For the first time since their inception in the S.League in 2004, Japanese invitees Albirex Niigata (S) will have Singaporean players on their roster, having signed playmaker Adam Swandi and goalkeeper Shahul Rayyan.
The White Swans have swept all four domestic trophies, including the 2016 and 2017 S.League titles in the past two seasons. They exercised the option to sign two local players under the new regulations set out by the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) for the 2018 S.League season.
After the annus horribilis that was 2017, the only way is up for Singapore football.
So with the New Year upon us, here are five hopeful wishes for the local game in 2018.
1. Build a star overseas
Fandi Ahmad swung his left boot, the ball flashed past Walter Zenga and a superstar was born. The Singaporean's goal against Inter Milan in the UEFA Cup for Groningen in 1983 elevated the sport's status. There's no national service quite like it. A foreign trailblazer in a superior league works wonders...
The 55-year-old assumes the responsibilities of preparing the Young Lions for the 2018 Asian Games and 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games with immediate effect. He will be assisted by former Singapore teammate Nazri Nasir, who was also his right-hand man at LionsXII in the...