Home United’s 2004 AFC Cup semi-finalists: Where Are They Now?

In the first edition of the AFC Cup, Home United progressed all the way to the semi-finals (along with fellow S.League side Geylang United) before losing 6-1 on aggregate to Syria’s Al-Jaish. FFT traces the whereabouts of that legendary Protectors squad… 

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Lionel Lewis

Known for his commanding presence and remarkable shot-stopping abilities, the retired 1.86m custodian is still viewed as one of the best Singapore goalkeepers ever.

In that same year, Lewis put up several impressive displays in Singapore’s Tiger Cup (now Suzuki Cup) winning campaign to earn the tournament’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.

The first and only Singaporean nominee for the Asian Footballer of the Year award in 2006, he went on to win another Suzuki Cup with the Lions the following year.

Lewis – who won the 2001 S.League title with Geylang – was subsequently invited for trials at Manchester City and Grasshopper Club Zurich, although a move did not materialise.

He would play till the end of the 2012 season – winning two Singapore Cups with Home and amassing 73 international caps – before hanging up his gloves at just 29 due to a persistent ankle injury.

The 35-year-old is now into his sixth year with Nanyang Polytechnic’s (NYP) Student Affairs Department where he manages the Physical Education (PE) & Fitness module for students. He’s still pretty good with his hands though and often plays netball as well as frisbee these days!

Aide Iskandar

An elegant ball-playing centre back who did not shirk a challenge, Aide is undoubtedly one of the finest Singapore defenders ever.

He earned 121 international caps and won three Suzuki Cups, captaining the Lions to the 2004 and 2007 triumphs.

With Home, Aide amassed two S.League titles and four Singapore Cups in total before leaving at the end of 2005. He went on to play for Johor FA, Tampines Rovers (winning the Singapore Cup in 2006) and Geylang United before winding up his career with Sengkang Punggol in 2009, where he took over as head coach midway through the season.

He led the club to a seventh-placed finish out of 12 teams during their first season as Hougang United in 2011, before assisting Raddy Avramovic in the 2012 Suzuki Cup-winning campaign.

Aide then had mixed fortunes coaching the Singapore under-23s, earning a bronze medal in the 2013 SEA Games before a group-stage exit on home soil two years later led to him stepping down. He also coached the Asian Games team in 2014.

The 42-year-old joined Geylang International as technical advisor in 2016, before teaming up with local rapper Sheikh Haikel to form a sports marketing agency called Sports Star Network in May 2017.

S Subramani

You cannot mention Aide’s success without Subramani, as the duo forming an excellent defensive partnership and enjoyed similar success in terms of trophies with both Home and Singapore.

The dependable and no-nonsense Subramani was always the first name on the team sheet as he accumulated 115 international caps and is still the longest-serving skipper in S.League history.

He hung up his boots after 11 seasons with Home after the 2009 season and worked as assistant coach of the club till 2011, before joining the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) as a PE lecturer at ITE College Central.

The 45-year-old cannot seem to stay away from football though, as he has just returned for his second stint as assistant coach of Garena Young Lions on a part-time basis – having assisted Aide from 2013 to 2015.

A Sivakumar

Completing the three-man backline was this super-fit full-back, who could boss the left flank all day long. He scored Home’s only goal over both legs with a close-range snapshot.

The underrated Sivakumar – who won the 1999 S.League title with the Protectors – featured regularly for the Singapore national team and started against the likes of Liverpool, Manchester United and Uruguay in his prime.

He retired from professional football at the age of 35 after the 2006 season but continued to turn out for amateur side Singapore Cricket Club (SCC) till 2013. He then hung up his boots after the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) imposed an age-related ruling in the National Football League (NFL).

The 46-year-old is now a housing agent with more than 10 years in the industry.