Geylang International FC

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Geylang International FC
Geylang International FC Logo.png
Full name Geylang International Football Club
Nickname(s) The Eagles
Founded 1974
Ground Bedok Stadium
Ground Capacity 3,964
Chairman Ben Teng
Head Coach Hasrin Jailani
League S.League
2015 8th
Website Club home page
Current season

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 the country 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.

History[edit]

1973 – 1995[edit]

Began in 1973 as International Contract Specialists Football Club, then club founder Colin Ng was planning to build of the strongest team in Singapore.[1][2] Back then, the club was funded by donations from well-wishers after players were not paid. By giving sponsors and being able to travel abroad as rewards, he hopes that this will motivate the players to do well. It eventually became much more successful when they entered the league system via the FAS Division Three in 1974 and won both the Division Three title and the President's Cup in their debut season.[3] After a change of name to Geylang International Football Club in 1975, they took part in the newly revamped National Football League and eventually won their first NFL title. They went on to win that title, including the President’s Cup in 1976. They won their third NFL title 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, 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. The competition which lasted for eight years was dominated by them, who won six consecutive titles from 1988 -1993 before finishing third in 1994 and runners-up in 1995.

1996 – 2011[edit]

With the formation of the professional S.League in 1996, they changed their name to Geylang United Football Club. In a two-stage league competition, they finished first in the first stage (Known as Tiger Series) and fifth place in the second stage (Known as Pioneer Series). They eventually became the first team to win the league title after beating SAFFC (Pioneer Series) 2–1 in the Championship Play-off spot.[4] They completed the season with another silverware, beating the same team on penalties in the Singapore FA Cup. As the team was full of international stars such as Fandi Ahmad; Kadir Yahya; David Lee; Hamid Reza Estili; Mohammad Khakpour, Chris Riley, Vincent Subramaniam (Head Coach for SAFFC) identify 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 in the league table. The Eagles also failed to defend the FA Cup, after losing to Warriors FC 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 was a decent one for them, as they finished third in the S.League and Singapore Cup. They were close to win 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 first 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. Their first Singapore Cup was in 2009, beating Bangkok Glass FC 1–0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium.[5] The win ensured them a place in the 2010 AFC Cup. However, they failed to qualify for the knockout stages, finishing 3rd with four draws and two losses.

2012 – 2015[edit]

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.[6] He was given the nickname "Geylang's Godfather" after helping the club to gain main and co-sponsors.[7] Former Singapore international, Leong Kok Fann took over the position. Mike Wong stepped down as coach after their 7–1 thrashing by Home United, as the club remains bottom of the league without a point so far.[8] Under-21 coach, Vedhamuthu Kanan, swopped roles as head coach while Wong will coached the youth sides.[9] Under the guidance of Kanan, the Eagles made it into the League Cup finals; only to lose in the final to Brunei DPMM.[10][11] 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 table; eighth place. In 2013, the club changed its club logo and name to the old-famed Geylang International FC in a pre-season conference.[12][13][14] Their 2013 season suffered a long-term injury crisis, with assistant coach, Mohd Noor Ali forced to come out of retirement.[15] They finished the season on 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 signed a 1-year contract.[16] In addition, Nazareno Velez joined in as assistant coach.[17] It was also confirmed that Rotary Engineering will be their club sponsors for the season.[18] However, it was not a good start for 2014 season when they were hit with controversies. A local press news slammed them, opting to use it as "club in chaos" after one of the Argentinian player fail to get employment pass ready before the season.[19] Kanan eventually got demoted to coach the U-21 team after 3 straight loss. Jorg Steinebrunner was appointed as the new coach, 24 hours before their next match.[20] Despite their poor performance in the league, 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 end the 2014 season on eighth place. In 2015, Steinebrunner took this opportunity to get his own players ahead of the new season. In a pre-season press conference, Dreamatron was announced as official kit sponsor, replacing Lotto.[21][22] Kata Group Resorts Thailand was later revealed as main sponsor for the season.[23] The team was inconsistent throughout the season failing to win in most of the matches. After their defeat in the semi-finals of the League Cup, it went from bad to worse as they fail to collect any points for six consecutive games and were rooted last in the table standings for months. Their consistency in their last 5 matches with 3 wins and 2 draws allow them to climb up to the table and finish eighth in the table.

