Super Reds to become a local team?
THE Super Reds are on the verge of making history. But whether they win the NTUC Income-Yeo’s S-League 2008 title or not, they’ve already made their mark thisseason.
In 12 years of the S-League, no foreign team have ended the season higher than fifth. With three games left to play, the Korean team are guaranteed of finishing no lower than third.
They are aiming for the biggest prize of them all, though.
If they beat SAFFC tomorrow night at Yishun Stadium, they will go top of the table, two points ahead of the Warriors with two games left to their season.
While the team are eyeing the title, club chairman Charlie Yoon is already planning for 2009.
Speaking to Today 48 hours before his side’s biggest clash to date, Yoon said: “Next season, the Super Reds could become a local team, with a lot of changes made to our playing staff.
“Right now, we’re looking at how to keep the Korean players at the club, and the result at the end of the season will be important in that decision.”
In their debut season last year, the Super Reds finished last and were, by Yoon’s own admission, “lousy and causing trouble”.
This season, with Yoon pumping in$2 million, the team have taken the league by storm and become a crowd favourite.
Funding is now an issue with theYishun-based club, though, and Yoon is thinking of scaling back his investment next season.
“I am happy with the performance of the team and the management, but I’m not willing to put in so much money into the club,” he said.
“We want to keep the team in the league in the long term and we are currently in discussion with potential sponsors.”
Thinking of the future
Yoon has made it know before that he hopes his team will be able to represent the S-League in the Asian Champions League or AFC Cup, which the three foreign clubs are currently ineligible for.
He has not given up on that dream, but declined to elaborate on how he planned to go about fulfilling it.
In the longer term, the chief executive officer of QT Technologies plans to turn Yishun Stadium into an entertainment centre for fans, with food outlets, souvenir shops, half-time entertainment and even a display screen showing replays during matches.
These plans are for three to four years down the road.
“First of all, we have to improve the league, the players, and the whole S-League football experience to get people to come to watch,” he said. “Then the sponsors will come in automatically.”
Right now, though, Yoon is fully focused on the immediate task.
Looking ahead to the potential title decider with the defending champions SAFFC, Yoon said: “Our team were feeling a bit of pressure over the last few weeks, but I believe now we are back to normal.”