in the starting line-up or as a substitute, provided it does not contravene any of the other Competition Rules.
Check out other previews: Lion City Sailors | Albirex Niigata (S) | Tampines Rovers | Balestier Khalsa | Tanjong Pagar United | Hougang United | Young Lions