2016 – Present[edit]

Weeks after the 2015 S.League season ended, it was announced that Ben Teng would replace Leong Kok Fann as club chairman.[24][25] 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 Shadan Daud. 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 Geylang player, Hasrin Jailani, who was part of the club's league title winning team in 2001, 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 club recovered from an early 2–0 lead by the host to lead 2–3 before an 86th-minute equaliser by the hosts.[26]

Players[edit]

S.League Players[edit]

As of 6 February 2016 [27][needs update]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Singapore GK Hairul Syirhan
2 Singapore MF Anders Eric Aplin
3 Japan DF Yuki Ichikawa
4 Singapore MF Isa Halim (captain)
5 Singapore DF Shariff Abdul Samat
7 Singapore MF Gabriel Quak
8 Singapore DF Daniel Bennett
9 Singapore DF Faritz Abdul Hameed
10 Singapore FW Shahfiq Ghani
11 Singapore MF Safirul Sulaiman
12 Singapore GK Russell Santa Maria
13 Singapore FW Indra Sahdan Daud
14 Singapore MF Stanely Ng
No. Position Player
16 Philippines FW Mark Hartmann
17 Singapore FW Amy Recha
18 Singapore DF Al-Qaasimy Rahman
19 Argentina MF Carlos Alberto Delgado
20 Singapore MF Nor Azli Yusoff
21 Singapore FW Shawal Anuar
22 Singapore MF Taufiq Ghani
23 Singapore FW Sahil Suhaimi
24 Singapore GK Syazwan Buhari
25 Singapore MF Brandon Koh

Prime League squad[edit]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
26 Singapore MF Sadiq Abdul Rahim
27 Singapore MF Farish Khan
28 Singapore DF Azrin Hamdan
29 Singapore MF Wayne Low Liu Wei
30 Singapore DF Alfian Jamari
31 Singapore MF Hidayattullah Munawir
32 Singapore FW Ifwat Ismail
33 Singapore Justin Sim
34 Singapore MF Umar Akhbar Ramle
No. Position Player
35 Singapore FW Prince Julien Jean Marie
36 Singapore DF Haziq Abdur Raheem
38 Singapore Lucas Lee
40 Singapore GK Syed Syazwan
41 Singapore MF Noor Ariff
42 Singapore MF Andi Agus Salam Kahar
43 Singapore Matthew Yeo
44 Singapore Evan Yeo
45 Singapore DF Taufiq Bambang

Club captains[edit]

Name Period
Singapore Gulam Mohammad 1974
Unknown 1975
Unknown 1976
Unknown 1977
Unknown 1978
Unknown 1979
Unknown 1980
Unknown 1981
Unknown 1982
Unknown 1983
Unknown 1984
Unknown 1985
Name Period
Unknown 1986
Unknown 1987
Singapore Razali Saad 1988–1995
Singapore Fandi Ahmad 1996
Unknown 1997
Unknown 1998
Unknown 1999
Unknown 2000
Unknown 2001
Unknown 2002
Singapore Lim Tong Hai 2003
Unknown 2004
Name Period
Unknown 2005
Unknown 2006
Unknown 2007
Singapore Aide Iskandar 2008
Singapore Mohd Noor Ali 2009
Slovakia Rastislav Belicak 2010
Singapore Yazid Yasin 2011–2012
Slovakia Jozef Kaplan 2013
Singapore Ridhuan Muhammad 2014
Slovakia Jozef Kaplan 2015
Singapore Isa Halim 2016

Ground[edit]

Main article: Bedok Stadium

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 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 partial 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.

