AMP Lab continue to empower women’s football through Lion City Sailors

Local healthcare practitioner AMP Lab will be the Official Partner of the Lion City Sailors Women’s Team for the entirety of the 2024 Deloitte Women’s Premier League (WPL) season, renewing a partnership which started in July 2023.

The first of its kind in Singapore to offer physiotherapy, exercise physiology and sports science services all under one roof, AMP Lab brings their wealth of expertise in these fields to empower the reigning WPL champions with advanced training methodologies, performance analysis and injury prevention strategies.

This collaboration marks a significant milestone in the growing drive for excellence for the women’s game in Singapore, while underlining the commitment of both organisations to provide a sturdy support structure to nurture the Sailors women.

The key highlights of these partnership include:

  1.       A structured Strength and Conditioning program

AMP Lab will design and conduct strength and conditioning (S&C) sessions specially tailored for women footballers. These sessions are focused on optimising physical fitness and agility, ensuring the Sailors are primed for success on the field and peak in performance levels throughout the season.

  1.       Sports Science support

Through key facets of Sports Science that include biomechanical analysis and recovery strategies, the Sailors women will receive holistic player development which addresses both physical and mental aspects of the game.

  1.       Injury prevention and rehabilitation

AMP Lab’s expertise will be leveraged to establish comprehensive injury prevention protocols and rehabilitation programs for players, aimed at reducing risk of injuries and facilitating swift and effective recovery.

  1.       Educational initiatives

The partnership goes beyond the field, with AMP Lab also instrumental in organising workshops and resources to empower the footballers with knowledge on exercise physiology and athlete nutrition.

A strong supporter of women’s sports having partnered with sports groups like volleyball, frisbee and touch rugby in secondary schools and Institutes of Higher Learning in the past decade, it was a no-brainer for AMP Lab to partner with the Sailors.

“At AMP Lab, we are actively challenging societal norms by asserting our firm belief in the inherent capabilities of women to demonstrate physical strength on the pitch and excel in contact sports, analogous to their male counterparts,” said AMP Lab’s Strength and Conditioning coach, Etienne Ding.

“We believe through a calibrated S&C approach and supported by our team of experts, we envision women footballers embracing a dynamic and accelerated style of play. Our overarching objective extends beyond the sporting arena – we seek to establish a comprehensive ecosystem conducive to nurturing female athletes’ growth, concurrently encouraging local businesses to endorse and support women’s sports.

“The discernible alignment between AMP Lab and the Sailors in our collective vision for female athletes is resolute. I am confident that our partnership will yield an exponential positive impact on the team and significantly elevate the landscape of women’s sports,” he added.

The effect of AMP Lab on the Sailors women is already evident a few months into the partnership.

“Most of us in the team, especially the younger ones, grew physically stronger after we started working with AMP Lab last year, and distinctly so. That really helped us in terms of endurance and individual battles out on the pitch. Now we’re much more aware of how to improve our fitness when we work out on our own time,” said Sailors defender Nur Umairah Hamdan.

“The biggest benefit is a structured S&C program which keeps track of our individual progress and ensures we are in peak condition throughout the season.”


Three more from Class of ’23 depart for new adventures

Having played integral roles in the all-conquering Lion City Sailors Women’s Team in 2022 and 2023, Ernie Sulastri Sontaril and Nur Izzati Rosni will be leaving the club for a new challenge. 

Ernie who was the club skipper over the past two campaigns, led her charges with distinction over and was an assured presence in defence, while Izzati starred with her goalscoring exploits – winning the 2022 Deloitte Women’s Premier League (WPL) Golden Boot and scored a total of 22 WPL goals in a Sailors shirt. 

“It’s been a huge honour to captain this club and play alongside this lovely bunch of girls. We fought for each other on the pitch and overcame many challenges to become back-to-back WPL champions. It’s a beautiful chapter in my career and I leave here with plenty of good memories and friendships forged,” said Ernie. 

“Looking back, it’s been an amazing past two years with the Sailors and I’m proud to have grown so much as a player here. I’d like to thank the club for giving me the platform to improve and I wish the girls all the best in the coming season,” added Izzati.

Midfield playmaker Venetia Lim will also depart as she heads abroad to further her education.

The trio joins Lila Tan, Munirah Mohamad, Nica Siy, Julia Farr, Madelin Lock and the now-retired Noor Kusumawati Rosman, who will not continue with the club in the 2024 WPL season. 

The Sailors thank all of them for their stellar service to the club and we wish them all the best in their future endeavours. 


Youthful Sailors Women kick off 2024 in style

A new year, a new setup, but the same outcome. 

The Lion City Sailors Women’s Team – champions of the Deloitte Women’s Premier League (WPL) for the past two seasons – emerged 4-2 winners over second-tier Women’s National League (WNL) champions Royal Arion in the Café Football (CF) Charity Cup 2024 at Our Tampines Hub (OTH) on Friday (12 January) evening. 

Sailors Head Coach Daniel Ong put out a youthful starting eleven which averaged just 19.8 years old and he was not disappointed.

