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30 Aug 2009 - vs Blacks FC (2.30pm @ Balestier ITE)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Stretford announce signing of 'The Kong'

Wa Jing Kia
Correspondent, SFC News

Above: I am Kong, hear me roar!

In a blockbuster summer transfer window, Stretford FC made a blockbuster signing of their own after they secured the services of midfield destroyer Kong Ting An to their squad. The player, commonly dubbed as 'The Kong' by fellow players for his monstrous style in midfield, finalized personal terms and passed a medical last June. The unveiling was delayed for a couple of months as agents and staff were trying to acquire clearance from the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) as well as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) for the player's permit. Stretford were believed to be tracking the player for almost a year before finally landing their man.

In a press interview held yesterday evening at his Ang Mo Kio residence, Kong was in jubilant spirits as he sat down with SFC News to share his thoughts on finally donning the red of Stretford.

"It's true that they (Stretford) approached me some time ago about a possible move. But back then, I believed a move wasn't the right option as I felt I needed more time before I was ready to move to a club of Stretford's nature." said Kong.

"But now that it's happened and also having had the opportunity to feature in some matches already for the Enders, I'm absolutely delighted to finally be here and giving my usual 110% in games."

Kong's teammates were also excited with the addition of the hardman into the team and some have already seen first-hand in training where the Ang Mo Kio-born midfielder earned his nickname from.

"He's a beast even during our training sessions!" said striker Shawal Rosly.

"I am one of the unfortunate few to have had a taste of his challenges in training. But I guess that will keep the rest of the lads on their toes and at their best too. This is what the club is all about and by signing Kong in, we are underlying our objectives as a team looking to rise up to new levels."

Shawal then jokingly shared his thoughts on new "signings" that the club may want to consider following the arrival of Kong.

"Looking at how he (Kong) has been in training, signing a couple of physios wouldn't hurt too!"

Monday, August 17, 2009

Results Round-Up: June & July

Joe Red, Editor
SFC News

June and July was an exciting couple of months for the Enders as their matches produced a total of 11 goals from 3 matches.

Here’s a quick round-up of the results:

26 July
Stretford FC 0-2 Fusion FC

5 July
Stretford FC 3-2 Jurong Santander
(SFC: Oki, Wei Jie, Ridhuan)

28 June
Stretford FC 2-2 ChelseaSG
(SFC: Shawal, Glenn)

Stretford FC are scheduled to play their next match on 30 August 2009 with organizers yet to confirm the opponents they will be facing.

As always, SFC News will keep everyone posted on the latest happenings surrounding the Enders progress in the coming weeks.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Chang Yao: I'm a big match player

Chao Ee Lang
Correspondent, SFC News
1 June 2009
Above: Big "Match" or Big Match for Yeo?

Months back, a string of clubs and scouts were lining up outside the office of Yeo Chang Yao's agent following some impressive displays at his training compound in Da Qiao. The race for his signature was finally put to an end when Stretford FC secured the services of the midfield wizard on a long-term contract.

Fast-forward to May '09 and things have not gone as Yeo had planned it to be.

A series of international call-ups and issues with his work permit saw Yeo missing out on the Enders first few matches before finally making a nervy debut against Nippon FC - which Stretford heavily lost 5-1. The usual electric runs and clever passes were missing and it had look as though the nerves had the better of the new signing. Much criticism was to follow from the media after the match with some camps claiming that the big match atmosphere may not suit a player of Yeo's temperament.

And now, with less than a week before Stretford FC face their biggest test yet against fierce rivals ChelseaSG, another "big match" looms ahead for him.

However, when SFC News spoke to Yeo today to get his thoughts on his start and the match against ChelseaSG, the usually reserved midfielder had other plans in mind.

"I'm aware that it's not the best of starts but life goes on. With more playing time and getting used to, you will see the best of me soon." said Yeo.

Yeo went on to add that, "I'm just glad I got my first match out of the way and there can't be a better time to show what I've got than against ChelseaSG. This game means alot to alot of the players and myself."

"I'm a big match player."

SFC News were then interrupted when charging out from the showers was defender Yip Siu Ming who seemed angered following Yeo's last comment.

