Ambitious new force docks in Singapore Premier League as Lion City Sailors replace Home United

Gabriel Tan Gabriel Tan

The Singapore Premier League will welcome a new club in 2020 as traditional heavyweights Home United have been replaced by Lion City Sailors.

Home, also known as the Protectors, were one of the founding clubs when the Singapore Premier League – then known as the S.League – was formed in 1996 and won two titles in 1999 and 2003.

The Bishan Stadium-based outfit also had six Singapore Cups to their names and were the ASEAN Zone champions of the AFC Cup in 2018.

On Friday, it was announced that Sea – Singapore’s largest consumer internet company and parent of Shopee, Garena and SeaMoney – is assuming full ownership of Home and forming a new club in its place: Lion City Sailors.

Forrest Li, founder, chairman and group CEO of Sea, and newly-installed chairman of Lion City Sailors, said: “Sea is proud to be a Singaporean company, and we are proud to play our part in elevating Singapore football to the next level.

“By uniting with a club with a rich heritage, exceptional fans, and a great organisation, we intend for Lion City Sailors to set a new benchmark for footballing excellence in Singapore and the region.”

“We look forward to supporting the development of Lion City Sailors and guiding this great club into a new period of success.”

Lion City Sailors have set their sights on both winning silverware and gaining continental qualification this year, and have installed former Adelaide United manager Aurelio Vidmar as their new coach.

Vidmar, a former Australia captain in his playing days, also has previous experience in Southeast Asia with Bangkok Glass (now BG Pathum United) and will have several new faces to help in bringing success to the newest kids on the block.

Already boasting a host of established stalwarts such as Shahril Ishak, Abdi Qaiyyim and Izzdin Shafiq, Lion City Sailors have added Singapore internationals Hassan Sunny, Gabriel Quak and Shahdan Sulaiman to their ranks, along with foreign signings Kaishu Yamazaki and Andy Pengelly.

“The players and staff have worked really hard over the pre-season to lay the foundations for success this season,” said Kosmina.

“This is a hugely exciting moment for the club and we will work hard to give our fans a lot to cheer about this season.”

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