Voices From The Ground: Hougang United vs Home United – What The Players Think

Photo: Heinkel Heinz

Chris Peng
The Unofficial S.League Podcast

Voices From The Ground:  Our writer spoke to Rudy Khairullah, Faris Ramli and Syahiran Miswan after the match between Hougang United and Home United. Here’s what they thought about the game.

Post-match snippet with Home United Goalkeeper Rudy Khairullah

Chris (C): Hi Rudy, you had a good game last week against Albirex Niigata (S), some people even hailed you as a hero. The result wasn’t quite as good tonight. How do you plan to recover and come back stronger?

Rudy Khairullah (R): There are ups and downs in games. With the support of the team and coaches, I will train hard and come back stronger.

C: Now that Hassan is out, you are competing with Eko Pradana Putra for the gloves. How do you feel about this?

R: It’s up to me to do my best in training, so that I get to play and show the coaches that I deserve the chance. I am mentally strong. This is what football is about.

C: You attracted the interest of top flight Thai club Navy FC during the S.League's pre-season, clearly there is potential in you. Hassan Sunny has obviously done really well in the Thai League previously with Thai Army FC. Do you see yourself doing better and challenging Hassan for the gloves?

R: He’s the first choice but I am not going to relax, anything can happen. I have to step up my game.

C: Good luck and thanks!

Post-match chat with Home United and Singapore forward Faris Ramli

Chris (C): Going from the win last week to the loss today, Home United is facing a bit of an up and down situation. Overall, I feel you guys have been consistent though. How do you feel about tonight’s game?

Faris Ramli (F): We did our best, followed a game plan and did not deserve to lose. Hougang is a very disciplined team and stuck to their game plan. Basically they took their chances and we didn’t. We need to try to rectify any problems in training. As for the attackers, we did our part but it was just not our day.

C: You guys missed many chances and multiple headers went awry. Was Song (Song Ui-Young) sorely missed tonight?

F: We did miss him. That being said, everyone is important. We miss the likes of Aqhari Abdullah and Shamil Sharif just as much. Hopefully they will come back strongly and we will be able to rotate the squad around.

C: The League Cup beckons. Maybe it’s time for players to recover and coach Aidil Shahrin can then work out the matchday lineups.

F: It’s a great cup! Everyone says that we are in the group of death but I am sure that coach Aidil will have plans for the youngsters. I'm looking forward to see what they are capable of.

C: One last question. I know it’s a painful result for a Home United player, but as a Singapore international, it must have been good for you to see your fellow international Nazrul Nazari do so well tonight.

F: (Nods enthusiastically): Indeed, he’s a fantastic player. On his day, he can beat anyone with his bursts and sprints. No one can catch him. Unfortunately, while Nazrul was up front, we failed to capitalize on the gaps in the back and missed quite a few chances. We need to work on our finishing.

C: Yes. The next Home United game is on Tuesday?

F: (Looks concerned): Monday! The schedule is very tight. Hopefully we have no more injuries and the coach will be able to rotate some of us.

C: Good luck for the next game!

F: Thank you!

Post-match snippet with Hougang United's Syahiran Miswan

Chris (C): As a former Home United player and a current Hougang United player, how do you feel about tonight’s result?

Syahiran Miswan (S): It feels great. We have a strong team, worked together and got the job done.

C: Coach Aw, being the former coach at Home United, brought you and a few other players to your current club. He also brought his ideologies to your club.

S: He has his philosophies. He’s a very good coach and everyone listens to him.

C: The likes of Lionel Tan and yourself haven’t played that much back at Home United. However, you are now playing regularly for the Hougang United first team. How do you feel about this trust bestowed upon you?

S: He trusts us a lot and we need to repay his trust by doing well on the pitch.

C: There was a blip earlier on when you guys lost three games in a row due to the unavailability of your strikers. Now that they are back, you guys are having a resurgence. Do you see the possibility of winning silverware?

S: We want to take it one game at a time but obviously our confidence is boosted. We have defeated two giants.

C: The finalists of the AFC Cup ASEAN Zone, no less. If you guys can maintain your form, a spot in the AFC Cup could be within your reach. Wouldn't that be appealing?

S: (Enthusiastically): Of course!

C: Congratulations once again, Syahiran. Good luck for the game next week!

One match, two teams and three players. While the first two players expressed the need to come back stronger, the third is thankful for the trust he received.

Everyone is looking to move on and not be fixated with the result of the night. That’s the right attitude as the season is long and there are four attainable trophies.

For myself, I am certainly looking forward to see how some of our brightest and youngest players fight on. Ultimately, the season is a long marathon, not a sprint.

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