Balestier Khalsa will be without the services of Qiu Li and Obadin Aikhena for the 2014 Great Eastern-YEO’s S.League season after it was confirmed both have not been retained by the club.
The Tigers, who had their most successful year to date in 2013 after winning the Starhub League Cup and finishing fourth in the league, have already raised eyebrows in the off-season after parting ways with coach Darren Stewart two weeks ago.
And the exodus at the Toa Payoh Stadium continued on Monday after the club announced the list it would be retaining for next year, with a total of seven players confirmed to be leaving the club.
The most notable name that will be ending his association with the Tigers is that of Singapore international Qiu, who joined the club at the start of last season and made an instant impact by becoming their top scorer with 14 goals in all competition.
Another big name that is leaving Balestier after just one campaign is Obadin, who made a valuable contribution in the heart of defence in the first half of the campaign when captain Paul Cunningham was out with injury.
Midfield playmaker Tengku Mushadad is also on the hunt for a new club, as is striker Patrick Paran and left winger Hamqaamal Shah, who has been linked with Geylang International.
The Tigers have however retained a large number of players who played key roles in 2013, including Cunningham, South Korean midfielders Park Kang-jin and Kim Min-ho, veteran defender Jaslee Hatta and goalkeeper Zaiful Nizam.
Balestier also confirmed they would be announcing their new coach shortly, along with any signings for the 2014 season.
Retained: Zakariah Nerani, Yusiskandar Yusop, Paul Cunningham, Ridwan Jamil, Ruhaizad Ismail, Vitor Borges, Jaslee Hatta, Zulkiffli Hassim, Kim Min-ho, Park Kang-jin, Poh Yi Feng, Syed Thaha, Zaiful Nizam.
Released: Shafuan Sutohmoh, Hamqaamal Shah, Tengku Mushadad, Qiu Li, Daniel Ong, Patrick Paran, Obadin Aikhena.