S. League: Geylang all at sea

S. League: Geylang all at sea
Geylang goalkeeper Joey Sim's body language depicting the Eagles' plight.

They are Singapore football's most storied club.

Like Juventus in Italy, Geylang International are the "Grand Old Lady" here, a club often associated with success and professionalism.

Geylang used to command respect everywhere in the local football industry, even when they experienced lean times on the annual treasure hunt.

Today, they are reeling, close to hitting bottom.

The club have lost their first three games in the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League and coach V Kanan is apparently about to be replaced by Jorg Steinebrunner.

The club's Prime League side have been in disarray.

A little over a week into the season, many of the players were still not fit enough to pass the mandatory 2.4km test, the Under-21 side struggled to have substitutes at the opening two matches, and until today, the coaching credentials of Nazareno Velez, the Argentinian brought in to run the rule over the developmental team that are supposed to feed the senior side doing battle in the S.League, has yet to be acknowledged by the Football Association of Singapore.

It is a farce and completely against how Geylang used to operate.

The buck has to stop with chairman Leong Kok Fann.

The former Singapore international midfielder and captain took over the stewardship of the club in January 2012 from veteran football administrator Patrick Ang.

I know many in the local football community, from the fans right up to the bigwigs in boardrooms, were loathe to see Ang leave the scene.

But the businessman publicly backed Leong at the time, saying the club would scale new heights under the new leadership.

They have gone backwards, instead.

In Ang's final year, the Eagles finished eighth out of 12 teams in the S.League.

Under Leong's chairmanship, the Eagles finished 11th out of 13 teams in 2012 and ninth out of 12 sides last year.

On Wednesday, there are joint-bottom with Malaysia's Harimau Muda B, one point behind the Courts Young Lions, who they meet on Thursday at the Bedok Stadium.

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