2023, SEPTEMBER 13 – Albirex Niigata FC (Singapore) has announced a significant transformation scheduled to take effect in the upcoming Singapore Premier League (SPL) 2024 season. The club, which has historically featured mainly Japanese players in its professional team, is shifting its focus towards a predominantly Singaporean player roster.
In alignment with this strategic shift, Albirex Niigata FC (S) has set its sights on participation in prestigious Asian Football Confederation (AFC) tournaments like the AFC Champions League and AFC Cup, contingent on the team’s performance in the domestic league.
Impressive Track Record: Six League Titles in Eight Years
Since joining Singapore’s professional football league in 2004, Albirex Niigata FC (S) achieved its first league title in 2016. In an impressive display of dominance, the club has clinched the league championship on six occasions within just eight years. This remarkable success extends to other prominent competitions, including the Singapore Cup, League Cup, and Community Shield, resulting in a total of 18 titles to date.
Nurturing Football Development
Albirex Niigata FC (S) has been instrumental in launching the careers of many Japanese players, who have gone on to secure contracts not only within the J.League but also across Southeast Asia and Europe. Additionally, the club has been committed to facilitating opportunities for local talents to embark on their European journeys. In December 2022, the club initiated a partnership with K.M.S.K. Deinze, a Belgian second division league team, which led to the transfer of Singaporean national team player Ilhan Fandi to the club.
In a significant move in 2023, Albirex Niigata FC (S) established a Methodology Department within the club in collaboration with SOCCER SERVICES BARCELONA, S.L. (based in Spain). This innovative initiative represents a pioneering step in enhancing the overall development of the club.
From Singapore to the Global Stage
The decision to embrace localisation represents a pivotal moment for Albirex Niigata FC (S). It underscores the club’s unwavering commitment to strengthening football within Singapore and elevating the club’s reputation throughout Asia and beyond. Together with its dedicated fan base, partners, and supporters, Albirex Niigata FC (S) aspires to make history.
Chairman Daisuke Korenaga’s Vision
On the occasion of the club’s 20th anniversary, Chairman Daisuke Korenaga, who has held this position for 16 seasons since 2008, expressed gratitude to all those who have supported the club over the years. Korenaga acknowledged the club’s history of embracing challenges but emphasised that the transition to localisation presents a unique endeavor. He acknowledged the expected challenges but conveyed his excitement about this new chapter.
Korenaga identified three primary objectives:
- Strengthening the Singapore national team.
- Expanding football’s presence in Singapore.
- Establishing the club as a unifying force within communities.
The localisation initiative reaffirms the club’s dedication to these core objectives, and Korenaga expressed optimism about the club’s continued contributions to Singaporean football. The club eagerly anticipates the unwavering support of its fans and stakeholders.