News • January 17, 2014
Salim Ready to Defend Title and Propel Tampines into Asia
Written by: Phoon Jia Hui
Reigning S.League champions Tampines Rovers started their preparations for the 2014 season since the first week of December last year as they bid to reach the group stages of the Asian Champions League (ACL), Asia’s premier club competition.
Warriors FC, then known as Singapore Armed Forces FC were the last club to represent
Singapore at the continental stage in 2010 and standing in the way of the Stags in the first round of playoffs are South China AA from Hong Kong. Should they successfully navigate past the Hong Kong First Division champions, Thailand side Chonburi FC will await them in the next round.
Speaking to sleague.com on the sidelines after his side’s 2-0 reverse to Malaysia Premier League (MPL) outfit Felda United at the Jurong West Stadium in a friendly last week, new Tampines head coach Salim Moin admits he is concerned about his team’s fitness but was otherwise pleased with what he has seen thus far in pre-season.
“I should say that I am very happy (with what I have seen).
“The only thing we need to improve (on is) the fitness of the team, in terms of ball play (and our) organization. As long as they can work on that, I believe they can progress very well,” he pointed out after the match.
“The players are tactically very sound. They are quality players (and I just have to) explain to them, they will understand (what I have said). The only thing we have to improve (on is) in terms of ball possession. If we had that in mind, we will be able to score goals.
“This is only our second match after we started our pre-season (training) a month ago and we have been looking for more friendly matches (but) the only thing is that we have been unable to secure a field. I hope we can try to arrange for one more before we depart for our training tour in Cambodia.”
Looking ahead to the new season, the former Woodlands Wellington tactician was confident about his side’s chances.
“Of course,” he boldly declared when asked if they had what it takes to retain the title.
“That’s (winning the title) is our aim. We don’t only want to only be the league champions in Singapore but also (do well in) the other competitions like the AFC competitions and RHB Singapore Cup.
“I have (every) confidence in my players. Like I mentioned earlier, they are quality players and I have told them many times that they must believe in themselves that they are champions and are among the best in the region.”
Tampines will now embark on a six-day training tour starting 15th of January, to Cambodia upon invitation from NagaCorp Ltd, the largest hotel, gaming and leisure operator in the Kingdom.
They will play two friendlies there and in addition to that, conduct a coaching clinic for youth teams in the country.