By ESPNSTAR.com staff
The Eagles, who have been known as Geylang United since the inaugural S.League season back in 1996, were unveiled as Geylang International on Thursday in an event that also saw them announce their playing list for the coming year.
And in a move mirroring his growing importance at the Bedok Stadium, Kaplan has been named the club's new skipper, filling the vacancy left by goalkeeper Yazid Yasin, who has moved to Woodlands Wellington.
In a bid to rejuvenate their fortunes after a couple of miserable seasons, including their third-from-bottom finish in 2012, Eagles coach V. Kanan has also bolstered his side with a number of big-name signings.
Leading the way is striker Shotaro Ihata, who has scored 32 goals in the past two campaigns with Albirex Niigata and Home United, and is regarded as one of the most-lethal hitmen in the competition.
In addition to the 25-year-old, Geylang will also have two other Japanese imports in goalkeeper Takuma Ito and centre-back Norihiro Kawakami, who were both key members of the Albirex side that finished third last year.
Furthermore, three Singapore internationals will also be pulling on the club's new green-and-white hooped jersey this season, with ex-LIONSXII winger Yasir Hanapi, former Tanjong Pagar United captain Delwinder Singh and goalkeeper Joey Sim, who was part of the Singapore side that won the AFF Suzuki Cup last month, all unveiled as new signings.
Classy left-back Duncan Elias, who was vice-captain of Woodlands in 2012, rounds off the prominent arrivals at the Bedok Stadium.
Given Kanan had been the club's Prime League coach before he took over the top job from Mike Wong in March, it came as no surprise that he spent much of last season blooding several youngsters in crunch games, and the trend looks set to continue this year with Amy Recha, Fabian Kwok, Nurhazwan Norasikin, Khairulnizam Jumahat and Taufiq Ghani all promoted to the senior squad.
Geylang International S.League squad for 2013
1. Takuma Ito
2. Khairulnizam Jumahat
3. Khayrulhayat Jumat
4. Delwinder Singh
5. Duncan Elias
7. Norihiro Kawakami
9. Shotaro Ihata
10. Yasir Hanapi
11. Stefan Milojevic
12. Fabian Kwok
14. Wahyudi Wahid
15. Shah Hirul
16. Amy Recha
17. Jozef Kaplan
18. Nurhazwan Norasikin
19. Joey Sim
20. Taufiq Ghani