Geylang International FC
|Full name||Geylang International Football Club|
|Ground||Our Tampines Hub|
|Head Coach||Hirotaka Usui|
|League||Singapore Premier League|
Geylang International Football Club is a professional football club based in Bedok, Singapore, which plays in the Singapore Premier League. The club was founded in 1973 with the purpose of building a successful football team that would be remembered for generations to come. They played their first season in 1974, winning the FAS Division Three League which earns a spot in National Football League Division One the following year. They enjoyed their greatest successes in 1980s and 90s, winning six consecutive FAS Premier League titles.
Geylang International has won the league championship twice, since the inception of a professional league in 1996. They have won the 1997 Singapore FA Cup final and Singapore Cup once. Their greatest season was 1996, when they became the first team to win the league championship and FA Cup. They also reached the 1997 Singapore FA Cup final, 2001 & 2003 Singapore Cup final and the 2012 Singapore League Cup final, as runners-up.
Geylang International’s success stories in the past continue to be passed down from generation to generation. This will be a local club that will no doubt always have a place in the people’s heart. Despite the poor performance over the years, the past can never be erased because "You can’t buy history."
Geylang International has a tradition rivalry with closest neighbours, Tampines Rovers. Matches between these two are referred as Eastern derby.
- 1 History
- 2 Sponsors
- 3 Seasons
- 4 Club officials
- 5 Coach
- 6 Honours
- 7 Ground
- 8 Players
- 9 Media Controversies
- 10 External links
- 11 References
1973 – 1995
Formally founded by Colin Ng in 1973 during a dinner gathering with Arshad Khamis, Gulam Mohamed and Omar Ashiblie, Ng plans to build one of the successful club in Singapore. They were soon known as International Contract Specialists (ICS) FC and played its first friendly match against Rollel FC, a Singapore Business Houses Football League (SBHFL) Division One league club on 15 November 1973 with a 2-0 win.  They made their season debut in 1974, walking away with 2 titles - FAS Division Three League & President’s Cup with no losses. This was not too difficult for them as they had several star players and well-known footballers among their ranks. With the likes of Arshad Khamis, Dollah Kassim, Gulam Mohamed, Samad Allapitchay, Kamal Mohd Nor and Robert Sim, they had a formidable side that receives the respect from oppositions. The team coached by The Yap Brothers, Sebastian and Andrew were no stranger to Football Association of Singapore. For the new season, in line with the Football Association of Singapore plans to streamline footballs and have teams on geographical consideration for the Division One League, ICS changed its name to Geylang International as their home ground was based at Geylang Field, Lorong 12. In 1975, they entered the National Football League Division One and won it before adding another title in 1976. Their back to back victory was made sweeter by winning the 1976 President’s Cup.
A relegation in 1981 prompted the arrival of a new management committee that guided the club back to the top division in 1983. In 1984, club president Kasim Chik financed the club and businessman Patrick Ang, who joined in 1986, managed to secure sponsors for them. Despite being relegated that year, they returned to Division 1 of the NFL the following season and the golden era began. In 1988, the FAS started a semi-professional league competition called the FAS Premier League as the top tier of the Singapore football league structure. they dominated all eight years of the league, winning six consecutive titles from 1988 to 1993 before finishing third in 1994 and second in 1995. Every game would see their home ground packed to the brim as fans clamoured to catch a game of the Eagles’ skilful players. Subsequently, due to the huge fan following which numbered in the thousands, all their games had to be played either in Jalan Besar Stadium or National Stadium. The success behind winning the FAS Premier League was also aided by the players they had. Notably players such as Malik Awab, Razali Saad, Dollah Kassim, Samad Allapitchay and Robert Sim all contributed to the success of the team. These were players who would also go on to represent the country. It might not be known widely by many but they even managed to attract one of the biggest European stars of that era to turn up in their club’s colours. French forward and legend, Michel Platini visited Singapore to attend a football clinic conducted by them and played half a game for the Eagles to highlight the club’s attraction.
