Tampines Rovers FC

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Tampines Rovers
Tampines Rovers Logo
Full nameTampines Rovers Football Club
Nickname(s)The Stags
Short nameTAM
Founded1945; 75 years ago
GroundOur Tampines Hub
Capacity5,000
ChairmanDesmond Ong
ManagerGavin Lee
LeagueSingapore Premier League
2019Singapore Premier League, 2nd
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Tampines Rovers Football Club, commonly known as Tampines Rovers or simply Rovers, is a professional football club based in Tampines, Singapore, that competes in the Singapore Premier League. Nicknamed "The Stags", the club was founded in 1945 and settled on its current name six years later. Their home ground is currently at Our Tampines Hub, where they had been since 2017, after six years playing away due to the construction of their new stadium.

Tampines Rovers has won major trophies in Singapore, including the Singapore Cup and the Singapore Premier League. They have won the national league championship eight times, the Singapore Cup thrice, the Singapore Premier League five times and the ASEAN Club Championship once. The Stags are known for boosting a considerably high attendance at home and away games.

Tampines Rovers is one of the wealthiest football clubs in Singapore. They were previously sponsored by Hyundai and Komoco Motors until 2016 season, ending a 15-year association. It is also one of the more widely supported football clubs in Singapore, with the Stags being known for boosting a considerably high attendance at both home and away games. Its main rival is Geylang International, with whom they contest the Eastern Derby.

History[edit]

Several football enthusiasts from Tampines decided to form a football club in 1945. After many name changes, they finally decided on "Tampines Rovers" as the official club name. The Stags spent the 1950s and 1960s competing in the Singapore Amateur Football Association League, where they were among the top teams, until they were placed in Division II of the newly formed National Football League in 1974. 1975 was a watershed year for Tampines, as they were promoted to Division I after winning all their league matches and reached the President's Cup final, where they lost 0–1 to the Singapore Armed Forces Sports Association in front of a national record crowd of 30,000. They continued to challenge for honours for the next decade, reaching another President's Cup final in 1978, then emerging as national champions in 1979, 1980 and 1984. The Stags were relegated to the second tier in 1988, but under a new management team, won their league in 1994, and were one of eight clubs selected to compete in the newly formed S.League.[1]

However, Tampines did not finish higher than sixth place in the first six seasons of the S.League. In 2002, the Stags secured the services of Malaysian coach Chow Kwai Lam,[2] who guided them to the Singapore Cup and two fourth-place finishes.[3] Under the next coach, Vorawan Chitavanich, Tampines achieved the S.League and Singapore Cup double in 2004.[4] The following season, they successfully defended their S.League title, were named the 'S.League Team of the Decade' and became the first Singapore team to win the ASEAN Club Championship.[5] The Stags were Singapore Cup champions in 2006, but finished runners-up to SAFFC in the S.League.[6][7] The Stags was also the champion of S-League in 2011 and 2012. They were also runner-up in the 2012 Singapore Cup after losing 1–2 to SAFFC.

2016 season[edit]

Signing 9 Lions XII players, Tampines Rovers FC began with 6 unbeaten matches in the S.League. In February Tampines Rovers FC started with the 2016 AFC Cup.[8] Tampines Rovers FC finished second place in Group E with 10 points. Leaving the Red Giants behind with 2 points' difference. The round of 16 was won with 10 men by Tampines Rovers FC versus Mohun Bagan by a late goal in the after extra time 1–2. This was also V. Sundramoorthy's last match before taking on the Singapore national football team job as care taker. V. Sundramoorthy's successor was his Assistant coach Akbar Nawas. He was appointed to be the next head coach of Tampines Rovers FC followed with 8 straight wins and 28 goals. Tampines Rovers FC started the 2016 RHB Singapore Cup with a double win playing Global in the quarterfinals. Global had an unbeaten score in the whole of 2016 season. The Stags will face their AFC Cup rivals Ceres from their group stage were they draw and lost a match and let them finish 1st in the AFC Cup 2016 group E.

