Noor eyes league revival

Geylang International Head Coach Noor Ali believes the Eagles can mount a comeback in the Singapore Premier League, starting with a good performance against Balestier Khalsa at Our Tampines Hub (OTH) on Sunday.

While Noor conceded performances in the first half of the season have not lived up to expectations, he is confident his charges can finish in a respectable position by the time the season concludes in October.

“We definitely want to move up the table in the last 10 games. We are ready to get things going again and it’s very nice to see how the boys have continued to stay positive especially the last few weeks during training and in our friendly matches,” said the 46-year-old Singaporean.

The Eagles got their season off to a flying start with an opening 2-1 win against Tanjong Pagar. Their unbeaten run against Hougang United grinded to a halt when they fell to the Cheetahs 4-1 in their next match despite taking the early lead.

They were then held 1-1 by the visiting Young Lions at Our Tampines Hub (OTH) and went on a four-match losing streak against Albirex Niigata, Balestier Khalsa, Lion City Sailors and Tampines Rovers.

They got back on the winning trail with a 4-2 win over the Young Lions at Jalan Besar Stadium in April but suffered another string of defeats with three consecutive losses to Lion City Sailors, Hougang United and Albirex Niigata again.

“I feel disappointed with the results and our position on the table. But it has been a learning experience for me as a coach and also the team. It’s a new challenge for me now. I’ve never been in this position in my coaching career. But it’s good to stay positive and hopefully we can start to pick up points now,” said Noor.

The international break and cancellation of the AFC Cup could not have been more timely as it has also given Noor time to regroup and map a revised strategy.  The arrival of Abdil Qaiyyim and Afiq Yunos is expected to reinforce the Eagles’ back-line while Australian Danny Kim, a recent signing from Australian A- League side, Brisbane Roar, will provide that creative spark in the midfield.

“We conceded so many goals with a very thin back-line but with Abdil, Afiq, Faizal and Yuki strengthening up our defence, I’m confident we can do better now. Danny is also a very promising player and you’ll definitely see a different Geylang team moving forward,” said Noor.

Up to 100 fans are allowed into OTH and entry to Sunday’s match will be allocated to season pass holders on a first-come-first-serve basis. They need to present their GIFC membership at Gate 17 North Level 2 in exchange for match tickets.

For non-members interested to sign up for GIFC membership, kindly email [email protected] for details.