Geylang International Football Club (known as Geylang United from 1996 to 2012) is a professional football club based in Bedok, Singapore. The club is one of the successful teams in Singapore back in the 1970s and 1980s, winning the most number of titles in the FAS Premier League. Apart from that, the club has also won a number of titles in the National Football League and President Cup. After the S.League was formed in 1996, the club has won the league twice. They have also won the Singapore FA Cup and Singapore Cup once.
The club was founded as International Contract Specialists (ICS) Football Club in 1973 and entered the league system via the National Football League Division Three in 1974. The club used to play their home game at Geylang Field. However, since the club have a huge following from the fans during that period of time, all games had to be played either in Jalan Besar Stadium or Kallang Stadium due to the crowd. The most successful period for the club was between 1988 and 1993 when players such as Malek Awab and Razali Saad helped the club to win six FAS Premier League titles in a row and two President's Cup.
Founded in 1973 as International Contract Specialists (ICS) Football Club, they entered the league system via the FAS Division Three in 1974. They won the Division Three title and the President's Cup in their debut season. During their early years, the club was funded by donations from well-wishers after players were not paid. After a change of name to Geylang International, they debuted in the revamped National Football League in 1975, collecting the league and President's Cup double in 1976. They won the Division One again in 1977 and the President's Cup the following year. 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 managed to secure sponsors for the Eagles. Despite being relegated that year, they returned to Division I of the NFL the following season and a golden era began. The FAS Premier League, formed in 1988, was dominated by Geylang, as they won six consecutive titles, then finished third in 1994 (behind two guest clubs from Australia) and runners-up to the national team in 1995. Hence they were one of eight clubs selected for the S.League (which replaced the FAS Premier League from 1996 onwards) and renamed to Geylang United.
They became the first team to win the S.League title after beating SAFFC 2–1 in the Championship Play-off spot. The Eagles also beat the same team in the FA Cup final on penalties, earning the praise from the warriors coach, Vincent Subramaniam identify them as the Manchester United of Singapore. The victory in the Championship Playoff also saw the Eagles qualify for the 1997–98 Asian Club Championship. However, the Eagles were beaten 8–2 on aggregate by Kashima Antlers in the first round. The 1997 season was a disappointing one. The Eagles failed to defend the S.League title, finishing fifth in the overall league table. The Eagles also lost the cup final to Warriors FC. Their second S.League title was in 2001, where the Eagles qualify for the 2002–03 AFC Champions League qualification. They beat Brunei DPMM 7–0 in the first round but were then eliminated after losing to Shanghai Shenhua 5–1. In 2004, the Eagles qualify for the AFC Cup despite finishing as runners up in the 2003 S.League. The Eagles lost their opening match but manage to stay unbeaten in their next five games. The Eagles qualified for the quarter-finals, beating Perak FA 5–3 before losing 2–1 to Al-Wahda in the semi-final. Despite that loss, the Eagles created history, as they became the first two Singaporean team (with Home United) to be in the semi-final in that same competition. The Eagles' first Singapore Cup was in 2009, beating Bangkok Glass FC 1–0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium , thanks to Hafiz Rahim's late goal. The win ensured them a place in the 2010 AFC Cup. However, the Eagles failed to qualify for the knockout stages, finishing 3rd with four draws and two losses.
Two weeks before the start of the 2012 season, former Singapore international Leong Kok Fann took over as the chairman of the Eagles, replacing the out-going Patrick Ang. With the 2012 season ongoing, the Eagles lost their first three games, including the 7–1 loss to Home United at home. Days after that thrashing, Mike Wong was replaced by Geylang United Prime League team coach, Kanan Vedhamuthu. Under the guidance of the new coach, the Eagles finished the 2012 Singapore League Cup as runners-up after impressive wins in the earlier stage, only to lose in the final. In May 2012, two former players were jailed on when they tried to fix the Eagles game against Harimau Muda A. South Korean, Jeon Byungeuk and Kim Jae Hong had tried to bribe mid-fielder, Mun Seung Man not to score against the Malaysian team. They also tried to bribe goalkeeper, Yazid Yasin to throw the game away by conceding goals deliberately. The Eagles lost the game 2–0. Both were found guity and were sentenced in prison.
In 2013, the club changed its club logo and name to the old-famed Geylang International FC in a Pre-season conference held in Marina Bay Sands. Despite a top-3 finish prediction from the legend, Fandi Ahmad in a post match conference after his Johor Darul Takzim beat the Eagles 1–0 in a pre-season friendly, it was a disappointing season for the team as long-term injury crisis was so bad that Mohd Noor Ali had to play for the team. As the 2013 season ended, the Eagles team management confirmed that they will only retain 6 local players ahead of the 2014 season. Since they need new foreign players, Kanan Vedhamuthu flew to Argentina and signed Leonel Felice, Franco Chivilo and Joaquin Lopez. In addition, another Argentinian, Nazareno Velez joined in as the team assistant coach. To filled up the 20 men squad, ex-national players such as Ridhuan Muhammad, Hamqaamal Shah, Mustaqim Manzur and Aliff Shafaein joined in to strengthen the team. The Eagles also confirmed that Rotary Engineering will be the official club sponsor on a 1-year contract . As the S.League 2014 started, the Eagles were hit with controversies when a newspaper report from the local press news slam the Eagles, opting to use it as a club “in chaos”, and to allege that “…trouble is already brewing at the Bedok Stadium…”.Kanan Vedhamuthu was demoted to coach the club's Prime League team after 3 straight loss. Jorg Steinebrunner was replace and appointed as the new coach for the Eagles,... Despite a poor performance in the league, the German almost lead the team to the finals of Singapore League Cup and Singapore Cup but only to lose both domestic competitions on penalty shoot-outs. The team end the 2014 season on 8th place. Ahead of the 2015 season, Jorg Steinebrunner took this opportunity to get his own players ahead of the new season. As of December 2014, a total of 17 players have signed for the club.
Bedok Stadium, located in the eastern part of Singapore is the home ground for the eagles. It is used mostly for both football matches and jogging. Besides that, the pitch is also used by the club for their training sessions. The stadium has a grass football pitch, an 8-lane running track and partial athletic facilities. The stadium will be closed to the public during S.League matches. The stadium can hold up to 3,800 spectators. The stadium is currently managed by the Singapore Sports Council.
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.