News Singapore Premier League • March 10, 2021
SPL 2021 Club Guide: Albirex Niigata (S)
10 MARCH 2021 – Ahead of the 2021 AIA Singapore Premier League (SPL) season, we take a look at each of the eight clubs that are participating in the 26th season of the domestic top flight. Today’s focus is on Albirex Niigata (S)!
Nickname: The White Swans
Stadium: Jurong East Stadium
Highest finish: 1st (2016, 2017, 2018, 2020)
2020 finish: 1st
Chairman: Daisuke Korenaga
Head coach: Keiji Shigetomi
Captain: Kazuki Hashioka
Singaporean players: Hyrulnizam Juma’at, Sunny Tia, Ong Yu En, Nicky Melvin Singh, Fikri Junaidi, Nathanael Chin
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As is their annual custom, the reigning champions have refreshed their squad ahead of a new league campaign, although the players retained were key to their 2020 triumph.
Captain Kazuki Hashioka played every minute of the league campaign and distinguished himself as arguably the competition’s best right-back, while midfielder Ryoya Taniguchi and forward Ryosuke Nagasawa were first-team regulars. As for the new arrivals, not much is known of the majority; attacker Kuraba Kondo is the one with the most pedigree, having been capped at youth level for Japan.
Local youngsters Nicky Melvin Singh, Ong Yu En, Nathanael Chin and Fikri Junaidi will aim to impress when given the opportunity to, with the White Swans required to field at least two Singaporeans for the first half of any match.
Squad (as at time of publication)
Goalkeepers: Takahiro Koga`, Hyrulnizam Juma’at^^, Sunny Tia^
Defenders: Takahiro Tezuka`, Shuya Yamashita`, Kazuki Hashioka’, Yu Tokiwa`, Tsubasa Kawanishi*, Reo Kunimoto*, Kohga Tsuruhara*
Midfielders: Ryoya Taniguchi`, Kosuke Chiku`, Mahiro Takahashi*, Yasuhiro Hanada*, Makoto Ito*, Ong Yu En^, Nicky Melvin Singh^
Forwards: Kiyoshiro Tsuboi*, Ryosuke Nagasawa`, Fikri Junaidi^, Fumiya Suzuki`, Fairoz Hasan^^, Nathanael Chin^, Morison Hashii*, Kuraba Kondo*
– Albirex are required to have a squad size of at least 18 players, with a maximum of 25.
^Albirex are required to register at least four U-23 players (born on or after 1 January 1998) of Singaporean nationality for a squad size of up to 23 players; this increases to five for a squad of 24 or 25 players. At least two players of Singaporean nationality have to be fielded throughout the entire first half of any match.
^^A maximum of two players of Singaporean nationality, without age restrictions, can be registered.
*Albirex are required to register at least eight U-21 players (born on or after 1 January 2000) of Japanese nationality for a squad size of up to 24 players; this increases to nine for a squad of 25.
`A minimum of eight U-23 players (born on or after 1 January 1998) of Japanese nationality is also required for a squad of between 23 to 25 players.
‘ A maximum of one player of Japanese nationality, without age restrictions, can be registered.
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