By Gabriel Tan
Toda, who played for the Samurai Blue at the 2002 FIFA World Cup, was unveiled as the Warriors' marquee signing for the 2013 Great Eastern-YEO's S.League season at a press conference on Wednesday.
Bringing with him to the Choa Chu Kang Stadium a wealth of experience having spent most of his career in the J.League, as well as having stints in England and Netherlands with Tottenham and ADO Den Haag respectively, the 35-year-old immediately revealed the main reason behind his move was his desire for a new challenge.
And it looks like that challenge will involve a hunt for silverware this year after SAFFC general manager Chong Wei Chiang announced the club's target for the season.
"SAFFC are very excited to secure the services of Toda for this season," he said.
"It is a fact that we have not lived up to expectations in the past three years. It is the club's objective for this season to be a strong title contender.
"We are looking forward to an exciting new season and we are aiming to do the double."
As one of the biggest sides in Singaporean football, the last three years have been disappointing by their lofty standards given they failed to come close to challenging for the title, finishing fourth, third and seventh on the table respectively.
Warriors coach V. Selvaraj, who has taken over the top job from Richard Bok, believes there has been one area the side have been lacking in over the past few seasons, and is confident Toda is the man to address the problem.
"When I formed the team for 2013, I felt there was one role in this team that really needed to be addressed," he explained. "When I welcomed him [Toda] at the airport, I realised that he's a true professional.
"I've watched him play in training sessions and I'm very convinced he can adapt to that role, which is as a holding midfield player. He has played that role at a higher level and is definitely going to strengthen our defence.
"That is one thing that has been lacking at SAFFC for the past few years."
Selvaraj also had no doubt the former Shimizu S-Pulse man will set the perfect example for his younger players to follow.
"He has been a true professional and is definitely one player to look out for, especially for my boys," he added.
"Everyone in the team looks up to him and he will definitely bring some substance to the team. He's definitely here on a mission.
"He's not a player who just wants to come and try to adapt as much as he can and listen to instructions. Personally, I believe he has a set of objectives and those suit my style, and he's definitely going to be a player to be reckoned with in my defence."
Toda last played for Machida Zelvia in the J.League Division 2.