2017 season[edit]

In view of the financial woes faced by the club during the 2016 season, drastic measures were taken before the start of 2017 season. These would include cut in players and technical staff's salaries, shutting down of fruit machines to name a few. Club chairman, Mr Krishna Ramachandra had decided to make sweeping changes within the club to avoid the same issues happening as last season. The 3 foreign imports from last season, Billy Mehmet, Jordan Webb and Jermaine Pennant had been released from the club with them joining Brunei DPMM, Warriors FC and Bury FC respectively. The club had also ended their 15-year association with their long term sponsor, Hyundai. A significant number of the playing staffs had also left the club as well, notably Hafiz Abu Sujad who left the club for Thai Division 2 side, BBCU F.C.

The club had signed a trio of foreign young players to replace the 3 that had departed the end of last season. They would include former Ceres FC utility player, Son Yong Chan, Japanese Teenage winger, Ryutaro Megumi and former Croatia U17 International, Ivan Jakov Džoni. They too did sign a couple of local free agents last season. Notable local signings would include Singapore National Team Defensive Pairing, Madhu Mohana and Daniel Bennett from Warriors FC and Geylang International FC. The most notable one would be the sudden resignation of coach Akbar Nawas who left the club just 1 month before the start of the season and was replaced by former Garena Young Lions Coach, Jürgen Raab.

They took on Global FC in the AFC Champions League Play-offs this season and lost to them 2–0, which meant that they would be playing in the AFC Cup this season where they finished as quarter finalists last season.

Midway through the season, club chairman, Mr Krishna Ramachandra had announced that he would be stepping down as chairman of the club. Citing commitment issues as the reason. He stayed on as club chairman to assist in FAS in the auditing and settling the accounts of the club prior to the date of his official step down (22 August 2017). On 30 August 2017, Mr Desmond Ong had been confirmed by FAS as the new chairman of the club and had also appointed a totally brand new committee for the club moving forward.

2018 season[edit]

2018 marked the beginning of the Singapore Premier League era. The club started their 2018 season with an AFC Champions League Play-offs against Bali United. To ensure the job security of the players, Tampines Rovers started the initiative to offer longer term contracts to their players. They have 3 models of contracts for their players. The first kind of contract is that the players would be able to get a set increment at the end of every year. Second kind of contract (mainly for the U23 players) is that there would be a year-end review at the end of the season to decide on the amount of increment. The last kind of contract is that their salary would be the same for the duration of the contract. Most of their players are securing a 2-3-year deal with the club.

Despite agreeing to a 3-year deal, the club has allowed midfielder, Shahdan Sulaiman, to go on a season-long loan to Melaka United, in view of long-term benefits for both clubs and the player. Some of the national players in the club had also moved on to play in overseas leagues as well. Thus the club had signed quality replacements to fill in the shoes for the players who had departed the club for other clubs. The club had also retained the services of Japanese midfielder, Ryutaro Megumi for the 2018 season. They had also brought back Canadian winger, Jordan Webb from Warriors FC to fill up the foreign quota of the team. The club has also signed quite a number of young players (mainly from the National U20 Squad and Tampines Rovers Prime League) to fill up the minimum quota of U23 players needed in the team for the new season.

The club has signed a 2-year technical sponsorship deal with Danish Sportswear Company, Hummel in a deal worth S$100,000 per season. They would be providing the club with their Home, Away, Third Jerseys, as well as the training and team wear. They would not be having any main jersey sponsor in this upcoming season as the management had decided that the word "Hormat" (Respect in Malay) would be emblazoned across the chest for the upcoming season. They had debuted their new home jersey during the AFC Champions League Play-off against Bali United. The away and third kit would be revealed in Feb 2018. The club would be facing Johor Darul Ta'zim, Persija Jakarta, Sông Lam Nghệ An in the AFC Cup 2018 after failing to advance from the Asian Champions League 2018 Play-off game. Their first game would be on 10 February 2018 against Sông Lam Nghệ An.

The club has also announced partnership with local private football academy JSSL Singapore. JSSL would look into the development of youth players from Under-6 to Under-14 age categories. The best players from the U6 to U14 categories would than be fast tracked to the stags U16 and U19 teams in the club's Center of Excellence and ultimately the first team. JSSL Singapore's general manager, Gavin Lee has also been assisting Head Coach, Jurgen Raab in the first team matters as Assistant Coach.

