The Lion City Sailors Women will be gunning to finish their Deloitte Women’s Premier League (WPL) campaign unbeaten when they face Tanjong Pagar United on Saturday (1 October) night.

With nine wins and two draws so far, Yeong Sheau Shyan’s charges are eager to bounce back from a goalless stalemate against Tiong Bahru last time out

Defender Khairunnisa Khairol Anwar believes that result has only served as motivation for them to do better against a well-drilled Tanjong Pagar led by former Singapore international Samawira Basri. 

The Jaguars are just one point ahead of Albirex in second and will look for a result to cement their runners-up spot whilst spoiling the party for the Sailors, who will finally lift the WPL trophy at Yishun Stadium.

“All of us were disappointed we failed to beat Tiong Bahru. We want to approach the last game strongly and hopefully finish the season with a win,” said the soft-spoken 19-year-old. 

“Tanjong Pagar are a strong team and we know the threat that they can pose. We will look to fix our errors from our last game and hope this translates into an improved performance.

“More importantly, we want to go into this with the right mentality and enjoy ourselves since it’s our last league game together.”  

One who does not shirk from challenges despite her relatively small frame, Khairunnisa has surprised many with her aggression and confidence in the tackle. 

She also hits the gym regularly to build on her strength so as to be able to compete with stronger opponents. 

“I’m aware that I’m probably one of the smaller players in the team and I will likely lose out physically,” she mused. 

“That’s why I feel that it’s important to put in the extra effort to go to the gym as much as possible, working on things that cannot be done in our usual trainings as a team. 

“On the pitch, it’s also about being tactically smart by being patient and waiting for the right time to go for the tackle instead of just going for every challenge.” 

Reflecting on the Sailors Women’s WPL season, Nisa is simply thankful for every opportunity that she gets, even as she has had to play as a right winger against Tiong Bahru. 

“Actually I’m not really one of the core members of the team, but I try to play and do my best no matter which position I’m being put in,” said Nisa, whose first brush with domestic league football came with Women’s National League side Tampines Changkat in 2019. 

“I feel that my performances this season has been decent, but there is always room for improvement. I always tell myself to go in every game with an open mind and just go for it.

“Overall, the team had a good run and it wasn’t an easy journey due to various commitments but we made the best out of it. We carried out Coach’s plans and while we could have done better in certain aspects, I still had fun and I’m happy we won the title this season,” she added.

“The job isn’t done yet, we are out to do well in this last game to reward the fans who have been coming down regularly to support us.”