Honours[edit]

Domestic[edit]

League

  • 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993
  • 1975, 1976, 1977
  • FAS Division Three: 1
  • 1974

Cup

  • 1996
  • 1974,[3] 1976, 1978, 1990, 1991, 1995

Club Officials[edit]

Management[edit]

  • Chairman: Ben Teng
  • Vice-Chairman: Jeremy Chan
  • Honorary Secretary: Paul Fernandez
  • Honorary Treasurer: Lim Yiak Tiam
  • Club Advisor: Tin Pei Ling
  • Club Member: Bambang Sugeng & Aide Iskandar

Technical Staff[edit]

Coach[edit]

Seasons[edit]

Season S.League Singapore Cup Singapore League Cup
Pos P W D L F A Pts
1996-1 1st 14 9 1 4 27 14 28
1996-2 5th 14 6 3 5 20 16 21
1997 5th 16 6 7 3 23 18 25
1998 3rd 20 11 5 4 32 18 38 Group Stage
1999 4th 22 9 8 5 33 21 35 Quarter-Finals
2000 3rd 22 13 2 7 42 29 41 2nd Runners-up
2001 1st 33 23 7 3 84 28 76 Runners-up
2002 3rd 33 17 8 8 80 39 59 2nd Runners-up
2003 2nd 33 21 3–2 7 75 30 71 Runners-up
2004 7th 27 10 7 10 43 43 37 Semi-Finals
2005 8th 27 7 5 15 38 57 26 Preliminary
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
2009 6th 30 12 4 14 36 39 40 Winners Quarter-Finals
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
2013 9th 27 8 8 11 31 38 32 Quarter-Finals Quarter-Finals
2014 8th 27 8 8 11 33 34 32 Quarter-Finals Semi-Finals
2015 8th 27 7 7 13 36 44 28 Quarter-Finals Semi-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[edit]

2002–03: Qualifying East – 3rd Round
1989: Qualifying Stage
1990: Qualifying Stage
1991: Qualifying Stage
1998: First Round
2004: Semi-Finals
2010: Group Stage
1990/91: First Round
1991/92: First Round

Sponsors[edit]

Main Sponsor : EPSON[29]

Other Sponsors : Yongnam Holdings, Canaan Dental, Goodrich Global, Lesus

Gym Sponsor : Gymmboxx

Footwear Sponsor : New Balance

Kit Supplier: Thorb

References[edit]

  1. ^ "League tournaments to be resumed". The Straits Times. 
  2. ^ "Surprise win by ICS". The Straits Times. 
  3. ^ a b "President's Cup to ICS in first try". The Straits Times. 
  4. ^ "Geylang wins S-League's Championship match". The Straits Times. 
  5. ^ "Geylang United won their first Singapore Cup". xinmsn. 
  6. ^ "Patrick Ang to retire as Eagles chairman". TNP. 
  7. ^ "Why he was called Geylang's godfather". TNP. 
  8. ^ "Coach Mike Wong replaced as Geylang goes through internal reshuffling". Football OPOD. 
  9. ^ "Mike Out, Kanan In". TNP. 
  10. ^ "Mission Possible for Geylang". TNP. 
  11. ^ "Brunei DPMM are the Starhub League Cup 2012 Champions". Kallang Roar. 
  12. ^ "Geylang back to the golden days". GOAL. 
  13. ^ "Geylang set for 2013 season". TODAYonline Sports. 
  14. ^ "2013 Pre-Season Press Conference". gifcsg. 
  15. ^ "Noor Ali to come out of retirement for geylang". Goal SG. 
  16. ^ "Geylang go gaucho". TNP. 
  17. ^ "Nazareno as new Eagles assistant coach". Goal SG. 
  18. ^ "Rotary to sponsor the Eagles ahead of 2014 season". S.League. 
  19. ^ "Geylang in chaos". Goal SG. 
  20. ^ "Steinebrunner to replace Kanan as Eagles new coach". Yahoo. 
  21. ^ "Thank You, Lotto". GIFC. 
  22. ^ "Official Announcement – Apparel Sponsor 2015". GIFC. 
  23. ^ "Official Announcement – Apparel Sponsor 2015". GIFC. 
  24. ^ "Message from former Chairman – Mr Leong Kok Fann". GIFC. 
  25. ^ "Chairman Ben Teng's Message". GIFC. 
  26. ^ "S.League.com – Tampines Rovers FC". www.sleague.com. Retrieved 2016-03-12. 
  27. ^ http://www.sleague.com/clubs-profile/geylang/team-profile
  28. ^ Joe Dorai (1 February 1989). "FAS consider four for national coach". The Strait Times. Retrieved 19 October 2015. 
  29. ^ http://gifc.org.sg/official-announcement-geylang-international-fc-apparel-sponsor-2015/

External links[edit]