Tanjong Pagar’s 1998 Singapore Cup winners: Where Are They Now?

Now-defunct Tanjong Pagar United enjoyed their finest-ever season in 1998, winning the Singapore Cup by defeating SAFFC (now Warriors FC) 2-0 at the old National Stadium. FFT traces the whereabouts of that legendary Jaguars squad…  

Topping a group that consisted of Marine Castle United (now Hougang United), Woodlands Wellington and Balestier Central (now Balestier Khalsa), Tanjong Pagar faced Home United in the two-legged semi-finals.

The Jaguars progressed 3-2 on aggregate before eventually sealing the triumph against the Warriors in the grand final which was played out front of 12,738 fans.

So where are those players that featured in the starting eleven and the coach at the helm then?

Dragan Talajic

With a strong command of his area and lightning quick reflexes, the big Croatian goalkeeper was undoubtedly one of the best ever foreign goalkeepers to have played in the S.League.

After helping the Jaguars to the best defensive record in the league, he went on to keep clean sheets against the Warriors and Sembawang Rangers in the Singapore Cup and FA Cup finals respectively that year as the club clinched the Double.

Talajic is carving a name for himself as a coach. Photo: Muangthong United

Talajic would hang up his gloves at the turn of the millennium and became equally successful off the field as a coach.

He won the 2004 AFC Champions League with Saudi Arabian side Al-Ittihad and also picked up domestic titles in Jordan and Kuwait.

He has been unemployed since being sacked by Thai giants Muangthong United in January 2016.

The 51-year-old was on a six-man shortlist for the Thailand job earlier this year, but lost out to Serbian Milovan Rajevac.

Lim Tong Hai

Part of the famed 1994 Dream Team, Lim showed his class in the 1998 Cup final by marking out Singapore’s finest forward Fandi Ahmad.

The former national team captain left for Geylang United (now Geylang International) in 2002 and played there for two years before retiring.

Lim is now a FAS council member. Photo: FAS

He then served in various backroom roles with the Eagles, including as head coach, and spent a period with Institute of Technical Education (ITE) as a sports and wellness senior lecturer.

The 48-year-old is now chairman of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) Referees’ Committee.

Jorg Steinebrunner

A former Germany under-21 international, Steinebrunner was a tough-tackling yet elegant defender. He would play for the Jaguars till 2003 before proceeding into coaching.

After spells with Woodlands and Sengkang Punggol (now Hougang United), he went to Indonesia to coach PSM Makassar before returning to Singapore to take over the Geylang reins in 2014.

Steinebrunner during his playing days in Germany. Photo: SC Freiburg Museum

He was named Warriors FC head coach for the 2016 season but stepped down after just a few months due to a series of mediocre results.

The 45-year-old is now technical director at promotion-chasing Malaysia Premier League side Negeri Sembilan, where he is reunited with former Eagles winger Bruno Castanheira.

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