Weaver positive on Hougang prospects

Hougang United coach Alex Weaver believes his side are shaping up well ahead of the 2013 Great Eastern-YEO's S.League season.

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By Gabriel Tan

Weaver, who took over at the helm of the Hougang Stadium at the end of last year, led his charges to a 3-1 friendly win over SAFFC on Wednesday in their first warm-up game before the new season.

Although the Cheetahs have retained a large number of their squad from last season, a number of new faces showed positive signs, including English midfielder Tom Beattie, ex-LIONSXII centre-back Shahir Hamzah and foreign duo Liam Shotton and Jerome Baker, who both look set to be part of the club's foreign contingent in 2013.

While it's not strange for an incoming coach to implement sweeping changes, Weaver insists he will not be eyeing drastic adjustments and is instead looking for evolution rather than revolution.

"It was our first pre-season game today [Wednesday] and you can see we were trying things out," he said. "We played two different sides - one in each half.

"There were certainly plenty of positives to take from the game.

"Off the field, the foundation has already been set as we have a great chairman here. On the field, over the last couple of years, [former coaches] Aide [Iskandar] and Nenad have done well."

Even though he was only given the top job at Hougang at the conclusion of the 2012 season, Weaver revealed he had moved his family to Singapore midway through last year and was impressed with some of the Cheetahs' players.

"I've been here since midway through last year," he added. "I watched my games in the S.League.

"I always believed Hougang have the personnel and it's all about hard work.

"We haven't set any targets for this season with regards to a specific position. We just want to train better and play better with each passing day.

"If we do that, then who knows what we can achieve?"

Apart from the new faces that impressed on Wednesday, a number of players from last season also but in bright displays, including centre-backs Hasree Zais and Syaqir Sulaiman, playmaker Azhar Sairudin and Mamadou Diallo, who looks set to be reinvented as a central midfielder.



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