Colors: Blue Color

8 August 2018 is a special day in Singapore's football history. Mark that date down. For finally, Singapore have a professional footballl team that actually have won a trophy. Home United overcame Ceres of the Philippines 2-0 at the Jalan Besar Stadium to win 3-1 on aggregate and be crowned AFC Cup ASEAN Champions 2018.

This achievement was even more incredible, as no local team managed to win any LOCAL trophies last season, with Albirex Niigata (a Japanese team in the Singapore Premier League) winning everything on offer. In fact they have also wont he league again even with 2 months of the competition still to come.

A reported crowd of more than 3,000 people attended the game at JBS, more than the usual number of crowd at local games that normally numbers in the hundreds. Fans began streaming into the JBS hours before kick-off to see Home bring it home, pun intended. The fact that it was on the eve of the country’s National Day only seemed to add to the atmosphere. It certainly worked in the home’s side’s favour as fans were driven by a fierce sense of patriotism and were vocal in supporting their local team to emerge victorious.

But the real question is, was it really because of the timing of the game, in that it was the eve of a public holiday, and being in the final with National Day happening the day after, bringing a sense of patriotism once again. Or is it because Singapore fans are a fair weather bunch, supporting in numbers only because a local club finally had something they can win.

After all, how many in the 3,000 over crowd actually know any of the Home United players? Can you even name their starting 11?

So, as expected, Ng Eng Hen, defended MINDEF on the Ben Davies saga. He said athletes ca still achieve sporting excellence even when fulfilling NS duties. Have that ever happened before? Again, what is excellence. If excellence are medals at the Olympics, then we only have a small sample size. In fact, only three groups of people have won medals in the Olympics for Singapore.

The first, Tan Howe Liang, was born before 1949. So, he did not have to serve NS. The second group, were the table tennis ladies. They did not have to serve NS on the simple fact that they are females, and are China imports. So, to the third, Joseph Schooling. Well, he was deferred from NS to achieve his sporting excellence, wasn't he? 

Back to poor Ben Davies. Fulham can only sign him if he's English, due to Singapore football being damn lousy, and that they are so lowly ranked, Ben would neer have gotten a work permit. That's why he was registered as Singapore born English. Ben is now in a dilemma. Serve NS like a good Singaporen boy, and he can kiss his Fulham contract goodbye, and probably hopes of a English Premier League career. Abscond from NS, become an SG fugitive, lose all the benefits of being a Singaporean. If he fails his Fulham chance, he can never return to Singapore. 

Question is, why put Ben in such a quandary? Why can't the Minister and his minions realise that deferment is not exemption. Give Ben a maximum of five years trying to chase his dream. End of that five year, he returns to Singapore and serve NS. He would be 22 years old then. Still young and fit to serve the nation, right? These people in the ivory tower fail to see other's point of view. And making motherhood statements without due consideration seems all the rage for these overpaid politicians.

Poor Ben

It is interesting that a private company, Komoco Motors, have given $100,000 in cash to the late footballer Nur Alam Shah Yusoff's family. The former Woodlands Wellington player had a heart attack and passed away suddenly, leaving behind his wife and three young children.

Komoco Motors and the late footballer and his family had no ties whatsoever. Yet, Komoco Motors, who have been ardent supporter of Singapore football, found it in themselves to help the family, who have lost their sole breadwinner. And all this while, the governing body for football, FAS did nothing to help. They just stand by and offered words of condolences only. Shows you how much the governing bodies really care for their former members.

Thank you, Komoco Motors, for your big heart. And for showing up the authorities. 

Ever harboured hopes of becoming a professional footballer in Singapore. Want to be the next Fandi Ahmad or Aleksandar Duric? Well, forget about it. At least, this is what the authorities are telling you.

Before you can even think of embarking on a professional career, go and serve you NS first when you turn 18. At an age where footballers learn and develop the most, you are told to forgo the training, as defending the country when you are in your teens is more important. If you dare go against the ruling, they will accuse you of thinking of your interest, and possibly renouncing your citizenship. Right, Ben?

And if you finish your NS, no more chance of professional football in Europe, there is always the joke league that they call the Singapore Premier League to fall back into. The league where locals cannot make it, and a foreign Japanese team who are all Under 23 (yes, they no need to serve their NS one), have been champions and simply unbeatable for the past three years.

So, want to be a professional footballer in Singapore? 

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