Geylang International - Rise of the Eagles

  1. Geylang International - Rise of the Eagles

    Hi everyone, this is a story of a club that was once a respected institution, but has since fallen on harder times. This story takes place in the exotic South-east Asian country of Singapore, with a club called Geylang International Football Club.
    Some things to note about the Singapore League (as of 2014):
    1. We do not have a promotion or relegation system. One league comprising of twelve teams, that's it.
    2. Teams play each other twice throughout the season. After that, the table is split in two (top six and bottom six). The top six play once against each other, and the bottom six play once against each other. And yes, using this system, the seventh-placed team can end the season with more points than the sixth-placed team. Counter-intuitive, but it is what it is.
    3. Home and away matches are not THAT much of a big deal. East to West measures 50 kilometres. That's just 8km more than a marathon.
    4. Teams are allowed to sign up to five foreign players. Each match-day squad is allowed a maximum of four foreign players.

    As I have already started the game, there's not much time to give a good narrative of what has already happened, but I'll try my best to fill you readers in on what has happened thus far. Thank you for the support, and I hope to come up with something nice and readable!

  2. Humble Beginnings

    Before throwing readers into the midst of the season, I suppose it would be helpful to provide some context about why I'm here in the managerial hotseat at Bedok Stadium, trying to lead a motley crew into mid-table mediocrity.
    It all started in late November 2013. It was a humid Friday night (as it always is in tropical Singapore), and I was at Bedok Stadium watching a match. Admission was cheap (five dollars a ticket), and it was football, so why not?
    Looking around the stadium, one could see the looks of disappointment etched on the faces of the longsuffering fans. It had not been a good season for the Eagles. Inconsistency, injuries, and incompetence had contributed to the club languishing in 11th place, with only the Malaysian youth team below them. This was the Eagles' final chance to salvage some pride at home, and one would think they would be raring to go.
    They weren't.
    Misplaced passes, miscontrolled touches and mistakes from the team saw repetitive groans of disappointment from the fans. As a Geylang player lost the ball, resulting in the opposition scoring, I shook my head.
    The man next to me must have sensed this, as he suddenly said, "They're not playing very well are they?"
    "They've been playing terribly for the whole season," I replied. "To expect them to play well now would be walking that thin tightrope between hope and delusion."
    "What do you think they should do?" he responded.
    "They got pace on the wings but for whatever reason, they're obsessed with playing through the middle. The defenders are clearly shorter than the opposition strikers, but we're playing such a deep defensive line that we might as well just give the opposition strikers the ball and let them be done with it." I started.
    "Apart from playing a deep line, our midfield is playing way too high. There's so much space in between the defence and midfield, you could open an elephant zoo there."
    This went on and on for quite a while.
    The man seemed impressed with the answers. "I should've introduced myself." he says. "Patrick Ang, but you can call me Pat."
    I've only gone and ripped the club from top to bottom right in front of the bloody chairman!
    "As you said, it's not been a good season. Therefore, the board has decided they want to begin rebuilding. However, some of the players are tied to longer contracts. The manager, though..." Chairman Pat gave a sigh.
    "We will be sacking the manager after this season. I personally feel we need a new perspective, and I was impressed with your answers. I want to give you an interview to be the new manager!" he finished.
    And that was how, two weeks later, I was in the Geylang International Meeting Room, giving a PowerPoint presentation (here's to you Big Sam).
    One week later, I was hired.
    Immediately after I'd signed the contract, Chairman Pat pulls me to one side.
    "Now I haven't told you this, but I'm stepping down as the Chairman too."
    "The board likes you, so you will have no problems with whoever the new Chairman is. You won't lose your job due to the change of leadership at the top. I'll be popping by for home matches; I've got to say I've grown quite attached to the club after nearly twenty years of being the chairman."
    I can barely speak. Chairman (or rather, ex-Chairman) Pat was going to be there to protect me, I'd thought.
    "Enjoy the rest of December, the team starts training again in January. Your office will be ready for you to use from next week onwards." With that, he gives me a firm handshake, and walks off.
    I can barely speak.

  3. (Expected Delays)

    Been way too busy at work lately, but will post as soon as a lull period comes around! Meanwhile, here's some Eagles promotional material!
    Geylang International - Rise of the Eagles-geylang2014start.jpg
    (Stock photos from the Interwebs, just being used for personal projects and not for profit)

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