They were not playing competitive football until 2010 when they entered a team into the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Island Wide League. From a third place finish in 2010 in their debut season, Siglap CSC gained promotion into the National Football League (NFL) division three after finishing as Champions of the FAS Islandwide League in 2011.
Come Tuesday (30 October), they will be representing the amateur football fraternity when they take to the Jalan Besar pitch to pit their wits against Great Eastern Yeo’s Prime League Champions Balestier Khalsa in the Final of the 2012 Singapore Pools FA Cup – a competition contested by NFL sides together with Prime League sides.
It has been a fairytale run for the side that only managed a sixth place finish in the NFL Division Three this year. Along the way, Siglap have beaten NFL giants Singapore Recreation Club (SRC) and Singapore Cricket Club (SCC) to ensure its passage into the final of the competition.
Siglap CSC are coached by former Home United player, Azmi Othman, who is also the head coach of Police Women’s Team participating in the FAS Women’s Premier League. Azmi retired from professional football in 2000 before turning out for Police SA in the NFL.
Azmi couldn’t contain his joy when aXrosstheline.com visited the team during their last training session at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Saturday.
“I am very excited for the players because I believe that it was their commitment and dedication that saw us through to the Final,” Azmi told aXrosstheline.com.
“We want to enjoy our final by playing the kind of football that we are capable of, and we will definitely not just sit back and defend against a young team (Balestier) who are fitter than us,” he added.
Azmi shared that it was a dream come true, as he faced plenty of problems getting players to come together for training, as all his boys are working adults who regard football as merely a hobby. He also revealed that one of the biggest obstacles that his team faced was the inability to secure a main sponsor. However, Azmi’s team does get some funding from the Community Club that they represent. All these problems seemed secondary for Azmi at the moment. After coming through so far in the competition, he vowed that his team will battle hard for the final game of their season.
“We will fight to be the Champions. We are all determined to win the final on Tuesday,” he said.
“Being in the lower division does not mean that there is no talent in that level of football. We have a duty to fulfill to prove people wrong.”
“The spirits of the boys have been amazing throughout the season, and I don’t see why we can’t continue the brilliant run on Tuesday,” he added.
Despite having the likes of former S-League stars Naufal Omar Ashiblie (ex-Home United) and Sahairi Ramri (ex-Woodlands Wellington) in his team, Azmi insists that he is not only relying on the experienced duo, but on everyone in the team to make it count in the Final on Tuesday.
“Everyone is important in the squad, and that includes the reserve players. Of course, players like Naufal and Sahairi boast plenty of experience but at the end of the day, it will be a team effort if we were to achieve something from the final.” Azmi said.
One man who will be monitoring the game closely will be Geylang United’s head coach, V Kanan.
Speaking to aXrosstheline.com, the 2012 Great Eastern Yeo’s S-League coach of the year nominee revealed his interest in signing Naufal Omar – who he known during the days when he was coaching Naufal – for the Eagles in the coming season.
“Naufal is a good player who I have been keeping track on, but a lot will depend on his ability to commit for the team in terms of training. He holds a full time job at the moment,” Kanan told aXrosstheline.com.
“There has been contact between myself and his representative during one of the events held by Geylang United. We will see how it goes. He is definitely one player that I would like to have in my team” added Kanan.
The 2012 Singapore Pools FA Cup Final will take place on 28 October 2012, at the Jalan Besar Stadium. Kick off is at 745pm. There will also be a curtain raiser before the Final and it will see the Prime League Selection team taking on the NFL Selection team. This will kick off at 530pm.