Eagles Crush DPMM As The Curtain Falls On Bedok

The Ultras Eagles cheering their team on at their usual spot in the opposite stands of Bedok Stadium. With Bedok Stadium closed for renovations from May to October, this may be the last time Geylang International plays here this season.

Aaron Chan
Writer / Editor
The Unofficial S.League Podcast

As the final whistle was blown at Bedok Stadium last evening, the stands erupted in jubilation after witnessing Geylang International beat Brunei DPMM to clinch their second consecutive win. The victory had boosted the Eagles up to fourth position in the league table (at the time of writing), the highest Geylang have been after six matches played.

The Geylang International supporters were ecstatic with the outcome of the match. “I think Geylang did really well.”, said Naz, who stood and sang for the entire duration of the match with the Ultras Eagles. “As usual, our team manager Andrew (Ang) took a photo with (Brunei DPMM coach) Steve Kean before the match. He did the same thing last season and we won that match 2-1.  I’m not sure if it’s a curse for DPMM, but with all due respect to the team we played really well today.”

The die-hard Geylang fan was also impressed with youngster Darren Teh, who stood in for the injured Faritz Abdul Hameed. “I think Darren played really well alongside Yuki Ichikawa, covering for Faritz. Victor Coto showed lots of energy as well while Shawal (Anuar) was outstanding when he came on in the second half.”

However, for many Geylang fans, it was also a bittersweet affair as it may the last time they see the Eagles playing on this pitch.

"Ref! Where's your card?!"

With the upcoming new Bedok Integrated Complex (BIC) set to open in phases from the first half of this year, the Old Lady of Bedok North may be relocated along with the neighbouring Bedok Swimming Complex to make way for housing space in the vicinity.

The BIC, named Heartbeat @ Bedok, will house Sport Singapore’s indoor and outdoor sporting facilities along with other amenities such as Kampong Chai Chee Community Club, Bedok Library, Bedok Polyclinic, Senior Care Centre, a childcare centre as well as retail and F&B outlets, which makes it one of the largest integrated complexes in Singapore.

Geylang International General Manager Andrew Ang echoed the exuberant mood of the supporters. “It was indeed a memorable win and we would like to dedicate it to the fans. With this being the last home match to be played at Bedok Stadium, the players played spirited and disciplined football to secure a great win. I would think defensively we were superb and didn’t give the opponent any chance to score. Every Geylang player stayed focused and calm and showed their determination to bounce back after the mauling by Tampines Rovers two week ago and credit goes to the coaches (head coach Hasrin Jailani and assistant Mohd Noor Ali) for the two wins on the trot.”

An artist's impression of Tampines Town Hub
Image: Channel NewsAsia

The Unofficial S.League Podcast understands from the club that Bedok Stadium will be closed from May to October 2017 for renovation. Hence, Sport Singapore had offered Tampines Hub as an alternative venue for Geylang’s remaining home matches this season. However, as the 5,000-seater stadium is only slated to open in June this year, the Eagles will play their home matches at Jalan Besar Stadium for the next two months. At the same time, Geylang’s Prime League team will play all of its home matches at Woodlands Stadium during this period instead.

“This is in line with Sport Singapore’s plan to have two clubs, Tampines Rovers Football Club and Geylang International Football Club, playing their matches in the hub. Eventually, Bedok Stadium will be demolished to give way to the Bedok Hub, which will be opened a few years later. It is likely that our club will shift our office facilities over to Tampines Hub next year too.” said Andrew.

Victor Coto has the honour of being the last player to score at Bedok Stadium.
Photo: Great Eastern - Hyundai S.League

As part of the club's efforts to preserve the memories of playing in Bedok Stadium, the marketing team also come up with a "Let's Create Sweet Memories of Bedok Stadium" campaign, encouraging Eagles' fans to post their photos of the last match with the hashtags #greenwhitearmy, #letscreatememories and #gifc on both Instagram and Facebook. These photos are now viewable on both platforms.

All copyrights © 2017 are attributed to the respective contributors above.