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NFL champs Eunos land a training pitch and home-ground sponsor in The Arena

SINGAPORE - National Football League (NFL) reigning champions Eunos Crescent Football Club has received a huge boost to its campaign to successfully defend its crown.

Eunos Crescent FC's Darwin Jalil with Simon Tan (right), the managing director of The Arena. Photo: The Arena

Eunos Crescent FC's Darwin Jalil with Simon Tan (right), the managing director of The Arena. Photo: The Arena

SINGAPORE - National Football League (NFL) reigning champions Eunos Crescent Football Club has received a huge boost to its campaign to successfully defend its crown.

The club, which has signed former Singapore internationals Indra Sahdan and Tengku Mushadad, will now be free of the burden of having to look for fields to train on. It will also have a new home ground for the upcoming season which will begin on Saturday (April 22).

The amateur club, which is aiming to play in the S.League in the near future, has found a training and home ground sponsor in The Arena, the newly-opened football, health and fitness facility, at Woodleigh Road.

Under the sponsorship, The Arena will provide its pitches for the football club for all their training sessions. The Club will also play out their home fixtures for the NFL at The Arena.

The Arena is home to several football pitches, including one 11-a-side pitch, two 7-a-side pitches and three 5-a-side pitches.

“We are pleased to be a sponsor of Eunos as part of our efforts in supporting local football and giving back to the community,” said Simon Tan, who is the managing director of The Arena.

“Eunos did a great job last season and we hope that with the quality pitches and facilities provided by The Arena, it will further motivate the team for the upcoming NFL season,”

Eunos team manager Darwin Jalil said he was immensely grateful to The Arena as it will alleviate a financial burden on the club.

“It was very difficult to get pitches before. There are about five stadiums available, and we’ve got to compete for bookings with 23 other teams, and other private operators. We’ve had trouble getting pitches at times.

“In the end, we have to spend a lot money booking private fields for our training.”

According to Darwin, private 11-aside fields cost $330 to book for two hours.

“Then there are instances where we had to cancel trainings because the fields are not available, and there are also times when we book the field but have to cancel our session at the last minute due to double bookings,” he said.

Eunos trains twice a week in pre-season, and once a week when their NFL campaign begins. Darwin calculated that Arena’s 30-session sponsorship means that the club will save about S$10,000.

“This sponsorship gives us peace of mind, we can now just focus on the football knowing we’ve got a place to call home,” he said.

“Having home ground advantage has a huge psychological impact on the team in terms of match-day preparations because then we’ll be familiar with the terrain and its dimensions, having trained and played there often.

“All these little details, like being familiar with the pitch surface can give us that edge over other teams.”

Eunos will kick off the new NFL season against GFA Sporting Westlake on Saturday.

The Arena sponsorship is the second boost that Eunos has received in recent times.

Recently, it tied up a partnership with Dutch club VVV Venlo to adopt training methods, jointly developed by Venlo’s head of academy Roger Bongaerts and Khairul Asyraf, for their Centre of Excellence (COE) youth sides. The club plan to implement the new training methods later this year.

Khairul runs the 2Touch Soccer School and is also Eunos’ head of youth development.

In addition, two youth players from ECFC will also be selected for a training stint at Venlo in August. ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY NOAH TAN

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