2019 season[edit]

The team had made a slew of changes to both the team coaching set up and as well as the playing staff this off season. In view of the undesirable results from the previous season, head coach Jurgen Raab was relieved from his coaching duties. There was an overhaul of the technical team as Khadir Yahaya was roped in as head coach. While last year's assistant coach, Gavin Lee was promoted to First Team Coach while he completes his AFC "A" Coaching License. Former Club Captain Fahrudin Mustafić stayed on with the club after his retirement to be the assistant coach of the team. Former player Isa Halim was brought in to be the fitness coach, together with goalkeeper coach William Phang forms the new technical team. The team had also signed a number of young players to the team from the National Football Academy, they had also signed 2 new Serbian U-21 players, Zehrudin Mehmedović and Mirza Delimedjac. At the same time the team had also signed goalkeeper, Zufairuuz Rudy from Hougang United. Shadan Sulaiman had also returned from his loan stint in Melaka United. As backup goalkeeper Haikal Hasnol was loaned to Home United due to National Service Commitments. Irfan Fandi had also been loaned to Young Lions due to National Service Commitments as well. Notable players such as Hafiz Sujad, Afiq Yunos and Fazrul Nawaz had moved to Hougang United. At the same time Mustafic Fahrudin had also retired from the game and is now working as an assistant coach in the team.

In pre-season the team had taken on NFL Side SCC before traveling to Thailand to participate in the LEO Cup. After coming back from Thailand, they took on Katong FC before facing JDT II and Albirex Niigata Singapore. Notably in their final friendly game against Albirex Niigata Singapore, they beat Albirex Niigata Singapore 4-0. In the attendance of a healthy crowd watching the friendly game. It was also announced that Hyundai has returned to be the main sponsor of the club since not partnering with the club from 2017. ANA Courier Express, Gatorade has continued their partnership with the club as well. ecoWise has also come on board as well. Hummel had also released the club's new jersey and the jersey had been specially designed and made for the club.

Their first official game of the season would be a trip to Yangon, Myanmar to take on Yangon United in the AFC Cup. A game in which they came from behind to beat Yangon United 3-1 after trailing at the end of the first half. Thanks to goals from Khairul Amri, Zehrudin Mehmedovic and Ryutaro Megumi. They would kick start their campaign in the AIA Singapore Premier League on 3 March 2019 against Hougang United at the Jalan Besar Stadium. After a streak of impressive wins, the team had a slight dip of form drawing the next 4 games, winning 2 and losing 2. At the same time top striker, Khairul Amri had left Tampines Rovers to sign for Felda United in the Malaysia Super League.

2020 season[edit]

2020 marks 75 years since the club's founding. The club kicks off its 2020 campaign against Bali United in an AFC Champions League play off on 14 January 2020.

Club sponsors and partners[edit]

Technical Sponsor:

1996-1997: uhlsport
1998-1999: Umbro
2000-2012: DAL
2013-2015: Mikasa
2016: Kipsta
2017: Jako
2018-2019: Hummel
2020-Present: Mizuno
  • Main Kit Sponsor:
1996-1999: Star Cruises
2000-2015: Hyundai
2016: Hyundai, Nogle
2017: Nogle, Yellow Cab Pizza Co
2018: ANA Courier Express
2019-Present: Hyundai

Crest and colours[edit]

The club selected the stag as its animal mascot as the animal is a symbol of wisdom, its antlers are associated with the tree of life and in Chinese culture, it is a symbol of virility. The club's colours are predominantly yellow for its Home kit, with a mixture of black, blue and white for its away colours.[9]

Supporters[edit]

The Yellow Brigade is the very first unofficial supporters group for Tampines Rovers FC formed in 2012. The group are mostly from LATW (Lions All The Way) They are a group of staunch supporters who had came out with a lot of initiatives to improve fans experience in the old Tampines Stadium during match days. They had also came out with their own version of fans' scarf and a lot of off the field initiatives to bring fans, the community and the team closer together.

