News • July 26, 2017

Stags Keen On A Winning Homecoming


Tampines Rovers vs Brunei DPMM

(28 July, Friday, 7.30pm, Our Tampines Hub)

Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

Tampines Rovers will mark their return to the East as they host Brunei DPMM at Our Tampines Hub in the Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League on Friday night, in what is their first game at their spiritual home since end-2011.

Prior to this, the Stags had played their home matches in the West for more than five years where they were based at Clementi and Jurong West.

Midfielder Shahdan Sulaiman has expressed his delight at the Eastern giants returning to where they belong.

The 29-year-old who began his professional career with Tampines, is one of the few players in the current squad who had the chance to play at the old Tampines Stadium before it made way for Our Tampines Hub.

“It’s definitely a great feeling and it’s good to be finally back home after so many years,” he said. “I’m looking forward to playing in front of our fans at the new stadium.”

Describing it as a ‘fortress’, Shahdan has fond memories of the old Tampines Stadium and is optimistic they will be able to get off to a winning start by clinching all three points against DPMM.

“It was the place where I started my S.League career so it always holds a special place in my heart,” he enthused.

“I had the chance of playing with established players – both locals and foreign and I’m thankful to (former chairman) Mr Teo Hock Seng who gave me that chance. Thinking about it, it feels like a very long time ago now.

“We were quite difficult to beat at our home ground back then and I hope we will be able to continue that.”

Their opponents on Friday night may lie second from bottom and have only one win to their name in the S.League this season, but Shahdan insists they cannot be taken lightly.

“Preparations for this game has been good but we should not underestimate DPMM as every match is going to be tough,” he admitted.

“They have a good squad and have the ability to beat anyone on their day so we have to remain focused and try to get a win on our first match at our new stadium.”

The Stags who crashed out of The New Paper League Cup at the group stages, currently sit third in the S.League and victory here would therefore help them keep pace with leaders Albirex Niigata (S).

“It’s always nice to be close to the top but having said that, we should just focus on ourselves rather than others,” he said. “Getting a win is our priority because whatever happens to other teams is beyond our control.

“Hopefully the break (from the League Cup) will give us a fresh start to continue our S.League campaign.”

DPMM meanwhile, slumped to their tenth league defeat in a 1-0 reverse at the hands of Geylang International the last time out in Berakas.

The Wasps did have their chances, including a penalty miss from mid-season signing Daud Gazale but it was not enough as they fell to a Shahfiq Ghani strike nine minutes from time.

As such, they will be looking to bounce back and end a three-match winless run when they take on Tampines.

Tampines Rovers – WDLLL

14/07/17 Balestier Khalsa 3-0 Tampines Rovers (The New Paper League Cup)

11/07/17 Tampines Rovers 1-4 Geylang International (The New Paper League Cup)

08/07/17 Tampines Rovers 1-5 Brunei DPMM (The New Paper League Cup)

29/06/17 Tampines Rovers 1-1 Geylang International

22/06/17 Warriors FC 0-1 Tampines Rovers


24/07/17 Brunei DPMM 0-1 Geylang International

18/07/17 Brunei DPMM 1-5 Warriors FC (The New Paper League Cup)

14/07/17 Brunei DPMM 3-3 Geylang International (The New Paper League Cup)

11/07/17 Brunei DPMM 3-0 Balestier Khalsa (The New Paper League Cup)

08/07/17 Tampines Rovers 1-5 Brunei DPMM (The New Paper League Cup)

Head to Head (S.League)

28/04/17 Brunei DPMM 0-1 Tampines Rovers

01/10/16 Tampines Rovers 1-0 Brunei DPMM

11/06/16 Tampines Rovers 4-3 Brunei DPMM

19/03/16 Brunei DPMM 1-2 Tampines Rovers

28/10/15 Brunei DPMM 0-1 Tampines Rovers