While the common saying, ‘If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it’, may ring true for some situations, it is not a mantra the Lion City Sailors Women’s Team will be adhering to any time soon.

It may sound counter-intuitive, especially in the aftermath of a historic 18-0 victory over Balestier Khalsa in the Deloitte Women’s Premier League (WPL), but the Sailors are working on reinventing themselves this season, according to Head Coach Daniel Ong.

After all, while the Sailors may be unbeaten in two years – securing back-to-back WPL trophies in the process – they have aspirations that extend beyond just domestic success.

In particular, Daniel’s charges are hoping to test themselves against the best in the region, with the Sailors bidding to feature in the inaugural AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Women’s Champions League, which commences in August this year.

“We’ve set our eyes beyond the WPL, and our ambition is to play in the AFC Women’s Champions League,” the 35-year-old declared.

“The girls have been doing well so far, but time and again, I want us to keep setting higher standards amongst ourselves. We don’t want to be a predictable team, so we’re always trying out new things to improve even further.”

The 18-goal demolition of Balestier last Saturday (4 May) night exemplified the relentless hunger of the Sailors, who currently lead the WPL standings with a perfect record of five wins in as many matches.

Their impressive run of form and performances is all the more remarkable considering the Sailors’ radical squad transformation in the off-season, as they transitioned to a predominantly youthful side.

Daniel, however, has backed his young squad to confidently overcome any challenges that they come across this season.

“Our team this season may be young, but they’re full of fighters. They’re all players who want to prove their qualities and be given a chance to be amongst the starting 11 every week,” Daniel asserted.

“Competition for places may be fierce, but I can see the girls always have each other’s back regardless of who starts and all of them are ready when called upon.”

Next up for the Sailors is a tricky fixture this Saturday (11 May) night against Still Aerion, who are the only other team in the league to be unbeaten this year with two wins and a draw. 

With their talismanic captain Sunisa Srangthaisong available for this game after the lifting of a four-match suspension, and fellow Thai import Uraiporn Yongkul in good form with four goals so far in 2024, Aerion looks set to put up a tough test for the Sailors. 

As such, Daniel underlined the need for his team to remain focused to notch up a sixth straight victory.

“Still Aerion coach Jeremy (Chiang) has introduced quite a systematic style of play, and they’ve performed well in the past couple of matches, so it won’t be easy for us. We’ll need to be ready in terms of dictating how the game should be played,” he stressed.

“We always emphasise on trying to apply what we’ve practiced in training, and it won’t be different for this match.”