1996 – 2011
As Geylang United Football Club, they were one of the eight teams in the inaugural season of the S.League in 1996. They won the first stage (the Tiger Beer Series) of the league season and finished fifth in the second stage (the Pioneer Series). They won the league after defeating SAFFC (the Pioneer Series champions) 2–1 in the Championship Play-off. They completed the season with another trophy, beating the same team on penalties in the Singapore FA Cup. As the team was full of international stars such as Fandi Ahmad, Kadir Yahaya, David Lee, Hamid Reza Estili, Mohammad Khakpour, and Chris Riley, Vincent Subramaniam (Head Coach for SAFFC) identified them as the Manchester United of Singapore. As league champions, they qualified for the 1997–98 Asian Club Championship but were eliminated after losing 8–2 on aggregate by Kashima Antlers in the first round.
The 1997 season was a disappointing season for them. They failed to defend the S.League title, finishing fifth. The Eagles also failed to defend the FA Cup, after losing to SAFFC in the finals. They did not win any silverware till 2001, when they won their second league title by a close margin. Both forwards, Aleksandar Đurić and Brian Bothwell scored 57 goals for the team. It was the best performing S.League season for the team; scoring 84 goals and conceding 28 goals. Just days after winning the league title, they suffered their worst defeat in history; losing 8–0 to Home United in the Singapore Cup finals. As league champions, they were guaranteed a slot in the qualifying round of the 2002–03 AFC Champions League but were eliminated after losing to Shanghai Shenhua 5–1 on aggregate in the second round.
The 2002 season saw Geylang United finish third in both the S.League and Singapore Cup. They came close to winning their third S.League title and first Singapore Cup in 2003, only to finish runners-up to Home United for both competitions. As runners-up, they qualified to play in the AFC Cup 2004 due to Home United's double. Their debut in the AFC Cup 2004 was an impressive one. Despite losing their opening match, they managed to stay unbeaten for their next five games in the group stage. They went on to qualify for the quarter-finals, beating Perak FA before losing to Al-Wahda in the semi-final.
Geylang United won their first Singapore Cup in 2009, beating Bangkok Glass FC 1–0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium. The win ensured them a place in the 2010 AFC Cup. However, they failed to qualify for the knockout stages, finishing 3rd in the group stages with four draws and two losses.
2012 – 2015
Weeks before the start of the 2012 season, Patrick Ang announced his retirement as club chairman. Ang, who had been with the club since 1986, moved up the ranks at the club as manager; vice-president; president and eventually chairman. He was given the nickname "Geylang's Godfather" after helping the club to gain main and co-sponsors. Former Singapore international, Leong Kok Fann took over the position. Mike Wong stepped down as coach after their 7–1 thrashing by Home United kept the club at the bottom of the league without a point. Under-21 coach, Vedhamuthu Kanan, swopped roles with Wong. Under the guidance of Kanan, the Eagles made it into the League Cup finals; only to lose in the final to Brunei DPMM. In the league itself, Kanan gave the U21 players the chance to be in the first team. It turned out to be a positive effort as some of these players who were given the chance to play in the S.League matches performed better than some of the first team players. They ended the season second from bottom in the nine-team table.
In 2013, the club announced in a pre-season press conference that it would change its club logo and name back to Geylang International FC. Their 2013 season saw the squad in a long-term injury crisis, forcing their then-assistant coach, former Singapore international Mohd Noor Ali to come out of retirement. They finished the season in ninth place.
The 2014 season was something to look out for as Kanan flew to Argentina during the pre-season to look for new foreign players. It was later announced that Leonel Felice, Franco Chivilo and Joaquin Lopez had signed a 1-year contract. In addition, Nazareno Velez joined in as assistant coach. However, the season did not start well. One of the Argentinian players failed to get their employment pass before the season kicked off. Kanan eventually got demoted back to coaching the U-21 team after 3 straight losses. Jorg Steinebrunner was appointed as the new coach 24 hours before their next match. Despite their poor league performance, Steinebrunner almost led the team to the finals of League Cup and Singapore Cup; only to lose both domestic competitions on penalty shoot-outs. The team ended the 2014 season in eighth place.
In 2015, Steinebrunner took this opportunity to get his own players ahead of the new season. The team was inconsistent throughout the season, failing to win most of their matches. After their defeat in the semi-finals of the League Cup, they failed to collect any points for six consecutive games, remaining rooted to the bottom of the table for months. An unbeaten run in their last five matches with 3 wins and 2 draws allowed them to finish one place off the bottom.
