Geylang International FC

Mike to play entertaining football

Q. The changes for the 2012 squad is pretty huge. What kind of effect do you think this change will bring about for the team?

A: It is a rebuilding period again for the club as majority of our senior players has left. The team will need to go through a phase of understanding each other again, especially with the new foreign players. It is never easy to start a new team given our status in the S.League.

Q: How well do you think the new players will gel? How will the new players and old players compliment each other?

A: We have a very young team this year. We brought in some young players, and managed to secure the services of experienced veterans like Yazid and Fadhil.

These few experience players will have to guide the younger ones in the field. As for them to gel, we need to do lots of passing drills for the players to understand each other well.

The midfield and defense line has to be cohesive and the understanding has to be there.

Q: Any player to look out for this season?

A: Rizawan has done very well towards the end of last season. And he has shown that he can command a first team place in the team. He is an out-and-out striker, and is still young in terms of playing S.League football. He has to show more self belief that he can do the job.

We have tried playing him out wide last season, but his actual role is of a center forward. This season I will let him play his natural position.

Jozef (Kaplan) is a hardworking player. As shown in the pre-season, he works for the team and has good touches. He can be deployed as an attacking midfielder as well as second striker.

Q: Hafiz has left to join Gombak United. Your opinions on the club losing its longest serving player?

A: Hafiz has contributed many good years here. Even with injuries, the club has taken good care of him. He was injury free for the last few years and did very well. He also won us the Singapore Cup in 2009. He has grown and we’re happy for him that he has made it to the National Team.

Q: Talk about your decision to promote Zul Elhan Fahmie to the first team.

A: Among the Prime League players, Zul was the one who shone. He is aggressive and very committed in the field. He follows instructions very well. He doesn’t have a very big built, but he can hold his ground and hold the ball well. For this coming season, I just want him to link up play between the defense and midfield.

Q:  What would be your football philosophy for 2012?

A: This team is going to work very hard. We intend to play a higher intensity football as compared to last season. It might cost us if we are not careful, but we really want to play entertaining football as much as possible.

Q: On Peter Jakobsen.

A: New fitness and condition coach Peter Jakobsen has given a new dimension for training for the team. He works on very specific football training especially strength training. He is also a very good motivator.

The players believe they are fitter now, and that is very important. We look fitter and sharper. Of course now they look a bit heavy during the pre-season. But we will know how much the conditioning has really helped the team when the season starts.

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