Singapore Premier League • May 9, 2024

2024/25 SPL Club Guide: Hougang United

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Ahead of the 2024-2025 Singapore Premier League (SPL) season, we look at each of the nine clubs participating in the 29th season of the domestic top flight. Today’s focus is on Hougang United!

Seasons: 25

Nickname: The Cheetahs

Stadium: Jalan Besar Stadium

Highest finish: 3rd (2019, 2021)

2023 finish: 6th

Chairman: Bill Ng

Head coach: Marko Kraljević

Captain: Nazrul Nazari

Foreigners: Shodai Yokoyama (Japan), Ensar Brunčević (Serbia), Stjepan Plazonja (Croatia), Petar Banović (Croatia), Puttipat Kaewsawad (Thailand), Faris Hasic (Bosnia)

Key signings: Shodai Yokoyama, Ensar Brunčević, Stjepan Plazonja

 

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Regarded as one of the title contenders last season, Hougang United fell short of expectations as they came in sixth in the SPL and finished as Singapore Cup runners-up.

 

With sights set firmly on doing better in the upcoming campaign, Marko Kraljević has kept hold of midfielder Kristijan Krajček, with his return from injury a huge boost for the Cheetahs. While Serbian striker Đjordje Maksimović, who bagged 14 goals last term has left, frontmen Stjepan Plazonja and Petar Banovic have been brought in to shoulder the goalscoring responsibilities.

 

With seven goals and nine assists in 2023, midfielder Shodai Yokoyama joins from defending champions Albirex Niigata (S) where he was a regular starter. At the back, former Balestier Khalsa defender Ensar Brunčević will be reunited with Kraljević as he makes his return to Singapore football after a year with Serbian outfit Novi Pazar.

 

Meanwhile, club captain Nazrul Nazri has been retained along with the likes of goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam, defender Anders Aplin and winger Gabriel Quak. Old boys Justin Hui and Nikesh Singh have also rejoined the club, while other notable new names for Hougang include former Albirex attacker Zamani Zamri and defender Danish Irfan.

 

Squad (as at time of publication)

 

Goalkeepers: Zaiful Nizam, Kenji Rusydi

 

Defenders: Anders Aplin, Nazrul Nazari, Jordan Vestering, Nazhiim Harman, Danish Irfan, Ensar Brunčević, Faris Hasic

 

Midfielders: Kristijan Krajček, Shahdan Sulaiman, Ajay Robson, Nikesh Singh, Justin Hui, Umar Ramle, Shodai Yokoyama, Puttipat Kaewsawad

 

Forwards: Hazzuwan Halim, Zamani Zamri, Gabriel Quak, Petar Banović, Stjepan Plazonja

 

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