2016 – Present
Weeks after the 2015 S.League season ended, it was announced that Ben Teng would replace Leong Kok Fann as club chairman. Ben Teng and his new management committee (comprising mainly Singaporeans who have worked in Dubai/Abu Dhabi previously) set about to revamp the club by recruiting young players from the disbanded LionsXII and Courts Young Lions, anchored by seasoned players such as Daniel Bennett and Indra Sahdan. Four players, Hairul Syirhan; Yuki Ichikawa; Nor Azli Yusoff and Shawal Anuar) from the 2015 season were retained. In line with the club's philosophy of promoting young players from within, four Prime League players were promoted to the senior team (one was subsequently released to Young Lions at the request of FAS). The new 2016 squad also featured returning former Geylang Prime League players such as Stanely Ng, Amy Recha and Taufiq Ghani. Former Singapore international and championship winner with the 2001 Geylang team, Hasrin Jailani, was appointed as head coach. His team mate from the 2001 winning team, Mohd Noor Ali, was appointed as assistant head coach and Prime League coach. In its first S-League away match of the 2016 season against title favourites Tampines Rovers, the Eagles recovered from an early 2–0 lead by the hosts to lead 2–3 before an 86th-minute equaliser by the hosts.
On 13 February 2018, Geylang International attempted to recruit foreign players online. The advertisement was swiftly removed once the public took notice of it
Main Sponsor : EPSON
Other Sponsors : Yongnam Holdings, Canaan Dental, Goodrich Global, Lesus
Gym Sponsor : Gymmboxx
Footwear Sponsor : New Balance
Kit Supplier: FBT
|Season||League||Pos.||P||W||D||L||GS||GA||Pts||Singapore Cup||League Cup|
|2006||10th||30||6||5||19||22||62||23||Round of 16|
|2007||6th||33||10||9||14||43||44||39||Round of 16||Withdrew|
|2008||6th||33||13||6||14||56||57||45||Round of 16||Round of 16|
|2010||5th||33||12||11||10||32||30||47||Round of 16||Quarter-finals|
|2011||8th||33||13||2||18||43||63||41||Round of 16||Quarter-finals|
|2012||11th||24||5||6||13||28||50||21||Round of 16||Runners-up|
|2018||Singapore Premier League||8th||24||5||5||14||26||57||20||Quarter-finals|
- The 1996 season of the S.League was split into two series. Tiger Beer Series winners Geylang United defeated Pioneer Series winners Singapore Armed Forces in the Championship playoff to clinch the S.League title.
- 2003 saw the introduction of penalty shoot-outs if a match ended in a draw in regular time. Winners of penalty shoot-outs gained two points instead of one.
Performance in AFC competitions
- AFC Champions League: 1 appearance
- 2002–03: Qualifying East – 3rd Round
- Asian Club Championship: 4 appearances
- AFC Cup: 2 appearances
- Asian Cup Winners Cup: 2 appearances
- Chairman: Ben Teng
- Club Advisor: Tin Pei Ling
- Honorary Secretary: Andy Wang
- Honorary Treasurer: Lim Yiak Tiam
- Partnerships Director: Jason Ng
- General Manager: Andrew Ang
- Admin & Marketing Manager: Maureen Chia
- Finance Manager: Adelene Wee
- SPL Head Coach: Hirotaka Usui
- SPL Assistant Coach: Sofiyan Hamid
- SPL Team Manager: Phoon Jia Hui
- Goalkeeper Coach: Narong Saiket
- COE Fitness Trainer: TBC
- COE Sports Trainer: TBC
- Logistic Officer: Abdul Latiff
COE team technical staff
- COE Head Coach: Vedhamuthu Kanan
- COE U19 Coach: Sofiyan Hamid
- COE U16 Coach TBC
- COE Goalkeeper Coach: Narong Saiket
- COE Fitness Trainer: TBC
- COE Sports Trainer: TBC
- Logistic Officer: TBC
- Haji Ahmad Bakri Fahrin (1974–76)
- Dennis Bent (1977–78)
- Cheng Meng Sak (1979)
- Zayid Ramsay (1980–88)
- Ibrahim Awang (1989)
- Sulaiman Karim (1989–91)
- Subhash Singh (1991–94)
- Amri Khaizan (1995–99)
- Jakbir Khalil (2000–01)
- Dhalil Hainan Ibrahim (2002–06)
- Attaphol Buspakom (2006)
- Joseph Herel (2008)
- Mike Wong (2009–12)
- Kanan Vedhamuthu (2012–14)
- Jorg Steinebrunner (2014–15)
- Hasrin Jailani (2016–2017)
- Mohd Noor Ali (2017)
- Hirotaka Usui (2018)
- S.League: 2
- 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993
- National Football League Division One: 3
- 1975, 1976, 1977
- FAS Division Three: 1
- 2016 (Plate Winners)
- 1974, 1976, 1978, 1990, 1991, 1995
