Bennett joins Tampines
Singapore international Daniel Bennett will sign for Tampines Rovers today, after leaving Geylang International at the end of last season.
After stints with Balestier Khalsa, Tanjong Pagar United, Warriors FC, Woodlands Wellington and the Eagles, Tampines will be Bennett's sixth S.League club in a storied career that has seen him win five league titles.
Bennett told The New Paper: "I'm happy to join a top club like Tampines. They were always a team I wanted to beat badly and that shows the respect I have for one of the top-performing and top-achieving local teams.
"I have mixed emotions because I will be leaving Geylang, a team of fantastic guys with whom I had a great year with."
Last season, he was a key cog in the mean Eagles backline that owned the league's third-best defensive record, with 29 goals conceded in 24 games as Geylang finished fifth in the nine-team competition.
On the international front, he is tied with Shahril Ishak as Singapore's most-capped player, with 132 appearances each.
The three-time Suzuki Cup winner (2004, 2007 and 2012) impressed in the tournament last year, despite the Lions exiting the group stages.
He will reinforce a Stags rearguard that already boasts goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud, and defenders Madhu Mohana, Shakir Hamzah, Irwan Shah, Ismadi Mukhtar and Jufri Taha.
Bennett, 39, said: "I have been made to feel very comfortable moving to Tampines as I have received many calls from my new teammates.
"We have an extremely experienced squad, even without mentioning the many national players in our midst.
"Tampines have always been challenging for honours. I was surprised they did not win anything last year, but I hope that will change now that I'm here.
The Stags leave for Terengganu for a pre-season trip today.
They will take on Terengganu tomorrow and T-Team on Monday, before they leave for the Philippines to face Global in an AFC Champions League qualifier on Jan 24.
Tampines coach Akbar Nawaz is confident Bennett will be an asset, even if he is likely the league's oldest player this season.
He said: "Age is just a number, if you are good, you are young or old enough to play.
"Bennett provides us with more options to play various systems, as we now have versatile players in our back four.
"He is a very good reader of the game, with a strong ability to command and organise the defence. His addition suits us with the way we want to play.
"To be able to continue playing at such a high level for so long, Bennett is a role model of professionalism on and off the pitch."