News Singapore Premier League • March 10, 2021
SPL 2021 Club Guide: Hougang United
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 Hougang United!
Nickname: The Cheetahs
Stadium: Hougang Stadium
Highest finish: 3rd (2019)
2020 finish: 6th
Chairman: Bill Ng
Head coach: Clement Teo
Captain: Fabian Kwok
Foreigners: Kaishu Yamazaki (Japan), Tomoyuki Doi* (Japan), Gilberto Fortunato (Brazil), Maksat Dzhakybaliev (Kyrgystan)
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The 2020 season was one to forget for the Cheetahs, who must have hoped to build on an impressive third-placed finish in 2019. Instead, they finished third from bottom and lost half of their 14 matches, with only the bottom two losing more.
Goals were hard to come by, particularly after the departure of Stipe Plazibat in mid-season, and Clement Teo has looked to address that by bringing in Brazilian striker Gilberto Fortunato and Tomoyuki Doi, whose 11 goals in 2020 was second only to Plazibat’s 14. Khairul Nizam and Shahril Ishak have also been added to the frontline, while Afiq Yunos has returned to boost the defence. Kaishu Yamazaki, one of the club’s nine new arrivals, is expected to provide a solid base to build from in defensive midfield.
With only one clean sheet in their last 23 games in all competitions, improvement is needed at both ends of the field if Hougang want to finish in the top half again.
Squad (as at time of publication)
Goalkeepers: Mukundan Maran^, Ridhuan Barudin, Aizil Yazid^
Defenders: Anders Aplin, Afiq Yunos, Hafiz Sujad, Nazrul Nazari, Maksat Dzhakybaliev, Faiz Salleh, Muhaimin Suhaimi, Lionel Tan
Midfielders: Afiq Noor, Kaishu Yamazaki, Shahfiq Ghani, Fabian Kwok, Farhan Zulkifli^, Idraki Adnan^, Nikesh Singh^, Naufal Azman^
Forwards: Tomoyuki Doi, Shawal Anuar, Shahril Ishak, Gilberto Fortunato, Khairul Nizam, Sahil Suhaimi
*Local SPL clubs, excluding Albirex Niigata (S) and Young Lions, are allowed to sign up to four foreign players; at least one has to be of an AFC Member Association (Asian) nationality. A maximum of four foreign players can be fielded in any one match.
^ Local SPL clubs, excluding Albirex Niigata (S) and Young Lions, are required to have a minimum of six local U-23 players (born on or after 1 January 1998) for a squad size of 18 (minimum) to 25 (maximum) players.