- Prime League: 3
- 1998, 2006, 2011
Bedok Stadium, located in the eastern part of Singapore is the home ground for the Eagles. It is used both for football matches and community events. Besides that, the pitch is also used by the club for their training sessions. The stadium has a natural grass football pitch, an 8-lane running track and some athletic facilities. The stadium are closed to the public during official events and S.League matches. The stadium can hold up to 3,900 spectators. The stadium is currently managed by the Singapore Sports Council. In November 2018, The Eagles will move to Our Tampines Hub in 2019 season and shared with Tampines Rovers FC.
- As of 31 August 2018
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Players on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
1974 issues with FAS
2016 Post-season issues
On 7 November 2016, The Straits Times reported that Geylang International will not pay two of their players' December salaries. Former Singapore national captain Indra Sahdan and Carlos Delgado were affected. It is believed that the club docked Indra's salary as it is displeased that he missed many training sessions while Delgado had some disagreement with the management over money. Club chairman, Ben Teng revealed that as many as 12 players signed two-year full-time contracts at the beginning of this season. The management committee made most of the decisions regarding the handing out of contracts last season, before Teng came on board to replace Leong Kok Fann. Teng added that he has spoken to all the players and will intend to honour their contracts. In addition, some players, who supplemented their income by driving for Uber, have been ordered to stop such off-field activity. Teng revealed his concern and decided to impose a ban on such activities. The players have signed declarations that they do not have other employment outside of football. As professional, players should be focused on raising our playing standards and should not be distracted by off-field activities.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Geylang International FC.|
- "League tournaments to be resumed". The Straits Times.
- "Surprise win by ICS". The Straits Times.
- "Geylang wins S-League's Championship match". The Straits Times.
- "Geylang United won their first Singapore Cup". xinmsn.
- "Patrick Ang to retire as Eagles chairman". TNP. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014.
- "Why he was called Geylang's godfather". TNP.
- "Coach Mike Wong replaced as Geylang goes through internal reshuffling". Football OPOD. Archived from the original on 4 February 2016.
- "Mike Out, Kanan In". TNP.
- "Mission Possible for Geylang". TNP. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014.
- "Brunei DPMM are the Starhub League Cup 2012 Champions". Kallang Roar. Archived from the original on 23 March 2014.
- "Geylang back to the golden days". GOAL.
- "Geylang set for 2013 season". TODAYonline Sports. Archived from the original on 3 January 2013.
- "2013 Pre-Season Press Conference". gifcsg.
- "Noor Ali to come out of retirement for geylang". Goal SG.
- "Geylang go gaucho". TNP. Archived from the original on 11 March 2014.
- "Nazareno as new Eagles assistant coach". Goal SG.
- "Geylang in chaos". Goal SG.
- "Steinebrunner to replace Kanan as Eagles new coach". Yahoo. Archived from the original on 23 March 2014.
- "Message from former Chairman – Mr Leong Kok Fann". GIFC.
- "Chairman Ben Teng's Message". GIFC.
- "S.League.com – Tampines Rovers FC". sleague.com. Retrieved 12 March 2016.
- S.League side Geylang International woos players online Read more at https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/s-league-side-geylang-international-woos-players-online-9956506
- "OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT – GEYLANG INTERNATIONAL FC APPAREL SPONSOR 2015 – Geylang International FC". gifc.org.sg. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
- Joe Dorai (1 February 1989). "FAS consider four for national coach". The Strait Times. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
- "President's Cup to ICS in first try". The Straits Times.