The LionsXII’s success on the field last season has translated into dollars and cents. Just two games into the new season, the Singapore side’s total sponsorship figure has already surpassed last year’s mark.
The cast, over a lengthy period, is obviously very different. The complexion of the teams over the generations has changed dramatically. The competition format — after a 17-year hiatus for Singapore — has been tweaked.
One is a no-nonsense central defender who takes no prisoners in the tackle. The other can sight his left foot like a laser pointer and lash in vicious crosses or deadly shots at goal. Both Nemamja Vidic and Aleksandar Kolarov often have little use for any sort of smile out on the football pitch.
They have been an irresistible force in Singapore club football over the last three years. Backed by the best fans in the country and a chairman who ensures the club attract top talent, Tampines Rovers have won the last three Great Eastern Yeo’s S-League titles.