Domestic Competitions ● Apr 26, 2017
Warriors Keen to Repeat 2016 Success
It was a season to remember last time out for the Warriors FC Women‚Äôs Team as they enjoyed great success on the pitch, sweeping both the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Women‚Äôs Premier League (WPL) title as well as the FAS Women‚Äôs Challenge Cup.
Coached by Hisham Roslan, the Warriors Women‚Äôs Team scored a whopping 95 goals while letting in only four en route to winning the WPL, as they ended the season four points clear of second-placed Arion FA.
In the Challenge Cup, they beat Woodlands Wellington 2-0 courtesy of a Sitianiwati Rosielin brace in the final to complete the double.
Looking forward to the season ahead, team captain Nur Izyani Noorghani feels that it will not be an easy task to defend their crowns but is relishing the challenge.
‚ÄúOur expectations are the same as previous years: we want to win the league and the Challenge Cup,‚Äù declared the 30-year-old, who has been with the club since 2014.
‚ÄúAs defending champions, it’s not going to be easy but we have to maintain (our standards) and be even better than last season.
‚ÄúThere‚Äôs definitely going to be pressure; it’s the same for any other team out there who is defending a title. However, most of us are experienced and having some pressure is good because it keeps us focused on achieving what we need to do.‚Äù
Echoing the sentiments of Izyani was midfielder Joey Cheng, who admits it will be tough to replicate their achievements from last season ‚Äì but remains quietly confident of doing so.
‚ÄúOf course we want to retain the two titles (we won last year),‚Äù said the 24-year-old set piece specialist. ‚ÄúIt will be difficult for sure; we cannot expect that our opponents do not improve. They will definitely improve; they will get faster, better and stronger, so we have to work even harder.
‚ÄúThat’s something that we’ve been doing ever since pre-season started. It’s been laid very clearly to us by the coach, and the whole team knows that we have to up our game.
‚ÄúWe just have to work very hard to ensure we can retain our titles ‚Äì it’s really pure hard work that will get us what we want.‚Äù
Listing Police SA and Woodlands as the other genuine contenders this season, Izyani insists that the team ethic must come first, and that everyone has to contribute.
‚ÄúThis team does not consist of a single key player,‚Äù the defender said. ‚ÄúWe bond very well, not only on the field but off it as well.
‚ÄúWe don‚Äôt only depend on key players. The good thing about our coach is that he always rotates the squad. We don‚Äôt have the same players in the first 11 in every game, so everyone is important.‚Äù
As with everything else in life, juggling football and personal commitments presents its own challenges but Cheng is glad she has managed to overcome them.
‚ÄúThe main difficulty for us is how we balance everything ‚Äì family, social life, work and playing the sport that you love,‚Äù she explained.
‚ÄúYou also need to devote time to training and that’s something that can be quite difficult.
‚ÄúGetting your family and friends to support your choice is another difficulty, but I’m glad to say that that’s been overcome over the years that I’ve been playing.‚Äù
Due to increasing interest and participation in women‚Äôs football, the WPL has been reorganised to form a two-division structure from this year.
It now consists of teams that finished in the top six positions from last year‚Äôs Women‚Äôs Premier League, with the other teams playing in the newly-introduced Women‚Äôs National League.
Initiatives such as the annual FAS Women‚Äôs Football Day have also helped raise awareness of the game in Singapore ‚Äì something Izyani is pleased about.
‚ÄúThere has definitely been a change and improvement over the years,‚Äù noted the national player.
‚ÄúThe participation in women‚Äôs football has increased over the years and there has been a lot of exposure, trying to promote women‚Äôs football to the general public.
‚ÄúFor the league, the level of competition has also increased as there are more teams who are getting stronger now.
‚ÄúFAS has managed to divide these leagues; there are two leagues this year as compared to last year where they was only one and I‚Äôd say it‚Äôs a good change.‚Äù
Warriors will open their WPL title defence as they take on Arion at the Queenstown Stadium on Saturday 13 May. The match will kick off at 5pm.