Fill this survey and help Woodlands Lions take part in the SPL next season!
Ever since Woodlands Wellington pulled out of the S.league in 2014, the North has been relatively silent. With zero representation, some fans have stopped watching the local game after their beloved local side pulled out. Yet, a new entity is on the rise, and the Mouth of the North is here to break the long-standing silence.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous interview with Venga, Woodlands Lions was founded on the belief that “there was a need to establish a proper youth team.”
I plant seeds into my little boys. I always tell them that it’s not easy but you need to work at it [becoming a world-class footballer]. What makes you think you’re going to be a top-notch footballer if you juggle [the ball] forty times only. [Getting used to the] weight of the ball and the hitting, it all comes with practice.R. Vengadasalam
Since its inception, the club has grown from strength to strength and has regularly held its own against SPL youth sides. Fundamentally a grassroots initiative, Venga believes the next step is to turn this club professional and build stronger bonds at the grassroots level. This comes as no surprise given that, under his charge, Woodlands Wellington was truly a club of the people.
Honestly, the entrant of a new local footballing entity is a huge win for Singapore football. If Venga has a plan to ensure the club’s financial sustainability, what is stopping the FAS from accepting membership of another entity?
After all, this isn’t Venga’s first rodeo. He successfully brought Woodlands Wellington, then a grassroots team, into the professional arena back in 1995. He knows what he is doing and has years of experience leading professional clubs in various capacities.
Woodlands Lions’ entry into the Singapore Premier League would also solve numerous pain points. First, an additional club in the league means an extra team for Singaporean players to move to, which keeps more players within the football system. Over the years, several players have hung up their boots because they simply cannot find a team. With only 6 local sides where most players can realistically transfer to, options are limited. This limitation is further compounded by the fact that the under-23 rule exists and appears to linger next season.
Venga’s name itself still has the power to draw the masses. As my co-writer Jack has mentioned before, he is truly Singapore’s very own Brian Clough. However, he has a host of exciting young talents within his squad who are future stars. It would be interesting to see how these players develop and having Woodlands Lions in the SPL provides an excellent platform for their continued growth.
As I mentioned earlier, FAS’s main concern would probably be the club’s means of being financially sustainable. Financial woes have forced many teams to indefinitely sit out of the league and, in extreme cases, dissolve. The inclusion of this new entity would certainly be hinged on its ability to stay afloat. I certainly feel that clubs in Singapore can sustain themselves with proper marketing efforts. Woodlands Lions are on the right track by initiating a survey to sense the sentiments on the ground and assess what kind of merchandising would help bring revenue for the club to run sustainably.
Small things count and if you take a few minutes to fill this survey, you can help lend your support to a club with a ton of promise and whose inclusion can only benefit the league.
Unlike other platforms, the SoccerKakis team has always advocated positivity and collaboration and we stand behind this initiative! We hope you do too!
Featured Image: Andrew Him & Woodlands Lions
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