News Singapore Premier League • September 4, 2015

Stags Aid Players In Planning For Life After Football


Written by: Shawn Lim

Life after football can sometimes be an uncertainty for footballers as they might need to embark on an entirely different career.

It is not a given that footballers will become coaches; the lack of foresight and preparation during their playing career might eventually lead to emotional and or financial struggle for these players.

That is something Tampines Rovers chairman Teo Hock Seng wants to prevent for his players.

Making use of his role as Komoco Motors’ group managing director, Teo has helped some of them to plan for their next career path after retirement, even before they put pen-to-paper on their contract with the Stags.

One of them is Joey Sim, who joined Tampines from Geylang International at the end of 2014.

“Before I signed my contract with Tampines, Mr Teo had already spoken to me about working part-time in Komoco Motors as a car salesman,” Sim said.

“I was hesitant [initially] because I have never sold a car in my life previously but he told me to step out of my comfort zone, give it a shot and see where it leads me. After thinking it over for a week, I told him I will take him up on the offer and I started work on 1 December.

“I have blended in well with my new colleagues so far, mainly because I’m interested in cars.

Such decisions will inevitably lead to changes in lifestyle, as Sim will attest to, and it has not been that easy to cope with.

“In the beginning, it was very tiring to cope with playing football and selling cars because previously I rested at home when I’m not playing. But now, I have to change my lifestyle because I spend half of my day in the showroom or in the office,” Sim said.

“I have learnt how to organise my work before I go for training or matches, so it is easier to cope with my workload and training.

“I took a month to learn the ropes and in January, I sold my first car. The sales has been steady since then. I work on one day, get off on the next, and then I am on standby the following day. I only work three days a week and I don’t work on any match-days.”

The 27-year-old also shared that Teo and his colleagues have been very supportive in helping him cope with the difficulties that comes with holding two jobs.

“Mr Teo has also told me my first priority is football and if I have any problems with my work, I can go back to solely focusing on football,” he said.

“My colleagues are also very understanding because they know football is my priority.”

Apart from Sim, Fabian Kwok and Firdaus Idros too have been aided by the Tampines chairman.

Said Teo: “We try to offer our players a life after football, so we have Joey (Sim) working part-time here at Komoco Motors, selling cars. Fabian Kwok has finished his education in SIM and we are training him for a management position as we are trying to give him commercial experience.”

“Firdaus is an accounting graduate, so he is already working part-time in my accounts department.

“We wanted the players to do something productive, other than playing football every third, fourth day.”

Applauding Teo’s effort was Lim Chin, chief executive of the S.League, who also pointed out that the league has prioritised helping footballers plan for their future, when they do hang up their boots.

“I am very appreciative for the efforts put in by Tampines to provide their players with a career after football,” said Lim.

“As many of you know, this is a subject that we have been discussing for the past six months and the S.League has some initiatives for footballers after their career has ended.

“What Tampines is doing now, by offering their players to put their skills of what they have learnt to good use in Komoco Motors and its subsidiaries, is a wonderful move.”