By Gabriel Tan
The Filipino outfit are one of five foreign sides that will take part in this season's edition of Singapore's premier cup competition, along with Malaysia's Harimau Muda B, Bruneian side DPMM FC, Cambodian giants Phnom Penh crown, Laotian champions Yotha FC and Kanbawza of Myanmar.
Loyola appear to have been handed a favourable draw after being pitted against Great Eastern-YEO's S.League strugglers Geylang United, and ahead of Friday's game at the Jalan Besar Stadium, Sparks coach Kim Chul-su has revealed he has set a semi-final berth as the target for his side.
"We have set reaching the semi-finals as the target for Loyola," Kim told ESPNSTAR.com at training on Wednesday.
"We are confident we have what it takes to match any side in the competition and we will give a good account of ourselves, starting on Friday."
While the South Korean tactician admits his side have not had much of a chance to assess the Eagles ahead of their clash, he does not believe that will hamper his side's prospects.
"We head into every game hoping to win and believing we can do so, whether or not we've managed to have a good look at our opponents," he added.
"The players I have are still developing as a team, and I would say we are currently only playing at 60% of what we are capable of."
Considering Geylang currently have the worst defence in the S.League, having conceded 29 goals in 12 matches, Loyola will be quietly confident of their chances, especially with Phil Younghusband and Mark Hartmann leading the attack, while James Younghusband and Matthew Hartmann will be looking to create chances from midfield.
Image courtesy of Mark Dilamanta (UFL Philippines, InterAKTV)