By Daniel Teo
It was a fall from grace for the eight-time champions last season after finishing a disappointing fourth-place.
What was more disappointingly was the fact that the Warriors finished a staggering 17 points behind Etoile FC, who became the first ever foreign team to lift the S.League title since the league's inception in 1996.
Since taking over the helm in 2006, Bok has delivered four consecutive titles to the Choa Chu Kang trophy cabinet and will be desperate to add to that this season.
Speaking at a pre-season press conference on Tuesday afternoon, the 41-year-old spoke of his side's title ambitions for the new campaign, which he expects will be as tough, if not tougher than last season.
"I can't say for sure SAFFC will win the title this year. But I have every faith in the team and believe that if we put in the hard work combined with some luck, we could well be celebrating at the end of the day.
"This year will be tougher with teams - particularly Home United - strengthening their squads. I also see Tampines Rovers in the running as they have maintained a solid backline while I have been impressed by Albirex Nigata, who seem to be getting stronger each year.
"So we simply cannot afford to discount any of the 12 teams this season if we are to mount a serious title challenge. I can foresee four or five teams fighting it out at the top of the league this season instead of just a two horse race as we have seen last year."
Over the years, SAFFC have been known for their attacking style of play that has served them well over the past decade.
But defensive lapses proved to be the Warriors' downfall last season and Bok is determined to stop the rot at the back.
"Last year we conceded many unnecessary goals which killed our title challenge altogether. Therefore our main priority this season is to tighten up our defence and that is why we have decided to bring in Daniel Hammond from Balestier Khalsa and Bah Mamadou from Gombak United.
"I have always believed that if a team doesn't concede, they don't lose matches. So it is time we get back to the basics."
With three quality centre-backs at his disposal including Singapore international Daniel Bennett, Bok hinted that he may well play three of them in defence in an unfamiliar 3-5-2 formation.
He added: "We are known to play four at the back but with the three defenders I have in the squad now, you never know."
Despite placing more emphasis on the defence this season, the three-time S.League Coach of the Year was quick to assure the fans that the Warriors will not compromise on their attacking play.
In fact, he spoke of his admiration of Spanish giants Barcelona, whom his side will be looking to emulate.
He added: "Of course we will continue playing good football that our fans will enjoy as we want them to keep coming back to watch our games.
"We want to play a passing game like how the teams in the Spanish league do. Barcelona is the ultimate team we would like to emulate. Not just in their attacking play but also the way they win back possession when they lose the ball."
While Barcelona have Lionel Messi as their star player, Bok has pin-pointed new Croatian striker Mislav Karoglan as his main man - although he insists it is the team that will win the title, not individuals.
"I will be banking on Mislav to bang in the goals for me. Hopefully he can score every other two games.
"But if you ask me who the main star is, I would say it's the team itself that will win the title for the club."
Can the Warriors wrestle the title back from Etoile FC in the 2011 Great Eastern-Yeos' S.League?
They will hope to do so with a winning start against the Young Lions on 12 February at the Jalan Besar Stadium.