Woodlands shaping up well after retaining key players

Woodlands Wellington are shaping up well for the new Great Eastern-YEO’s S.League season after confirming a host of key players have been retained for next year.

After two seasons of finishing bottom of the pile, 2013 was a year to remember for the Rams as they surged up the table and finished the campaign a commendable fifth, as well as reaching the semi-finals of the Starhub League Cup.

And it looks like Woodlands have a very good chance of continuing their rise after they announced 11 players have been retained for next year.

Leading the way are South Korean strikers Moon Soon-ho and Chang Jo-yoon, who combined for 28 of the 45 league goals the club scored in the 2013 campaign, while Japanese midfielder Atsushi Shimono will also be around for a second season after joining 12 months ago from Albirex Niigata (S).

Veteran goalkeeper Yazid Yasin, who celebrated his 400th S.League appearance earlier this year, will continue his record of having played in all 19 seasons of Singaporean football’s top flight, and his goal will once again be protected by experienced defenders Shahril Alias and Rosman Sulaiman.

Club captain Armanizam Dolah has also been retained, along with midfielder Farouq Farkhan, forwards Goh Swee Swee and Fadhil Noh, and goalkeeper Ahmadulhaq Che Omar, who has fully recovered after having his 2013 ruined by a serious injury.

It however remains to be seen if the same coach will be at the helm at the Woodlands Stadium come the start of the new season given Salim Moin has been heavily linked with a move to reigning S.League champions Tampines Rovers.

There has also been speculation that Australian tactician Darren Stewart, who recently parted ways with Balestier Khalsa, could take over if Salim does end his association with the Rams.

Retained: Ahmadulhaq Che Omar, Yazid Yasin, Rosman Sulaiman, Shahril Alias, Atsushi Shimono, Armanizam Dolah, Farouq Farkhan, Goh Swee Swee, Chang Jo-yoon, Moon Soon-ho, Fadhil Noh.

Released: Nazri Sabri, Cho Sung-hwan, Hidhir Hasbiallah, Theeraweekin Seehawong, Taufiq Rahmat, Oswind Suriya, Shariff Samat, Farizal Basri, Ridhwan Osman, Ang Zhiwei.

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