By Gabriel Tan
Balagumaran, who took over at the helm of the club from Darren Stewart at the start of the season, has spent much of the year blooding youngsters but has struggled for consistency in the Great Eastern-YEO's S.League, with his side currently 9th on the table with one game remaining.
However, his charges have shown glimpses of quality throughout the campaign and they put in arguably their best performance on Sunday as they routed Loyola in their third-place playoff tie, courtesy of first-half goals from Iqbal Hussain, Mustaqim Manzur, Fairoz Hasan and Julien Durand.
Despite coming up against Philippines internationals like James Younghusband, Phil Younghusband and Chad Gould, Balagumaran named three players under the age of 21 in his starting XI and they more than held their own against their more-established opponents, which saw something which greatly pleased their coach.
"Firstly, I have to thank the club for sharing my belief in youth," he told ESPNSTAR.com.
"When I first took over, I wanted to bring a few young players to the club and the chairman agreed after being impressed by them.
"I was given the chance to sign players like Nurullah, Iqbal and Samuel [Benjamin] and it has paid off well. Now other clubs are also looking at following the way we have brought through our youngsters.
"This can only be good for Singaporean football. That is one of the plus points of Gombak - we will give any youngster who's good enough the chance to pay."
While he has been seen as the main man behind the Bulls' success with development this year, given his previous coaching experience at youth level, Balagumaran believes he has had plenty of help from the club's senior players.
"For a new team, we have gelled so well and for that I have to thank my senior players like Obadin [Aikhena], Ismail [Yunos], Mustaqim [Manzur] and Hafiz [Rahim]," he revealed.
"I've seen how older players can sometimes treat the younger ones a bit differently, but there's been none of that with this team."
Sunday's third-place finish marks Gombak's best-ever performance in the Singapore Cup, and their coach believes it was a good way to end what has been a rollercoaster season.
"I have to thank my players for all their hard work," Balagumaran added. "Credit really has to go to the whole team.
"It's been a season of ups and downs but throughout it, the team has shown good form."
The Bulls finish off their season on Sunday when they entertain Albirex Niigata in the league.