With a swing of his right foot, Lion City Sailors midfielder Song Uiyoung volleyed the ball into the Albirex Niigata (S) goal, past the despairing dive of Hassan Sunny.

As Song ran off to celebrate his goal, the net still rippling from his shot, it was clear for all to see that the 30-year-old was well and truly back to his best.

Song’s goal was the fourth of seven for the Sailors in their 7-1 victory over defending Singapore Premier League (SPL) champions Albirex at the Bishan Stadium last Sunday (23 June).

More significantly for the Incheon native, however, it was his first goal for the Sailors since returning to the club in the off-season.

Song admits it was a special moment for him, one he had been looking forward to experiencing since donning the Sailors’ colours again.

“It was amazing to see the big reaction from the fans after I scored, and I fully felt the love coming from them. For me, this is what football is all about – it’s not just about us players, it’s about creating joy and having that genuine connection with our supporters,” said the Singapore international.

“I really appreciate their support, and we want to give them more things to be happy about this season.”

Song may have netted plenty of memorable goals during his first stint with the Sailors from 2020 to 2022, but he claims that this goal against Albirex ranks among his favourites.

Looking almost sheepish, the ever-humble Song said of his goal, “It was good…a good finish. The credit goes to Obren (Kljajić) – his cross was excellent and he gave it to me exactly in the spot that I wanted.

“We’ve been working on this (combination) and communicating a lot in training. He knows if he receives the ball on the flank, he can just cross it in because our attackers will be waiting in the box to receive.”

While Song has opened his account this season, he wants to temper expectations of being a regular scorer, as he has been assigned a different role since his return to the Sailors.

Given the plethora of attacking options within the Sailors’ ranks, Song has been deployed in a deeper role, where he is tasked with being the ‘bridge’ that connects the midfield and attack.

Regardless of where he plays, however, one thing is for sure: Song will always give 100 percent commitment and play for the team’s cause.

Up next for Song and the Sailors is a tough challenge against third-placed Geylang International at Jalan Besar Stadium on Friday (28 June) night.

The Sailors will head into the game in good form, having gotten off to a perfect start in the 2024/25 SPL season with four wins out of four. But Song believes the team should stay grounded and continue working hard to keep their winning run going.

“We’re satisfied with our current results, and the team’s atmosphere is very positive. However, we must remain hungry and not let complacency sneak in. It’s a long season, and we need to stay motivated for every challenge,” he declared.

“Taking things easy after a good start is not our way. Every match is important, and we’re always on our toes during training to improve ourselves as individuals and as a team.”

Alongside the Sailors and BG Tampines Rovers, Geylang are one of three teams still unbeaten in the SPL. They also boast the league’s leading scorer, Tomoyuki Doi, who has netted nine goals so far.

As such, Song acknowledges that the Sailors will have to bring their A-game against the Eagles in order to pick up their fifth straight win on Friday.

“The SPL is not what some others think it to be – many teams have improved, and we’ve already seen some surprising results this season,” Song elaborated. 

“Geylang is definitely a strong team, and we’ll have to be at our best to beat them. What’s most important for us is to prepare well and stick together as a team whenever we face any setbacks in a match or during the season – that is what will carry us throughout this long season.”