"Who said Big Mac?!"

Yip finally realised he had erred when silenced by his fellow team-mates in the locker room.


Stretford FC play ChelseaSG this weekend, 7 June, at Beatty Secondary School.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Players sweat it out at special 'Celebration Match'

Abu Bin Power
Correspondent, SFC News
19 May 2009

Above: Rid's "secret" weapon?

Stretford FC players, staff and fans paid tribute to Manchester United’s recent Barclays Premier League triumph last Sunday as they squared off in a friendly 'Celebration Match' at Eastview Secondary School.

The final score and goals were secondary as a mixture of both Stretford and ManUtdsg members took to the field for this encounter. The match was also to be a training match for the Enders after it was announced that arrangements are in place for a match against fierce rivals, Chelseasg, in June.

Stretford FC would also have been delighted with the sight of a fit again Ridhuan making a 45-minute return to action on the right back berth. After a failed return to training and months out from the squad, Ridhuan looks to have finally shaken off his hamstring injury and it only remains to be seen if the pacy right-sided player can regain full fitness in the weeks to come.

“Initially, I felt a slight tightness again in my hamstring after making a sprint. That gave me a scare.” said the Bedok-born defender.

“But after a good few minutes settling in, I began to get into the groove of things. I still feel it must be the ‘Tongkat Ali’ I took the night before though!” added Ridhuan in a statement that may spark off new endorsement rumours.

Stretford players were also in appreciation for ManUtdsg’s turnout of players last Sunday – as echoed by the normally quiet central midfielder, Yeo Chang Yao.

“Nice.” were Yeo’s words when asked about the turnout for the match despite the scorching weather.

Photos from the testimonial match will be released shortly.

A big thank you to ManUtdsg members once again for coming down last Sunday!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Enders lose 5-1

Joe Red
Editor, SFC News
4 May 2009

Above: All smiles before and throughout the friendly encounter

The Stretford boys were made to taste humble pie against the quality and experience of their Nippon FC opponents when they were walloped 5-1 at Dunearn Secondary School on Sunday – their first loss since the team’s formation in March.

Nippon FC looked impressive from the first whistle and kept the Enders employing a containing strategy for the early part of the first half which nearly paid off with early chances coming from counter attacks. Opportunities for Shawal, Oki and Kong were squandered following some flashes of attacking play from the Enders. The class and superb passing play of Nippon finally paid off midway in the second half when a brilliant run on the left wing was capped off with a low drive to the bottom corner and put Nippon ahead in the match. Some controversy was to follow the second goal after a harmless nudge by debutant midfielder Haikal was deemed to have been an offence and led to a penalty. Nippon’s striker tucked away the spot kick and gave his team a much-deserved 2-goal cushion.

There looked to be encouraging signs of another famous Stretford comeback late in the first half however when striker Shawal Rosly charged down an attempted clearance by Nippon’s centre-back and slotted in his fourth goal in three matches to give the Enders a glimmer of hope in the second half. He was close to drawing the match level from a set-piece but missed by inches with his shot.

And as with the last two Stretford matches, all was to change in the second half.

The experience of Nippon truly stood out after the interval as they came back stronger and began to enforce their crisp ball work again in the match which left Stretford players chasing shadows – and eventually tiring out the players. A combination of pace and trickery from Nippon’s number 10 together with very strong wing play was to be the downfall for the Enders as another three goals were put past them without reply.

The loss will be a tough one to swallow for the boys but players, pundits and fans were encouraged with the work rate and spirit of the Stretford players throughout the match despite being outclassed by their opposition.

On-loan midfielder Kong was realistic with his assessment and comments.

“The team will have to agree that we played against a very wonderful and experienced team. They were very composed and they stroked the ball around the defence and midfield amazingly. To a certain extent, they played like how MUFC does.” said Kong

Supporter Patricia Poh chose to look at the bright side of things instead.

