Domestic Competitions ● May 22, 2017

Tanjong Pagar Eye Top Three Finish


After a promising fourth-placed finish in the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Women’s Premier League (WPL) in 2016, the Tanjong Pagar United women’s team are gunning to do one better this year and have targeted a place in the top three.


Led by former men’s international winger Samawira Basri, Tanjong Pagar will be competing in the restructured WPL which comprises of four other teams – namely defending champions Warriors FC, Arion FA, Woodlands Wellington and Police Sports Association.


Captain Sharda Parvin is however confident the Jaguars have the ability to give the other teams a run for their money.


“There are only five teams this year as compared to last year’s 11; of course we would not want to finish last,” the 32-year-old said.


“At the same time, we want to match up with the bigger teams like Warriors and Police and hope to be able to give them a good fight.


“We are not going into any game expecting a loss and ideally we want to finish in the top three.”


According to Sharda, preparations have gone well and that they are well-equipped for the upcoming season.


“We have been training consistently since February and we have been doing a lot of work in terms of fitness,” shared the recently-elected FAS Council Member.


“So in that aspect we are preparing well to take on the big teams in the league. While I feel we need more training sessions together, I believe we are ready for the season ahead.”


Sharda firmly believes that Warriors who won the double last season will remain a force to be reckoned with.


‚ÄúI’d say the biggest threat in terms of strength in their team would be Warriors,‚Äù the veteran defender said.


“They have been defending champions for years and have a number of experienced players. Their attacking play is really good and we always have problems stopping their attackers, so I think they will be the biggest challenge for us this season.”


Tanjong Pagar are no slouches in attack either, with Sharda’s teammate Nuriah Noor being the top scorer of the WPL last season. The forward notched an impressive haul of 33 goals last year.


While she hopes to repeat her goalscoring heroics, the diminutive player is keen for Tanjong Pagar to better their performances from 2016.


“My personal goal is really just to see the team do better,” the Admiralty Secondary School teacher said.


“With the restructuring, we only have five teams in the league and I’ll be realistic, it will be very competitive as a striker.


“I’m not too sure if I can score as many as I did last season, but I will do my very best to go into every game and help my team win games. We just want to win as many games as possible and do better than last season.”


Reflecting on the 2016 season, Nuriah wants her teammates to learn from their games.


“It’s easy knowing where we have done well or not done well in certain areas but we cannot leave it at that,” she said.


“We have to know what we did right or wrong, work it out during training and then do much better and apply it for the future games.


‚ÄúWith the competitiveness of this league, I think it’s important to be strong mentally. We must learn to move on regardless of what happens in every match and really just fight it out harder for the next match,‚Äù she added.


Meanwhile, the increased coverage of women’s football in Singapore has given Nuriah optimism that things will improve as time goes by.


“It’s exciting times we have got right now,” she enthused. “I think many are expecting changes but I hope they will be patient because it takes time for these things to to happen.


‚ÄúBut I do think women’s football in Singapore is going in the right direction. We are getting more publicity as compared to years ago, with more girls playing the game.


‚ÄúMost importantly, I think we are getting more attention and with that, I hope the development of women’s football here will continue to grow as well.‚Äù


Tanjong Pagar United opened their WPL campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Police. Their second match, scheduled for yesterday against Woodlands Wellington at the Jurong East Stadium, was called off due to weather conditions and will be rescheduled. They will play their next game against Warriors FC at the Queenstown Stadium at 8pm on 3 June.


Photo credit: Tanjong Pagar United FC