Former Arsenal and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant put pen to paper on a one-year deal with S.League club Tampines Rovers at a packed press conference held earlier on Tuesday.
It has been two weeks of frenzy amongst media and fans alike since the news of Pennant’s trial broke and the former England Under-21 international finally signed a contract in an event held at the Komoco Motors Showroom.
Hopefully I’m going to enjoy success and win a lot of trophies here
Donning the club’s new light blue club polo shirt, Pennant was visibly pleased to see the huge media turnout and is looking forward to make history with Tampines.
“It’s great to see the amount of media attention since my arrival,” he said. “I’m feeling a bit more pressure than I felt last week, but I believe I can deal with that.
“The feedback and support that I’ve been getting is fantastic, that’s what I came here for. My teammates have made me feel very welcome and showed a lot of respect, so I’m going to give the same amount of respect for them.
“The keenness of the club was what really sealed it for me. They showed that they really wanted to move forward with the quality of their signings, so it’s a no-brainer for me really.
“Hopefully I’m going to enjoy success and win a lot of trophies here. I’ll also be passing on the word and speak highly about this league to my friends in the English Premier League (EPL).”
While it was reported previously that Pennant would be drawing a salary in excess of S$40,000 per month, club chairman Krishna Ramachandra refused to go into the finer details of the deal when probed.
“The only thing I can say is that it is a sexy figure,” said the 44-year-old. “The remuneration details are strictly confidential.
The only thing I can say is that it is a sexy figure
“But this is a useful opportunity to see how we can focus away from the raw numbers. Whether he’s worth it will depends on how he performs and interact with the other players. So let’s just focus on what his contributions for the club will be.”
As part of the event on Tuesday, Pennant was also handed the keys to a new sponsor's vehicle, as well as his No.9 Tampines Rovers shirt.
S.League chief executive Lim Chin was also present at the signing ceremony and spoke about his delight to see a former EPL player plying his trade in the local league.
“It’s been a real buzz in the two weeks which he’s been here,” he quipped. “We had the ‘marquee player’ system in 2013 and 2014, but with limited success. Budget has always been a key constraint at the present moment for Singapore football.
“So it’s great that these sponsors of Tampines have come on board to support this endeavour and we’re looking forward to a great season ahead.
“I hope more of these players will come, hopefully Jermaine will help us spread the good word.”
Photos: Weixiang Lim/FourFourTwocomments