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Home and Hougang in transfer flurry ahead of new S. League season

The 21st season of the S.League is shaping up to be one the most intriguing ones in recent years.

As five-time league champions Tampines Rovers are set to take ex-Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant on trial, their rivals Home United and Hougang United have stepped up their recruitment drives ahead of the new season.

The Protectors have been especially busy adding to their forward line, having snared Irfan Fandi, the eldest progeny of Singapore's favourite footballing son Fandi Ahmad, and ex-LionsXII hotshot Khairul Nizam.





Irfan, whom the Protectors believe will add power and pace to their forward line, spent last season with the Courts Young Lions and opted to stay in Singapore rather than sign a deal with Chilean side Universidad Catolica so that he could complete his national service.

He was also one of the few positives during Singapore's disappointing South-east Asia Games football campaign in June.

Despite yet another season hampered by injury problems, Nizam, who officially put pen to paper and signed for Home after agreeing a deal in December, stole the headlines in August when he scored a stunning scissors-kick goal for the LionsXII to salvage a 1-1 draw with Selangor in the Malaysian Super League.

The acrobatic wonder strike was featured on websites such as The Guardian and Bleacher Report.

While Home welcomed their two new signings to the Bishan Stadium, last year's wooden spoonists Hougang were not content to let their rivals have all the transfer action to themselves as they announced four new additions from the Courts Young Lions to their ranks.







HOUGANG UNITED SIGN ANUMANTHAN The club is pleased to announce the acquisition of former Courts Young Lions central midfielder M.Anumathan. The 22-year-old Anumanthan began his professional football career with Young Lions in 2012. A product of the National Football Academy who had been tutored by current Hougang head coach K. Balagumaran, Anumanthan was called up to the Courts Young Lions squad to fill the midfield void. He played his first game in a 1–1 draw against Balestier Khalsa on 1 April 2012. Anumanthan was one of five youth players shortlisted for the inaugural Dollah Kassim Award in 2010, which was eventually won by Young Lions teammate Ammirul Emmran Mazlan. He was part of the Singapore national under-23 team that won the bronze medal at the 2013 Southeast Asian Games. Anumanthan was called up to the senior Singapore team in July 2013. He made his senior debut in the 2015 AFC Asian Cup qualifying match against Oman on 14 August 2013, coming on for striker Indra Shahdan Daud in the 70th minute. He followed it up with his first start in a friendly match against China on 6 September 2013. He has a total of 6 International Caps under his belt. Anu is a hardworking and determined player, who keeps his game simple with one-touch passes; and a ball-winner who can take players on and beat them in one-on-one situations. Hougang United are delighted have Anumanthan in our Cheetahs squad! Factfile Date of birth: July 14, 1994 Height: 1.75m Weight: 78kg Nationality: Singaporean #Anumanthan #1h1h #hougangunited #hgfc #sleague #supportourleague #sgfootball #hougang

A photo posted by Hougang United FC (@hougangunited) on Jan 5, 2016 at 5:40am PST




Central midfield powerhouse M. Anumanthan was a nominee for the inaugural TNP Dollah Kassim Award and impressed as the Young Lions overcame their SEA Games disappointment to finish the season above his new club.

Attacking midfielder Nur Ridho Jafri was also a Dollah Kassim Award nominee in 2012 while midfielder Afiq Noor and fullback Ali Hudzaifi round up the remainder of the Cheetahs' new signings.

FootballSingapore Footballs.leagueHome UnitedIrfan FandiKhairul NizamhougangM Anumanthan