Tampines confirm Alam Shah return for 2014 season

Great Eastern-YEO’s S.League champions Tampines Rovers have confirmed that club icon Noh Alam Shah will once again play for them in 2014.

The 33-year-old, who established himself as one of Southeast Asia’s deadliest strikers during his first spell with the Stags from 2003 to 2009, had been training with the club in recent weeks after his deal with Indonesian club Persekap Pasuruan had ended.

And in a statement released on their official website, Tampines confirmed he had put pen to paper to a one-year deal, marking his third stint at the club following a half-season loan spell last year.

With Khairul Amri set to rejoin Malaysia Super League champions LIONSXII, Alam Shah’s return is a timely one given he is perfectly suited to fill the void, and Stags coach Tay Peng Kee believes he will prove his worth next season.

“He [Alam Shah] has played alongside some of the best footballers in this region and has won numerous titles with the teams that he represented,” he said. “His experience on the pitch will be useful to us.

“We are competing on four fronts in the 2014 season and we need quality players in the squad.

“Alam Shah is a player who has proven that he can succeed at the highest level, and therefore he will be a good addition to the team.”

Tampines also confirmed that 11 players of this year’s title-winning squad had signed contract extensions, including midfield lynchpins Fahrudin Mustafic and Shahdan Sulaiman, Japanese centre-back Kunihiro Yamashita and forwards Jamil Ali and Aleksandar Duric, who will be 44 by the end of next season.

However, the club also announced that six players had been released, including four of their foreign contingent in Japanese defender Seiji Kaneko and Portuguese trio Vitor Ladeiras, Diogo Caramelo and Andre Martins.

This does however open plenty of options for the club to bring in fresh foreign talent, and Tay confirmed they would be putting plenty of effort in signing a marquee player, after they failed to enjoy much success with Argentine midfielder Martin Wagner in 2013.

“The technical committee had a meeting and came to the decision,” the ex-Singapore international explained.

“Caramelo, Ladeiras, Martins, Kaneko, [Ahmed] Fahmie and Ruzaini [Zainal] played instrumental roles in the team’s campaign in which we successfully defended our title. We wish them all the best in their future endeavours.

“We are retaining the core group of players for the new season in view of further reinforcing the squad with more quality signings.

“We also have begun our search for a marquee player who can fit into our plans for the new season. We have also drafted a list of potential signings who we think will be assets to the team for the coming year.”

Tampines will be looking to win a fourth consecutive S.League title in 2014, a feat only Warriors FC have achieved.

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