Youth Development ● Apr 23, 2015

Mirko Gives JCOE Trainees A Pleasant Saturday Surprise


SINGAPORE, 23 APRIL 2015:  The trainees of the Junior Centre of Excellence (JCOE) centre at Hong Kah Secondary School received a special treat on Saturday when former S.League star striker Mirko Grabovac turned up at their training session as a special guest.

The 44-year-old Grabovac had been specially invited by the S.League to Singapore to take part in last Friday’s 2015 RHB Singapore Cup draw to mark both RHB Singapore’s 11th year as tournament sponsor, and the S.League’s 20th Anniversary.

Grabovac played for Warriors FC (then known as Singapore Armed Forces FC), Tampines Rovers and Sengkang Punggol from 1999 to 2008. A lethal striker in his time, Grabovac remains the second-highest goal scorer in the S.League with 244 career goals.

He won four S.League titles and three Singapore Cups with SAFFC and Tampines Rovers, and is a five-time winner of the S.League Top Scorer of the Year Award. He also helped Tampines to win the 2005 Asean Club Championship, and was named the S.League Player of the Year in 2000 and Player of the Decade (1996-2005) in 2005.

Grabovac also took up Singapore citizenship and played 12 times for the Lions. He eventually retired in 2008, and is a club coach in Croatia today.

During his JCOE visit, which lasted one and a half hours, Grabovac gave a short motivational talk to the kids. He reminded them to stay disciplined and to train hard if they want to realise their footballing dreams. He also posed for photographs with them and signed autographs.

“I enjoyed my stay in Singapore, and spending time with the kids at the JCOE because I like working with young players,” he said. “Thank you for letting me be a part of the S.League’s 20th anniversary celebrations. I look forward to coming back again in future.”