Singapore Premier League • December 13, 2015
S.League clubs strengthening squad ahead of new season
2016 will see more local professional players as the number of foreign players are limited to three per club, coupled with the expansion of squad size to 25 players.
Written by: Khalis Rifhan
S.League clubs are set to benefit from new rulings for the new Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League season, scheduled to start in February 2016.
Among the changes are the reduction of foreign players quota from five to three. The other significant change is the expansion of the squad size from 22 to 25 players. This will allow even more local professionals to play for S.League clubs next season.
The decision was widely welcomed by the clubs, Balestier Khalsa chairman S.Thavaneson shared.
“The reduction of foreign players quota and the expansion of squad size is timely and welcomed by all clubs,” said Thavaneson.
“This will allow clubs to sign more locals and allow them to play professional football and more importantly expand the base for our national team selection.
“What I hear is that many present S.League players have switched clubs based on demand and it will certainly make next season even more competitive and exciting,” added the Balestier chairman.
With months to go before the start of the new campaign, all S.League clubs are progressing well in their preparations for the new season, with many players securing new contracts.
Clubs have taken this opportunity to bring on board more Prime League players to the first team and this together with the return of the LionsXll players, augurs well for the S.League’s aim of developing a strong national team.
It was reported that Fazrul Nawaz has made the move to Tampines Rovers while Shaiful Esah and Zulfadli Zainal have returned to Warriors FC.
For Geylang International, they are embracing the new ruling with an eye on the future.
“In keeping with our goal of promoting young local talents, we have signed up Shafeeq Farouk and J.Dhukilan from the Prime League squad. We are putting together a young team with a balance of experienced players for its 2016 campaign,” said Geylang’s chairman Ben Teng.
The Geylang chairman also revealed that the club have secured the services of midfielders Taufiq Ghani and Stanely Ng from Hougang United and Home United respectively.
The Eagles are not the only club that are keeping faith with their Prime League players as Warriors’ Jorg Steinebrunner is working closely with head coach Karim Bencherifa in mapping out a progression plan for their youth players.
“We need to develop in tandem for both the S.League and Prime League squad. We have promoted a few youth players to the first team and we will continue to do that for the upcoming season. Overall, we are looking to develop the future of Singapore’s football,” explained Jorg who joined Warriors as their new Prime League coach.