Friday, April 20, 2012

Opponent Watch: Katong FC (Div II) - Friendly Match

Having received a bye in the S.League's round of matches in week 10, Woodlands Wellington has decided to keep up their squad's tempo by arranging a friendly match against NFL Division II side Katong Football Club tonight at the Woodlands Stadium.

Katong FC may be playing their football two tiers below the Rams but the 2008 FA Cup Runners-Up will be no pushovers. Affiliated with the Singapore Chinese Football Club, Katong FC comes into this friendly on the back of a 4 - 2 victory over Balestier Recreation Club in their Division II encounter last week.

Katong Football Club
Photo Credit: Football OPOD

Rams' fans may be surprised to find a couple of familiar faces in the Division II side, with Woodlands' club officials such as Matthew Michael Tay (WWFC Team Manager / Goalkeeping Coach) tending the goal for Katong along with Woodlands' reserve goalkeeper Ang Ban Heng, and Clement Teo (WWFC Assistant Coach) coaching the Katongers. The strong link between the 2 clubs are further strengthened by Woodlands' technical consultant Tee Tan, a seasoned NFL campaigner who used to play for the Katongers as well.

The trio of Matthew, Ang and Tan go a long way back when they won the Singapore Pools FA Cup with Tampines Rovers SC 1951 back in 2004, a memorable match where they trounced their opponents 7 -0. The game will hold specials memories for Tan, where he scored 4 goals to help Tampines lift the FA Cup. 

Matthew warming-up our goalkeepers before our match with Harimau Muda.
Photo Credit: Andrew Him (The Black Sheep)

The Katongers finished the 2011 NFL Division II season in 7th place and they are currently sitting in 5th spot in the 2012 campaign with 3 points after 2 matches. Katong FC is affiliated to the Singapore Chinese Football Club and they have an annual friendly match with the Malaysia Chinese Football Club to maintain the cordial ties between the 2 clubs. 

Interesting Fact: Katong FC's warcry during their pre-match group huddle is "Huat Ah!" which roughly translates to "Prosper!".

Coach Clement keeping a watchful eye over the boys.
Photo Credit: Andrew Him (The Black Sheep)

This friendly will be a good time for coach Salim Moin to test out new tactics and provide some pitch action for players returning from injury. It would also be good to see reserve players such as Andy Ahmad, Danny Chew, Vincent Lee, Farhan Hairoddin and Oswind Suriya being given a chance to play in more advanced roles to keep them in match-fit conditions.

With Hussein Akil still doubtful due to a hamstring injury, Farizal Basri should start with Moon Soon-Ho in attack, bolstered by Shamsurin Abdul Rahman, who impressed with his runs and passing against Harimau Muda last weekend, and the dependable Armanizam Dolah bolstering the midfield. Duncan Elias should also return to first team action, along with K. Sathiaraj.

Both teams will take the friendly seriously as they will both be facing formidable opponents in their next round of matches in their respective leagues. Woodlands squares off with DPMM in what will surely be a nail-biting encounter in Brunei next week while Katong FC will meet former Rams' manager R.Vengadasalam's Admiralty Wolves FC in a cruncher.

It should be an interesting match, and the boys would be lifted by the extra incentive of putting goals past Boss Matthew. 

The Rams should be dressed in their yellow home kit while Katong FC should be dressed red for this one. Do come down to Woodlands Stadium if you're free for what should be an entertaining encounter between the two teams. Admission is free.

Come On You Rams! Huat Ah!

Match Information
Date: Friday, 20th April, 2012 (7.00pm kick-off)
Venue: Woodlands Stadium
Admission: Free

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See you there! Never Surrender!
Photo Credit: Aaron Chan (The Black Sheep)

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