News • April 17, 2017

Renewed Optimism At Home United


After coming in fourth last year, Home United are aiming to achieve better results in the 2017 S.League campaign. Head coach Aidil Sharin has bolstered his squad with a number of high-profile signings as they face commitments on the domestic and continental stage this year.

The Protectors qualified for the AFC Cup proper after overcoming Cambodian outfit Phnom Penh Crown FC 7-3 over two legs in the qualifying playoff and have been drawn to face Yadanarbon FC (Myanmar) and Than Quang Ninh (Vietnam) in Group H.

Singapore national team goalkeeper Hassan Sunny returns to the S.League after spending two years in Thailand with Army United, while the Protectors have successfully captured former Hougang United top scorer Stipe Plazibat to fill the void left behind by talismanic striker Ken Ilso.

For Hassan, he is determined to give his best between the posts and hopes his teammates will raise the bar this year to achieve the team’s objective.

“Hard work means everything to me. You will never achieve anything if you are lazy and success won’t come to you. You need to work to get there so I always tell my juniors to work hard every single session,” said Hassan.

Home will be the fifth S.League outfit that Hassan will be turning out for and even at 32, the custodian is determined to keep his place in goal.

“On my part I will continue to work hard and fight for the number one spot for both club and country,” added the goalkeeper.

Ex-Garena Young Lions’ starlets Adam Swandi and Christopher van Huizen will add fresh blood in attack and they will be looking forward to work in tandem with Singapore internationals Faris Ramli and Khairul Nizam who have both extended their stay at the club.

Widely regarded for his versatility and speed, Faris has expressed his desire to win silverware this season and is hopeful they have the ability to put an end to Home’s wait for the S.League title.

“I am confident that we will do well this season as we have a very good and balanced squad. “If we focus and do what is expected of us in every game, I believe we have what it takes to win the league,” said the midfielder.

In addition, the six-time Singapore Cup winners have retained the services of 2016 S.League Young Player of the Year nominee Song Ui-young, the versatile Irfan Fandi and marauding full-back Juma’at Jantan.

Acknowledging that the 2017 season will be a competitive one, Aidil said: “While we must go higher than last season’s finish in the S.League, it is going to be tough.

“With the AFC Cup, S.League, Singapore Cup and League Cup, its four tournaments in a year and it’s not going to be easy.

“We have a much balanced team compared to last season, and I feel we are now better positioned. We definitely have to handle it well and manage the players’ recovery, as this is an important year for us.”

On the acquisition of van Huizen, Aidil believes the winger can provide him with more options tactically, especially if injuries and suspensions creep into the team over the course of the season.

“I’m very impressed ever since van Huizen came in as he showed lots of professionalism, before and after training,” added the former Singapore international.

“He’s a very talented winger. He’s can deliver good balls and is not only one-footed. He has done well for the LionsXII, Tampines Rovers and Garena Young Lions and we want to bring in more players like him.”

Hoping to repay his coach’s faith, van Huizen has vowed to give his best for the team and improve on their league standings this season.

“As long as the coaches’ demands are within my ability, I will definitely give them what they need and I hope that the team will finish in the top three at least,” he said.

Home will get their S.League season underway against Garena Young Lions on February 27 at the Bishan Stadium with kick-off scheduled for 7.30pm.

S.League 2017 fixtures: