Singapore internationals Daniel Bennett and Shi Jiayi will both play for Warriors FC in 2014 after the club announced the list of players retained for the 2014 Great Eastern-YEO’s S.League campaign.
Bennett and Shi are two of the most experienced players on the Warriors list and were both members of the Singapore squad that won the 2012 AFF Suzuki Cup, but neither has represented the Lions since current coach Bernd Stange took charge earlier this year.
However, they continue to play key roles at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium and will provide their side with valuable experience in what is likely to be a season of rebuilding under English coach Alex Weaver.
The eight-time S.League champions have also retained Singapore number one Hassan Sunny, defenders Marin Vidosevic, Zulfadli Zainal Abidin, Jeremy Chiang and Abdil Qaiyyim, along with youngsters Hafsyar Farkhan, Prakash Manikam and Dharham Aziz.
As expected, Vidosevic is the only member of Warriors’ foreign contingent retained, with the club confirming at the end of the season that Japanese midfielders Shimpei Sakurada and Tatsuro Inui would be released, while former Japan international Kazuyuki Toda has retired.
Weaver will be looking for a new spearhead up front as well following the departure of Bosnian striker Mislav Karoglan, the 2011 S.League Player of the Year, who netted 71 league goals in three years with the Warriors.
It appears that attacking reinforcements will be the main priority for the Warriors in the off season given that Sufian Anuar and Erwan Gunawan have also been released, leaving no recognised striker in the current squad.
Other notable names that were not retained by the Warriors include goalkeeper Hyrulnizam Juma’at, full-back Syaiful Iskandar and midfielder Shukor Zailan.
Retained: Daniel Bennett, Zulfadli Zainal Abidin, Hafsyar Farkhan, Hassan Sunny, Jeremy Chiang, Marin Vidosevic, Shi Jiayi, Prakash Manikam, Dharham Aziz, Abdil Qaiyyim.
Released: Syaiful Iskandar, Kazuyuki Toda, Syed Fadhil, Tatsuro Inui, Shimpei Sakurada, Mislav Karoglan, Sufian Anuar, Erwan Gunawan, Matthew Abraham, Shukor Zailan, Hyrulnizam Juma’at.