“Overall, I think it was a great match for our boys to learn a lot from. And I think they can also leave the match with some positives to take.” stated Poh

It remains to see how the team will learn from the defeat and come back stronger and wiser in their next match. The Enders next match is anticipated to take place in 2 weeks time.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Yip pens lucrative endorsement contract

Tan Fei Mao
Correspondent, SFC News
26 April 2009

Above: Yip is "lovin'" his new deal with Uncle Ronald

Stretford FC staff and players were made to sweat for over a week following intense investigations over improper pre-match dietary practices were made by both the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) as well as the Health Promotion Board (HPB). The news marred what seemed like a fabulous week for Stretford FC after their empathic 5-1 win over Red Star Belgrade two Sundays ago.

Oh how things have changed in a week.

In an astounding turn of events, it has been announced now that AVA and HPB officers that were spotted at the Enders pre-match were all present as part of final touches to approve a multi-million dollar endorsement contract between Stretford full-back Yip Siu Ming and fast food giants McDonalds.

This latest development will see Yip as the first player to pen an endorsement contract with a fast food chain. As part of the deal, the player will receive 3 years worth of McDonald’s premium ‘Big Mac’ meal as well as an additional clause in his contract to have an endless option to ‘upsize’ his meals. In return, the Hong Kong-born defender will appear in various television and print commercials for the span of the 3 years with them.

When questioned about the reported “discomfort” Yip was said to have experienced during the Enders last match, a HPB spokesperson said “we got word from our bosses that Siu Ming was having stomach issues during the match following a Big Mac lunch and decided to investigate it since we were also aware of a pending deal with McDonalds and the player.”

“It turned out that the problems were not due to the Big Mac itself, but primarily because the player claimed to have had too much too close to the match. In the end, we gave the green light for the deal.” added the spokesperson.

After clarification was made for the investigations, SFC News headed over to Yip’s mansion at Holland Village to get the charismatic player’s comments on the whole deal but were instead greeted by a short but upbeat reply.

“I’m lovin’ it!”

Monday, April 20, 2009

5 goals in 5 star performance from the Enders

Joe Red
Editor, SFC News
20 April 2009
Above: Wu comes close with a header
Stretford FC 5 - 1 Red Star Belgrade
The streaking hot sun could not stop the Enders from recording an emphatic 5-1 victory against Red Star Belgrade at Kranji Secondary School. A brace from striker Shawal Rosly was followed by goals from Roy, Dennis and Ethan as Stretford ran out comfortable winners and continue their impressive form.
Players and fans were made to wait until the second half before the first goal of the match came after a controversial decision led to a penalty kick which was slotted away by Shawal to put his side ahead in the match. The Enders striker was probably the most relieved man on the field after wasting several chances to put his team ahead in the first half.
It seemed as though Stretford would take control of the match from there on but they had their spirits deflated momentarily when a brilliant long-range free kick found the back of the net moments later. Goalkeeper Gabriel Loo looked to have been caught off-guard as Belgrade's drove a swerving shot from the left of the box. The equaliser looked to have spurred on Belgrade but the match was to take another decisive turn.

After some exciting wing play from left back Asyraf, his cross shot somehow creeped its way to the feet of Shawal who smashed the ball from inside the box to grab the lead once again. The move summed up Stretford's brilliant wing play from wingers Glenn Wong and Tang who were terrorising the defence on their respective flanks.

The Enders never looked back from then on when substitute Roy Lee came on to devastating effect with an unstoppable low drilled shot to open his account on the goalscoring charts. A beauty of a goal came soon after from midfielder Dennis Ang when he unleashed a superb half-volley from way outside the box. A possible candidate for goal of the season.

Ethan Tam rubbed salt into the wounds of Red Star Belgrade with a quick turn shot that capped off a dominant performance and made absolutely sure of the victory for the Enders.

"It was hard watching from the sidelines but the boys definitely put up an impressive display." said regular center back Ivan Lee at the post-match conference.

"We looked slightly shaky at moments. But I think the match never looked out of our grasp." added Lee.

While the match may have been one to celebrate for Stretford players and fans, some shine was taken off the win after it was reported that the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) as well as the Health Promotion Board (HPB) will be conducting an investigation following alledged "improper food consumption" which led to a couple players being absent and suffering from "suspect" fitness. Rumours are arising that popular fast food figure Ronald McDonald has been called into questioning as part of the case.

SFC News will continue to update readers on the any developments in the coming days.