Singapore Premier League clubs resume full training

Fadhil Yunus

DPMM FC’s rival clubs in the Singapore Premier League (SPL) will resume full training sessions starting today following an announcement from the Football Association of Singapore (FAS).

The FAS welcomed the move from Singapore’s Multi-Ministry Taskforce to allow clubs to resume full training as they gear towards a competitive action return.

Eight of the league’s clubs, excluding DPMM FC, have been conducting training sessions since June 20 during Phase 2 of the re-opening of Singapore in accordance with the guidelines including a group size limit of five players.

“This is a significant step towards having our clubs resuming football as per normal in this year’s SPL season,” the FAS said

Singapore’s football governing body will continue to work alongside relevant ministries and stakeholders on setting a tentative resumption date in September for the SPL season.

The easing of measures only applies to clubs competing in the SPL. Of the nine league members in the 2020 season, only DPMM FC are not based in Singapore.

File photo shows DPMM FC’s Abdul Azizi Ali Rahman in action during the match against Tampines Rovers. PHOTO: INFOFOTO

The FAS added that clubs have been briefed on the necessary safety measures that they will need to abide by during training sessions.

Meanwhile, DPMM FC have been training with the ball since July following revised guidelines with sharing of equipment and minimal level of contacts allowed.

The initial stages of the club’s return to training involved players working on their fitness levels, including sessions assisted by equipment such as poles and ladders.

The reigning Singapore Premier League holders have been boosted with the revised guidelines of the de-escalation plan on team sports whereby the group size limit has been increased to 15 people.

The SPL season has been suspended since March 24 due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

DPMM FC started their campaign with a 2-0 win on home soil against league leaders Tampines Rovers at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas in their only league match this season so far.

Defender Charlie Clough planted a firm header to give the hosts a lead before forward Andrei Varankou completed the scoring late on the match.

In June, Tampines Rovers were one of the first clubs that reported to training albeit with a limited group size at the Our Tampines Hub with strict health protocols in place.