S.League 2017 report card: How did the teams fare?

Albirex Niigata naturally got all the plaudits after repeating last season’s Quadruple feat, but how did rest of the S.League clubs fare? Kenneth Tan dishes out the grades…

Albirex Niigata (S)

2016 Placing: 1st

Pre-Season Expectation: A top-three finish

2017 Placing: 1st 

FFT's pre-season prediction: Having retained just seven players – last season’s Player of the Year Atsushi Kawata among those who departed – and with a change of coach, it will be asking too much of the White Swans to sweep everything on offer - the Charity Shield, S.League, League Cup and Singapore Cup again.

How they have performed: Much better than expected. The White Swans did not just achieve another Quadruple, they did it in fine style.

Successive losses against Home United and Hougang United midway through the season could have put a spanner in the works but Albirex then put together a 21-match unbeaten run in all competitions to end the season. Those two games turned out to be their only defeats of the year.

They scored more, conceded less and put more points on the board than 2016 – achieving 62 out of a possible 72 in the S.League. Stunning to say the least.

Star man: Kento Nagasaki. The 27-year-old pulled the strings in the White Swans midfield with his intricate passes and thrilled many with his pinpoint free kicks, as he recorded 17 goals in all competitions.

Grade: A+

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