SRC aim to shock
Against S.League opponents, even a point will be a great result for amateur outfit
GEYLANG INTERNATIONAL v SINGAPORE RECREATION CLUB
(Today, 8.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
It will take a Herculean effort for the amateur footballers of Singapore Recreation Club (SRC) to pull off an upset over two-time S.League champions Geylang International at the Jalan Besar Stadium tonight.
But SRC coach T Ramoo is hopeful his outfit will be able to hold the Eagles to a draw in their opening Group A match of The New Paper League Cup.
This is the second successive year that SRC, who are playing in the National Football League (NFL) Division 1, will be participating in the tournament.
Going up against a professional outfit, Ramoo admitted the size of the task.
"As an amateur side, we don't train as regularly as the S.League teams," the former Singapore international told TNP yesterday.
"We know it won't be easy, but we hope we can secure a point... if it's going to be a loss, we hope not to get whacked."
SRC team manager S Mogan is optimistic that this year's squad, which will feature three foreign players and former Singapore and Home United defender Precious Emuejeraye, will put up a good fight.
In last year's competition, SRC lost all three of their matches against S.League opposition - 1-0 to Woodlands Wellington and 2-0 to Home United and Balestier Khalsa - but were hardly embarrassed.
Mogan said: "Those were very respectable losses, and we'll try our best to keep the score low against Geylang.
"I'm not saying my side are bad, and we will definitely give them a good run for their money."
Ramoo added: "We didn't look bad against the S.League outfits last year.
"Only half of this year's team played last year but, as a coach, the experience is useful for me to prepare them better.
"Hopefully, we can show improvement."
The 44-year-old also hopes the competition will open doors for some of his players who dream of playing professional football.
"We've got some talented boys, and maybe through this, they will get some opportunities to play football for an S.League side," said Ramoo.
"This is a really good chance for them to shine, so hopefully they will rise to the occasion and cherish the moment."
Last year, SRC won the FA Cup, a knockout tournament for amateur sides and the Prime League teams of S.League clubs, and are aiming to retain their title.
Said Mogan: "We have a very good side this year, and the TNP League Cup is very good practice for us to keep our team together and on form.
"We've been unbeaten in the NFL so far - one match ended in a draw, and we won our four other matches.
"Hopefully, we can complete the double this year."
TONIGHT'S OTHER MATCH:
Hougang United v Brunei DPMM (Hougang Stadium, 8.30pm)
"We definitely hope to get the win, but we’re not going to take things for granted... we’re going to take this game as seriously as we do any other S.League game."
- Jorg Steinebrunner, head coach of Geylang International
Tigers maul woeful Warriors
BALESTIER KHALSA 4
WARRIORS FC 0
S.League leaders Warriors FC were hammered 4-0 by Balestier Khalsa in their Group B opener of The New Paper League Cup at the Toa Payoh Stadium last night.
A hat-trick by Croatian striker Miroslav Kristic (43rd, 46th and 89th minutes) and a 73rd-minute Ignatius Ang strike gave the Tigers a handsome win.
Balestier will next play Tampines Rovers, the other team in the group, on Friday at the Jalan Besar Stadium, while the Warriors take on the Stags on July 1.
The winners of the group will advance to the tournament's semi-finals, together with the winners of Group C, which consists of Home United, Albirex Niigata and Sporting Westlake.
The other two semi-finalists will be the top two teams from Group A, which comprises Brunei DPMM, Hougang United, Geylang International and Singapore Recreation Club.