Singapore Premier League • February 22, 2022
2022 SPL Club Guide: Hougang United
22 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. We turn our attentions to Hougang United today!
Nickname: The Cheetahs
Stadium: Hougang Stadium
Highest finish: 3rd (2019, 2021)
2021 finish: 3rd
Chairman: Bill Ng
Head coach: Clement Teo
Captain: Fabian Kwok
Foreigners: Kaishu Yamazaki* (Japan), André Moritz (Brazil), Pedro Bortoluzo (Brazil), Kristijan Krajček (Croatia)
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Spurred by the 19-goal exploits of 2021’s SPL Player of the Year, Tomoyuki Doi, Hougang United clinched a top-three finish last season for only the second time in their history and secured Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup football for 2022.
While Doi has left for new pastures, Clement Teo has moved swiftly to reinforce his side with the arrivals of Brazilian forward Pedro Bortoluzo and the lively Amy Recha, who hit a personal-best 12 goals last season. The return of winger Idraki Adnan from injury will be a big boost for the Cheetahs, who have also pulled off a surprise signing in the form of former Crystal Palace and Bolton Wanderers attacking midfielder André Moritz. The 35-year-old will add quality in the final third along with Croat Kristijan Krajček, who joins from Balestier Khalsa.
Stalwarts like Lionel Tan, Faiz Salleh, Kaishu Yamazaki and Shawal Anuar will be expected to drive the team on and the return of Zulfahmi Arifin will provide them with quality in the middle and at the back.
Hougang showed last season that they are an exciting side going forward but will be aware of the need to shore up a defence that conceded 40 times in 21 matches if they are to realise their ambitions of challenging domestically and doing well in the AFC Cup.
Squad (as at time of publication)
Goalkeepers: Mukundan Maran, Ridhuan Barudin, Aizil Yazid^
Defenders: Anders Aplin, Nazrul Nazari, Lionel Tan, Hafiz Sujad, Faiz Salleh, Nazhiim Harman^
Midfielders: Kaishu Yamazaki, Shahfiq Ghani, Afiq Noor, Fabian Kwok, Kristijan Krajček, Idraki Adnan^, Muhaimin Suhaimi, Kishson Philip^, Amir Zalani, André Moritz, Zulfahmi Arifin
Forwards: Pedro Bortoluzo, Shawal Anuar, Shahril Ishak, Amy Recha, Sahil Suhaimi
*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 | Geylang International | Young Lions