The Sailors women put up a bright showing against an Arion side that have four Thai national players – Orapin Waenngoen, Sunisa Srangthaisong, Pikul Khueanpet (pictured above in a duel with Madison Telmer) and Waraporn Boonsing, all with FIFA Women’s World Cup pedigree – in their ranks.

Sailors’ two new signings Qarissa Putri Ramandhani and Nur Sarah Zu’risqha scored on their debuts, while 20-year-old Raeka Ee (pictured below) provided a good attacking outlet further afield on her senior bow.

All six teenagers promoted from the club’s Girls Academy in 2024 also featured in a game contested in good spirit, with 14-year-old Tyan Foong getting a start and putting up a resilient display at the heart of defence alongside Nur Umairah Hamdan to thwart the Thai attackers.

The other five – Izairida Shakira, Seri Nurinsyirah, Nadia Nuraffendi, Liyana Rickit and Yuvika Suresh – all came on in the second half. 

The prize money of SGD$11,000 was donated to the Breast Cancer Foundation in Singapore to aid support and raise awareness for breast cancer, rounding off a meaningful evening at OTH.

“We are really proud to see our young players do well,” gushed Head Coach, Daniel after his first official match in charge of the women.

“That’s what Yeong Sheau Shyan (now Head of the Sailors Women’s Programme) and the others in the Girls Academy are building. As a club, we want to progressively promote our academy girls to play in the WPL. Yuvika, Liyana, Tyan, Nadia and the rest being here is a testament of what we’re building here.

“We’re also proud as a club to play our part in such a worthy initiative and raise funds for the Breast Cancer Foundation.”

A tightly-contested first half came to life in the 37th minute when Qarissa’s cheeky lob from the edge of the box looped over Arion’s experienced Thai custodian Waraporn to make it 1-0 to the Sailors.

Five minutes later, the lead was doubled with Sarah getting past two players with some nifty footwork before unleashing a right-footed rocket that beat Waraporn and sent the crowd at OTH into a frenzy. 

“The goal was a very meaningful one for me. I’ve never scored a goal like this in my life,” said the 17-year-old, whose family and friends were in the stands.

“I’m very grateful that they came because they’ve only ever been to a few matches before and I’m very happy they saw me score. I was too focused on shooting and couldn’t hear the crowd! Initially, I wanted to pass to my teammates but they were encouraging me to shoot so I gathered my courage.”

The two debutants getting on the scoresheet illustrated just how quickly the new-look Sailors women have come together. 

“Sarah (pictured above) and Qarissa did well to score in their first appearances for us despite having joined only a few weeks ago. That shows how fast they can adapt to our style of play and gel with their teammates,” said Daniel.

Goal-scorer Sarah sang from the same hymn book. 

“As a team, we know each other’s playing styles. Even though I just signed with the club, they already know how I want the ball to be played to me after a few training sessions,” she said.

The Sailors picked up where they left off after the break and made it 3-0, with Nur Izzati Rosni calmly converting from the spot after Arion was penalised for a handball in the area. 

To Royal Arion’s credit, they fought back with Pikul pulling one back in the 75th minute but the Sailors would put the result beyond doubt 11 minutes later.

Centre-back Sara Hayduchok who came on to replace Tyan in the 74th minute rose highest to head home a well-placed Miray Altun corner for the Sailors’ fourth goal of the night. 

The opponents did find a consolation just before the end with Orapin clipping the ball over young custodian Shakira, who replaced 2022 and 2023 WPL Golden Glove winner Beatrice Tan in goal for the second half. 

Nonetheless, it did not overshadow a promising night for a new-look Sailors Women side who are determined to pave the way forward for women’s football in Singapore. 

“Obviously there’s some pressure taking over from Coach Sheau Shyan, who led the team to two undefeated WPL seasons. But I’m very focused right now on improving the young players here in our team and hopefully we can help to bring up the standard of the women’s game in Singapore as a result,” said Daniel. 

“There are still several things for us to work on, individually and as a team. So we’re going to train very hard to make sure we’re ready going into the 2024 WPL season.”


Teenager Yuvika Suresh relishing WPL squad opportunity

After a two-year Invincibles run in the Deloitte Women’s Premier League (WPL), the Lion City Sailors Women’s Team is set to kick off a new era when they take on Women’s National League (WNL) champions Royal Arion this Friday (12 January) evening in the Café Football (CF) Charity Cup. 

Daniel Ong – goalkeeper coach for the past two seasons – has now taken over the reins of a new-look side, with six teenagers promoted from the club’s Girls Academy

One of those is 14-year-old Yuvika Suresh who will travel to Our Tampines Hub (OTH) from school for her first senior game, an opportunity she still struggles to believe has arrived this soon.

“It felt surreal. I was elated when I found out that I would be playing alongside players I have always looked up to. I truly feel honoured to be given a chance to be a part of this team,” gushed the Cedar Girls Secondary Three student. 

Yuvika is one of four 14-year-olds promoted to the WPL team, along with Tyan Foong (pictured below), Liyana Rickit and Seri Nurinsyirah, and are set to feature in the upcoming 2024 WPL season. 

