FFT's S.League Preview: Warriors FC

Having failed to retain their title last year, Warriors FC have recruited extensively this off-season as they aim to become the first team to clinch the S.League title 10 times.

TEAM PROFILE

Warriors FC 2016 S.LEAGUE SQUAD

Goalkeepers

  • Mohamed Yazid Bin Mohamed Yasin
  • Shahul Rayyan Bin Mohammad Redzuan
  • Muhammad Zainol Bin Gulam Mohamed

Defenders

  • Zulfadli Bin Zainal Abidin
  • Mohamed Syaqir
  • Ismail Yunos
  • Kento Fukuda
  • Madhu Mohana
  • Mohammad Hafiz Bin Osman
  • Shaiful Esah

Midfielders

  • Emmeric Ong
  • Poh Yi Feng
  • Nikola Rak
  • Mohammad Hafiz Bin Mohd Nor
  • Ignatius Ang
  • Fazli Jaffar
  • Andy Bin Ahmad
  • Mohamad Hafsyar Farkhan Bin Hashim
  • Hafiz Rahim
  • Mustaqim Manzur

Forwards

  • Jonathan Behe

Ending last season with a league-worst defensive record, conceding 51 goals in just 27 games, Warriors FC have focused on addressing their issues at the back.

The club released all members of last year’s back four, including the long-serving Daniel Bennett.

In their place, Warriors have assembled a number of old boys in Shaiful Esah, Zulfadli Zainal, Ismail Yunos and Hafiz Osman along with Singapore centre-back Madhu Mohana, the only LionsXII player to make the move to the Warriors arena.

In addition, the club also has the services of Japanese defender Kento Fukuda – one of the top performing defenders in the league last year.

The goalkeeper department has been upgraded as well, with S.League great Yazid Yasin set to be the first choice for 2016.

This will be a relief for fans of the nine-time S.League champions, after they used four goalkeepers over the course of last year – the highest in the league – which can be attributed as a huge factor for their leaky defence.

The club has seemingly done well to strengthen the midfield too, with several smart acquisitions.

While they failed to sign any of their LionsXII targets in this department, with most of them moving to Home United, Geylang International or Tampines Rovers, they have signed players proven at this level.

In Poh Yi Feng, Hafiz Nor and Hafiz Rahim, they have a trio which can be counted on to produce the goods.

Ignatius Ang, a 2015 young players of the year nominee, and the returning Andy Ahmad can be trusted to provide pace on the flanks, while in Croatian Nikola Rak, they have a capable playmaker.

The wealth of experience available is something that head coach Jorg Steinebrunner is pleased about and they will certainly aim to use it to their fullest advantage.

However, it is a worrying sign upfront for the Choa Chu Kang club, with only one recognised striker in Jonathan Behe.

The 27-year-old French forward has looked the part so far as a direct replacement for Fazrul Nawaz, Warriors’ top-scorer last year who has since joined Tampines.

Yet, with no back-up for Behe, Warriors’ targets for 2016 may be just one injury away from crumbling.

FFT'S S.LEAGUE PREDICTION: 6th

The 2014 winners do not look like they have the strength in depth to last the distance this time.

Photo: Weixiang Lim/FourFourTwo

KEEP CLICKING BELOW FOR OUR COMPREHENSIVE WARRIORS PREVIEW

COACH CORNER – Jorg Steinebrunner

After watching the club grind out a mediocre campaign last year, the German is targeting a return of the famous Warriors' winning mentality in his first season in charge.

Click here to find out how he intends to get the traditional powerhouses back in the hunt for silverware.

STAR MAN – Jonathan Behe

The French hitman insists he is already used to shouldering the goalscoring burden of every club he has played for and intends to do the same for his new side this season. 

For more about one of Warriors' key men, click here.

VIEW FROM THE FANS

This 30-year-old watched on as Warriors finished fifth in a disappointing campaign defending their title last time out, but believes in a revival under Jorg Steinbrunner. 

Find out more about his aspirations for the team right here!

YOUNG GUN – Andy Ahmad

He's achieved surprisingly much to date, but Andy Ahmad knows he's not yet the finished product and is eager to make up for the lost time he spent out injured last term.

Find out about his path to redemption right here.

Liked this 2016 S.League preview? Click here now to read even more features and interviews of your favourite clubs and players.