News • May 28, 2017

Raihan Yearns Return To Winning Ways


RHB Singapore Cup 2017 (Preliminary Round)

Balestier Khalsa vs Nagaworld FC (Cambodia)

(1 June, Thursday, 8.30pm, Toa Payoh Stadium)

Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

Balestier Khalsa will be seeking for better fortunes when they lock horns with Cambodian outfit Nagaworld FC in a rescheduled RHB Singapore Cup 2017 Preliminary Round match at the Toa Payoh Stadium on Thursday night.

Winners of the competition in 2014, the Tigers are going through a rough patch of form at the moment, having lost their last five matches as they find themselves in seventh spot in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League.

Midfielder Raihan Rahman is however confident that Balestier are up to the task and have the ability to get something out of this game.

“For a young squad like ours, we’ve been doing well but results just haven’t gone our way,” said the former Hougang United player.

“We take every game seriously and we will continue to give our best no matter what, and see how it goes from there. Hopefully the result will favour us this time round especially when Balestier have traditionally done well in Cup games.”

Having seen Albirex sweep away all four trophies that were on offer in Singapore football  last year, Raihan is determined not to allow foreign sides do the same again this year.

“We will do our best for the club,” he continued.

“It’s very important to win as this is our Cup and we cannot let what happen last year. The S.League clubs have to step up and and show everyone that we are capable of winning games.

In a game of such magnitude, Raihan is keen to put his experience to good use and mentor his lesser experienced teammates when they take to the field.

“I will definitely guide them as much as possible, especially when we have younger players who do not really have this kind of experience in their career,” the 26-year-old shared.

“But we will take this game like any other game and not think too much about the pressure that may come with it.”

Unlike previous years where invited teams would play at the Jalan Besar Stadium, this match will be played at Toa Payoh and Raihan hopes this could give his side the edge over their opponents on Wednesday night.

“It’s a good advantage for us because we know our pitch very well as we train there regularly,” he noted.

“We will therefore adapt very quickly while they (Nagaworld) may take sometime to do so especially when it’s unlikely they will be able to train at Toa Payoh where the pitch can be a bit hard and bumpy.”

Balestier will face a familiar foe in the form of defender Kento Fujihara who turned out for S.League side Albirex Niigata (S) from 2014 to 2016.

And Raihan is well-aware of the threat the Japanese can pose.

“While I’m good friends with Kento off the pitch, I know what he’s capable of,” he shared. “He can be a handful at at set pieces and is a determined player who gives his best for the team.”

 Suspension: Hanafi Salleh (Balestier Khalsa)

Balestier Khalsa – LLLLL

26/05/17 Balestier Khalsa 0-1 Geylang International

19/05/17 Warriors FC 1-0 Balestier Khalsa

02/05/17 Home United 1-0 Balestier Khalsa

27/04/17 Hougang United 1-0 Balestier Khalsa

21/04/17 Balestier Khalsa 0-3 Albirex Niigata (S)

Nagaworld FC – LWWWD

24/05/17 Nagaworld FC 2-2 Police Commissary

14/05/17 Kirivong Sok Sen Chey FC 1-3 Nagaworld FC

06/05/17 Svay Rieng FC 1-3 Nagaworld FC

29/04/17 Police Commissary 1-2 Nagaworld FC

22/04/17 Nagaworld FC 1-2 Boeung Ket FC