The Yellow Knights is the second unofficial supporters group for the club, formed in 2019. The group are mostly fans who had been following the club for quite a while. They too, the same as The Yellow Brigade, do want to do their best to improve the fans experience in Our Tampines Hub. At the same time to serve as an informal feedback channel to the club management. They did too bring back some of the initiative in the past like Fans' Player of the Month. They are strong advocate of youth football supporting not just the first team but the youth teams whenever they can. At the same time they do as well recognize ex-stags in every way they possibly can in an attempt to bring the whole stag family together as 1 big family which includes the fans, stakeholders, club management, club technical staff, players and ex-players.

Stadium[edit]

Our Tampines Hub, home ground for the Stags since July 2017

The Stags' home is currently at Our Tampines Hub, which has a seating capacity of 5,000. It is located on the same grounds as their previous home, Tampines Stadium.

In 2011, their previous home ground, Tampines Stadium, was demolished for the construction of Our Tampines Hub. They then relocated to play away at Clementi Stadium from 2012 to 2014 and at Jurong West Stadium from 2015 till the first half of 2017.

On 28 July 2017, Tampines Rovers had their first match at their newly-opened stadium against Brunei DPMM FC and won 2–0, signifying the return of The Stags to their spiritual home after six years.[10] That match saw a crowd of 4,676 fans. Since then average attendance per match is approximately 2000 fans which is the highest in the league. In 2019, in view of the shared stadium initiative by Football Association Singapore, Geylang International will share Our Tampines Hub as their home ground. It caused a lot of unrest within the local football community, stating that without its spiritual home, the clubs are losing its identity.

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

As of 18 February 2020[11]

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 Zufairuuz Rudy
2 Singapore DF Shannon Stephen
3 Singapore DF Ryaan Sanizal
4 Singapore DF Huzaifah Aziz
5 Singapore DF Amirul Adli
6 Singapore DF Madhu Mohana
7 Singapore MF Yasir Hanapi
8 Japan MF Kyoga Nakamura
9 Montenegro FW Boris Kopitovic
10 Canada FW Jordan Webb
11 Singapore MF Safirul Sulaiman
12 Singapore MF Joel Chew
13 Singapore FW Taufik Suparno
No. Position Player
15 Singapore MF Shah Shahiran
16 Singapore DF Daniel Bennett
17 Singapore DF Irwan Shah
18 Singapore DF Fathullah Rahmat
19 Singapore FW Hairil Sufi
21 Singapore DF Hamizan Hisham
22 Singapore DF Syahrul Sazali
23 Serbia MF Zehrudin Mehmedović
24 Singapore GK Syazwan Buhari
41 Singapore MF Haziq Mikhail
42 Singapore FW Shagir Firaf
43 Singapore DF Andrew Aw

Club officials[edit]

Management[edit]

  • Chairman: Desmond Ong
  • Vice Chairman: Lee Lung Nien
  • Honorary Secretary: Nicholas Hunter
  • Honorary Treasurer: Ian Lau
  • Committee Member: Nicholas Narayan, Leong Wing Kong
  • General Manager: Desmund Khusnin

Reference:[12]

Technical staff[edit]

  • Team Manager: Leonard Koh
  • Head Coach: Kadir Yahaya
  • First Team Coach: Gavin Lee
  • Assistant Coach: Fahrudin Mustafić
  • Fitness Coach: Isa Halim
  • Goalkeeper Trainer: William Phang
  • Sports Trainer: Premjit Singh
  • Kit Man: Goh Koon Hiang

Reference:[13]

Team managers[edit]

  • Romania Victor Stănculescu (1997–1998)
  • SingaporeZulkarnaen Zainal (January 2012 – ??)
  • SingaporeLeonard Koh(2018–2019)
  • SingaporeWilliam Phang(2020–Present)

Managers (Head coaches)[edit]

Honours[edit]

Domestic[edit]

League

  • 1979, 1980, 1984

Cups

ASEAN competition[edit]

Seasons[edit]