“I have played with Tyan and Liyana throughout my football journey with the Sailors and also the National Team at U14 and U16 levels. We are familiar with each other’s playing style as well as strengths and weaknesses. They have worked very hard all these years to be where they are. I’m humbled and grateful to be selected alongside them,” shared Yuvika. 

Having jumped from seven-a-side games to playing in the Mattar Sailors’ WNL campaign last season, Yuvika has gained experience she will draw on when she plays with the big guns. 

“The small-sided tournaments during the pandemic helped me improve individually. Going from playing against girls of the same age group to playing against women of different ages in the WNL, I needed to adapt quickly to the playing style of the team,” said Yuvika. 

“Playing in the WNL gave me the opportunity to play without fear despite my age and smaller stature (at 1.54m tall). Apart from the technical skills I picked up, I am grateful for the opportunity to play in different positions in both defence and midfield because it has helped me understand the game better.”

Friday’s charity match may be her first rodeo with the senior girls, but not her first run against Royal Arion. Yuvika was part of the young Mattar Sailors squad which put up an impressive battling display against the talent-stacked Royal Arion in last year’s WNL final, before eventually falling to a 2-1 defeat. 

The CF Charity Cup clash aims to raise funds for breast cancer patients, with the prize money of SGD$11,000 for the winners of the match to be donated to the Breast Cancer Foundation in Singapore. 

Despite the charity-focused nature of the fixture, bragging rights will be on the cards at OTH. 

“The spine of the Arion team is made up of the four Thai National Team players with FIFA Women’s World Cup experience. It’ll be difficult to break through when we play down the middle, so we’ll need to focus on stretching their compact block by playing down the flanks,” said the left winger. 

“Although I may lack the strength to make powerful crosses and shots, I hope to play the various combination passes for the team to advance forward.

“Should I play, I will try my very best to help my team and make our supporters proud.”


New-look Sailors Women to usher in new era against Royal Arion

The Lion City Sailors Women’s Team enjoyed a sensational 2023 Deloitte Women’s Premier League (WPL) campaign, winning 17 out of 18 games en route to a second straight undefeated title-winning season. 

The Sailors’ Girls Academy provided a sturdy platform for the women’s success in 2023, with a total of seven girls making the step up to make their WPL debuts for the club. 

And the wheels are already in motion to ensure another successful WPL season, both in terms of silverware and ensuring the next generation of Singapore female footballers continue to rise through the club’s ranks. 

Yeong Sheau Shyan, WPL Coach of the Year in 2022 and 2023, will play an integral part in this as she now takes on the overarching role of Head of the Sailors Women’s Programme – which encompasses overseeing the pipeline from the club’s Girls Academy through to the WPL team with a large focus on shaping the next generation of female footballers.

To ensure continuity and succession, 2023 goalkeeper coach Daniel Ong will take over as Sailors Women head coach for the upcoming WPL season. 

The 34-year-old, who owns a AFC ‘B’ Coaching License, has been in the Sailors setup since 2022 and is also a part of the Singapore National Women’s Team backroom staff. 

In 2024, the Sailors Women will continue in the same vein while sporting a fresh new look with a series of young additions to the squad. 

A total of six teenagers ranging from the age of 14 to 17 have been promoted: goalkeeper Izairida Shakira, defenders Tyan Foong and Seri Nurinsyirah and a trio of midfielders in Nadia Nuraffendi, Liyana Rickit and Yuvika Suresh. 

20-year-old forward Raeka Ee has also made the step up after a sterling 2023. She starred for the women’s developmental side Mattar Sailors in the second-tier Women’s National League and made her Lionesses debut against Bangladesh just last month, while Dorcas Chu – a member of the Sailors’ 2022 WPL winning squad – rejoins the team after her successful recovery from an anterior cruciate ligament injury. 

Canadian midfielder Madison Telmer also makes a return to the team after leaving in mid-2023 to further her education. 

Two other teenagers have also been signed, 15-year-old Qarissa Putri Ramandhani arrives from Tanjong Pagar United while 17-year-old Nur Sarah Zu’risqha joins from Albirex Niigata (S). 

Meanwhile, a total of six players – Lila Tan, Munirah Mohamad, Nica Siy and Julia Farr along with the now-retired Noor Kusumawati Rosman and Madelin Lock, who hung up her boots to pursue her dream of playing professional basketball – have departed the club. 

The first challenge for the Sailors Women Class of 2024 is the upcoming Café Football (CF) Charity Cup against WNL champions Royal Arion FC on Friday, 12th January in a game to raise funds for the Singapore Breast Cancer Foundation and the newly-installed Daniel is looking forward to the encounter.

“Firstly, it is a huge honour for me to be appointed as head coach of the Sailors Women’s Team. Coach Sheau Shyan has laid down a sturdy foundation, so it’s my job to build on her legacy and I’ll do my part to bring up the young players in this club,” he said. 

“We’ve put together a new squad with a good blend of experienced and young players that should excite the fans, so I hope all of them can come down to Our Tampines Hub to get behind the girls. It’s a great opportunity for them to come up against some esteemed players who have played at the FIFA Women’s World Cup before and I believe they will rise to this challenge.

“Most importantly, this is a match for a good cause so we’re happy as a club to support this initiative.”