Former Lions return to the pitch
Jalan Besar Stadium will play host to Malek, Rafi and Nazri at the 9s Masters
He was one of the youngest players, and fittest, on the pitch last year, having just turned 40 - the minimum for Masters tournaments.
And former Singapore international Noor Ali duly tore the opposition apart.
He was part of the Ser Seng Veterans team that won the 2015 edition of the Singapore 9s Masters, beating a side of former Singapore internationals en route to the final.
He was looking forward to starring in the competition again this year, but age seems to have caught up with the Geylang International assistant coach, who will not be able to take to the pitch when the tournament kicks off at Jalan Besar Stadium today.
He joined his Geylang Under-17 team in a two-sided game on Wednesday and suffered an injury.
"Now I feel old, yes," he said yesterday, chuckling.
"It turns out I suffered a complete tear of my anterior cruciate ligament. The knee has gone haywire, so all I can do is go and watch the tournament."
Noor has very good memories of what was his first foray in the weekend tournament.
The 9s Masters has six teams in the above-40 category and eight in the above-50s, and will feature the likes of Malek Awab, Rafi Ali, Nazri Nasir, Quek Hock Tiong and Zulkarnaen Zainal.
"Last year's tournament was my first as a veteran, and it was also the first medal that I won after I retired as a player," Noor said.
"It was a fun tournament, you get to see all the old timers come out to play, you know, with all the different kinds of knee braces and ankle braces.
"It really was nice to see all these old-fashioned players coming back to the pitch," he laughed, recalling how he won some duels on the pitch simply by sprinting.
"I played for Ser Seng last year and was going to join the ex-internationals in this year's tournament, but I guess they will have to do without my speed."
The tournament is the brainchild of former Singapore international Leong Kok Fann, and while fun is high up the agenda, the 9s Masters this year will also remember a member of the sports fraternity who sadly passed away this year.
The late Santokh Singh, a former journalist with the Straits Times and The New Paper, used to provide commentary for the annual tournament, and the Masters organisers will hold a video tribute for him at the Singapore Recreation Club at 7pm.
The New Paper's Consulting Editor Godfrey Robert, the former Straits Times Sports Editor who worked closely with Santokh, will deliver a speech in honour of the avid sports fan.
The final of the 9s Masters is at 3.30pm tomorrow and is open to the public.
Ser Seng Veterans 40s, SG Ex-Internationals, Poly Nites, Katong FC, Blue Skies 40s, Watergate FC, COS FC, Essex Lasallians, Kowloon Club, SRC, S'pore Chinese FC, Poly Veterans.
"It was a fun tournament, you get to see all the old timers come out to play, you know, with all the different kinds of knee braces and ankle braces."
- Former Lion Noor Ali on the Singapore 9s Masters OLD