Season League Pos. P W D L GS GA Pts Singapore Cup League Cup AFC Champions League AFC Cup
1996-1 S.League 8th 14 3 3 8 18 27 12 Not qualified
1996-2 7th 14 2 2 10 10 28 8
1997 6th 16 4 3 9 22 38 15
1998 6th 20 8 5 7 41 40 29 Group stage
1999 10th 22 4 8 10 25 39 20 Quarter-finals
2000 7th 22 7 6 9 30 27 27 Quarter-finals
2001 6th 33 14 6 13 60 55 48 Group stage
2002 4th 33 16 11 6 67 39 59 Winners
2003 4th 33 17 3–2 11 63 40 59 Quarter-finals
2004 1st 27 20 3 4 76 29 63 Winners Not qualified
2005 1st 27 18 3 6 77 35 57 Semi-finals Quarter-finals
2006 2nd 30 16 9 5 70 42 57 Winners Quarter-finals
2007 3rd 33 24 5 4 77 32 77 Runners-up Quarter-finals Quarter-finals
2008 4th 33 20 5 8 66 37 65 Third place Quarter-finals Not qualified
2009 2nd 30 16 8 6 47 25 56 Quarter-finals Quarter-finals
2010 2nd 33 21 6 6 68 30 69 Runners-up Quarter-finals
2011 1st 33 25 3 5 71 25 78 Quarter-finals Third place Round of 16
2012 1st 24 16 4 4 49 24 52 Runners-up Semi-finals Group stage
2013 1st 27 17 5 5 59 36 56 Preliminary Quarter-finals Group stage
2014 3rd 27 14 6 7 42 32 49 Third place Group stage Preliminary stage Group stage
2015 2nd 27 14 7 6 44 25 48 Quarter-finals Group stage Not qualified Not qualified
2016 2nd 24 15 4 5 50 28 49 Runner-up Semi-finals Preliminary stage Quarter-finals
2017 2nd 24 17 3 4 48 20 54 Quarter-finals Group stage Preliminary stage Group stage
2018 Singapore Premier League 4th 24 12 4 8 43 27 40 Quarter-finals Preliminary stage Group stage
2019 2nd 24 12 8 4 52 29 44 Winners Not qualified Group stage
  • 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.

AFC clubs ranking[edit]

As of 13 Mar 2019.[15]
Current Rank Country Team
51 Uzbekistan FC Bunyodkor
52 Hong Kong Kitchee SC
53 Saudi Arabia Al-Nassr
54 South Korea Pohang Steelers
55 Singapore Tampines Rovers

References[edit]

  1. ^ Malathi Das and Palakrishnan (1996), "S.League: the kick-off", Singapore Professional Football League Pte Ltd, p. 50
  2. ^ Fariq Rahman, "Kwai Lam helming S-League club", The Malay Mail, 11 April 2002
  3. ^ "Tampines Rovers beat Jurong FC 1–0 to win Singapore Cup", Channel NewsAsia, 14 October 2002
  4. ^ "S.League champs Tampines make it double with Singapore Cup win", Channel NewsAsia, 3 October 2004
  5. ^ Alvin Foo, "Tampines are S-League Team of the Decade", The Straits Times, 21 November 2005
  6. ^ Atsushi Fujioka, "Singapore – List of Champions Archived 22 February 2014 at the Wayback Machine", RSSSF, 8 November 2012.
  7. ^ Erlan Manaschev, "Singapore – List of Cup Winners Archived 11 November 2013 at the Wayback Machine", RSSSF, 8 November 2012.
  8. ^ "2016 AFC Cup Competition Regulations" (PDF). AFC. 28 November 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on 25 August 2018. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
  9. ^ "S.League: the kick-off", p. 18
  10. ^ hermesauto (28 July 2017). "Football: Over 4,600 fans cheer Tampines Rovers' homecoming". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 30 July 2017. Retrieved 30 July 2017.
  11. ^ "SPL 2020 Club Guide: Tampines Rovers". Singapore Premier League. 18 February 2020. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Management – Tampines Rovers FC". Archived from the original on 7 September 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Staff – Tampines Rovers FC". Tampines Rovers. Archived from the original on 15 August 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016.
  14. ^ a b Dan, Guen Chin (28 April 2014). "Rafi Ali to lead Tampines Rovers". 6=Today. Archived from the original on 25 November 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2014.
  15. ^ "AFC Club Ranking 2019".

External links[edit]