Tampines to unveil new signing Pennant on Tuesday
Ex-Pool and Arsenal star to be unveiled by Tampines at Komoco showroom in Alexandra
It is official - Jermaine Pennant will become a Tampines Rovers player on Tuesday.
The former Liverpool and Arsenal player, who turned 33 yesterday, will sign for the Stags in a ceremony at the Komoco Motors showroom at Alexandra Road that morning, according to a media invite the Football Association of Singapore sent out on behalf of the club yesterday.
The club's official kit, as well as the rest of V Sundramoorthy's 2016 squad will also be officially unveiled on that day.
Pennant is understood to have secured a one-year deal that is worth $40,000 a month, with the option of extending his contract beyond the first season.
That would make him the highest-paid player in the history of the S.League, eclipsing the $20,000 Warriors reportedly paid former Tottenham and Japan midfielder Kazuyuki Toda in 2013.
Pennant's wages will be partly paid by Komoco, helmed by former Tampines chairman Teo Hock Seng.
His new teammates surprised the birthday boy with a cake at the Jalan Besar Stadium yesterday morning.
The former England Under-21 international has injected much buzz and excitement into the league - into its 21st season this year - since his arrival on Jan 7.
While the average league attendance has dipped below the 1,000 mark for a number of seasons, more than 1,200 fans turned up at the Jalan Besar Stadium to catch Pennant in action in Tampines' 2-0 pre-season friendly victory over Hougang United last Saturday.
A fan even fainted while trying to get close to the tattooed but friendly star, according to the latter's Twitter account.
Pennant tweeted on Jan 9: "A fan wanted an autograph today (and) then fainted. Staff took care of him, he regained consciousness, got a selfie with me, then off he went.
"So whoever you are, hope everything (is) good and if you come to the game tonight you will be cool and will not need the medics again."
Pennant's imminent signing has also drawn interest from players and fans, with Singapore international Baihakki Khaizan tweeting: "Great signing there by Tampines Rovers. Hope other clubs can slowly bring in exciting players in as well."
The Walking Dead, Homeland and Game of Thrones fan had no problems clearing the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League's 9min 30sec passing mark for the 2.4km run, and may make his club debut in an Asian Football Confederation Champions League play-off away at Indian champions Mohun Bagan on Jan 27.
Pennant may make his S.League debut against Geylang International on Feb 15 at the Jurong West Stadium, after which Sundram's men will take on the Warriors and Hougang United at the Jalan Besar Stadium on Feb 19 and Feb 26 respectively.
Most of the S.League matches in the new season will be played from Thursday to Saturday, with the only exception of three matchdays - May 4 (Wednesday), June 14 (Tuesday) and June 15 (Wednesday).
The last round of fixtures will be played on Oct 28.
2016 S.LEAGUE OPENING FIXTURES
Feb 13: Albirex Niigata v Brunei DPMM (Community Shield)
Feb 14: Young Lions v Balestier Khalsa, Home United v Warriors FC
Feb 15: Tampines Rovers v Geylang International