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What You Can Expect in 2024

Updated: Apr 9

Submitted by: KingKiKiLover10 I 4th April 2024

As the 2024 SPL season is getting closer, let's talk about what's new to expect from Hougang. It's new signings, new sponsors, the players who the club managed to retain, and my thoughts on the upcoming season. But before that... Let's take a look at our latest shirt sponsor!





Our shirt sponsor for 2024 is Kelme! Material looks more comfy and better produced than Ari of last year! Slated to be up on sale on e-commerce websites and apps too. We'll update as we get more news!


We bid farewell to our beloved Hougang Stadium

After the highs of celebrating our last season at Hougang stadium in 2022 with a Singapore Cup, we are sadly permanently moving away from Hougang stadium this time. We shed a tear and a moment of silence for our beloved stadium and specifically Gate 3 for all the memories! Club officials and staffs have just moved to a brand new office.








Welcome Cheetahs!

Here we will proceed to talk about our brand new signings and talk about their strengths and how they could contribute to the team! Overall, our recruits this time are younger lads but who have held their own. Our team average age is (thankfully) on the lower side this year. Which is a good thing!


Kenji Ryusdi


Kenji Rusydi
Kenji Rusydi

With Zainol moving to Albirex, that meant that we had to go out and look for another goalkeeper to bolster our squad. Kenji comes into Hougang having played for Tanjong Pagar United last season. Kenji has been the preferred starting goalkeeper at Tajong Pagar, starting 74% of the games in the entirety of the 2023 season. Meaning to say that Kenji has vast experience as a custodian. A great addition to the squad...provided he doesn't get on the referee's wrong side.





Danish Irfan



Danish Irfan
Danish Irfan

Danish comes into this side as possibly a depth signing, that's not me being dismissive as we see more and more foreign CB pairings in the league, one can only wonder if the same would happen this season. Let's not forget the depth issues we had last season with the injuries we encountered. With all that being said, I am very happy that we got him on-board, tenacious and versatile he is a good pickup. Also scoring against Geylang International in the pre-season friendly via a header. Danish looks to be a real spark!




Nazhiim Harman



Nazhiim Harman
Nazhiim Harman

We have a few hougang alumnis in this list and Nazhiim is another one. Nazhiim has got me feeling similar to how I felt about Danish, I saw Danish play 2 games in pre-season (LCS+TRFC). From what I saw, I think for someone who had limited minutes last season, he did quite well at centre-back. He is strong on the ball and if he makes a mistake, he is always there to amend things which I quite liked.






Ensar Brucenivic



Ensar Brunčević
Ensar Brunčević

Ok here's the first foreign singing at the back, and it was one that made many wonder....huh? The very same Ensar that last played for Balestier? Yeah, it seems like Marko has gone and brought back someone he knows. Upon hearing his return to the league, I actually thought he was a good signing. He did however fail to impress me in that match against Tampines where I thought he could have done better but it's preseason still anyways.





Faris Hasic



Faris Hasić
Faris Hasić

A young talent who will probably anchor the defence with Ensar is the young Faris Hasic. Faris is only 20 but he stands at 1.86m and has established himself as a starter in the Bosnian second league. He will be one of the foreign youngsters that we're bringing in. Really excited to see his development.








Shodai Yokoyama



Shodai Yokoyama
Shodai Yokoyama

This is a signing that was not part of the Balkan contingent we heard rumors of. We knew Marko was trying to get under-the-radar players. Shodai was a key cog in midfield for Albirex last season, and can also play at right wing. His tenacity and quick feet were his standout traits last year. Looking at where he played during pre-season, he mostly operates in a deep-lying playmaker role, reminds me of Zulfahmi really. Often looking to play a long pass forward, switch play or track back to defend.





Nikesh Singh Sidhu



Nikesh Singh Sidhu
Nikesh Singh Sidhu

Yet another alumni, Nikesh returns to Hougang after completing his national service, in all honesty I do not know much about Nikesh, he also was not part of the preseason squads. Based on what he brought in 2019, if he can recapture his old self, then we would have ourselves a bright spark in the centre of the park operating as a reliable box-to-box midfielder.







Zamani Zamri



Zamani Zamri
Zamani Zamri

Zamani last played for Albirex and has come to join the Cheetahs for the 2024 season. A 3 time SPL champion, Zamani is still young and will definitely boost the attack, additionally he scored in a pre-season game against Geylang International. There's a reason Albirex has him in their ranks and if he could shake off the rust from NS from the recent previous years, we are bound to see an exciting player.







Justin Hui



Justin Hui
Justin Hui

The final hougang alumni, Justin Hui returns.... a name that might be familiar for some, he was part of the 2021 LCS squad. Justin from what I saw, was mostly used as a midfielder that could shift wide. He is press resistant and very tidy on the ball, I must say I quite liked what he did. Although he is 26, he is still a good signing for us. This is one to watch!







Stjepan Plazonja



Stjepan Plazonja
Stjepan Plazonja

Ahhh yes, the Balkan revolution. It seems like this is an ongoing theme here. Stjepan is a versatile forward that stands at 1.92M. Very tall. On transfermarkt he is seen as mainly a centre forward but we have looked through some youtube highlights that suggests he can play at the left wing position. He is pretty quick for his size and his low crosses, quick feet and cut-backs look good. But he seems rather 1 footed. His trickery will be needed this year!





Petar Banovic



Petar Banovic
Petar Banovic

Another player from the Balkan revolution, he is another tall addition to our frontline. He seems to be adapt in the build up, often linking up well with his teammates or drifting out wide to set-up his teammates. Not sure how he will perform in the league but looking at how Maksimovic performed, I can only say there is some pressure on his shoulders now.







The Roundup

We have another two foreign players who will be joining us but it's pending some legislative matters. Once all settled, we will talk more about them on another article. To be honest, these young studs look reliable, talented and most of all, hardworking, which is great because it's the embodiment of the Hougang semangat! Can't wait!




Let's talk about who stayed

I will keep this abit more brief but we have retained quite a few players and some unannounced (wink).

But we did keep quite a few players that are crucial for us, Kristijan Kracjek(Kiki) and most of our defenders stayed. Shahdan too, this season should be the one where he shows us why he deserves to stay. The locals we kept are consistent and impactful so no problems from me there.


It's good to see stalwarts like Nazrul stay even after a rumored long battle with other clubs for his signature. He is our longest serving player and as such we demand that his statue be built somewhere! And kudos too to players like Anders who've also been with hougang for a good number of seasons.


Also, would like to thank Gabriel Quek for being with us for this upcoming season!


However on how we might play under Marko this season, we can expect to see more crosses for Petar. It's very possible that we see a front 3 of Stejpan as a left winger and Petar Banovic as the 9 and Hazzuwan as the right winger.


I will also expect to see Kiki playing in midfield and hopefully more of Ajay. There are still a few foreigner slots to be filled and it is likely that we will go for another foreign CB to complete the defense. My other prediction is for Ajay to have his breakout season. Ajay has been electric at times and during the pre-season he has proven that he can contribute more on the offensive front. With the new foreign slot rules, he might see a reduced role but if he manages to impress, I don't see why he would not be able to break through. After all, there'll be more games as well as competitions to fight for.


Well that is all for this article, a shorter one I must say but hopefully a brief idea on what the team might look like. Vamos! Hougang United! 🐆


 


Which incoming player are you excited for?

  • 0%Kenji

  • 0%Nazhiim

  • 0%Danish Irfan

  • 0%Faris Hasic

You can vote for more than one answer.


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