A day before the Lion City Sailors were due to take on Balestier Khalsa in the Deloitte Women’s Premier League (WPL) last weekend, it was announced that the match would be rescheduled due to several Balestier players testing positive for Covid-19.
While the Sailors would have liked to ride the momentum from their 4-1 win over Albirex Niigata (S) the week before, the unexpected postponement did come with its own advantages.
For one, it meant that the Sailors – who had just two weeks of full team training before the start of the season – now had an extra week to train together, allowing the players to work on their cohesion and understanding on the pitch.
Sailors assistant coach Adelina Gomez said: “We pencilled in a training session to replace the postponed game, so that we could prepare for our next game. Of course, the additional week of training was helpful, and I think the extra sessions we had gave us time to work on our game plan.”
The Sailors’ next challenge in the WPL will see them take on Hougang United, who have lost all three of their games played so far.
Despite Hougang’s poor run of form, Adelina cautioned against underestimating the Cheetahs, as she said: “They’re (Hougang) very speedy off the ball and that could potentially cause issues for us if we don’t read it quick. They’ve got a pretty solid back line as well, so we need to be creative with our movement to create chances.
“Moving the ball around, as well as staying calm and patient is something we’re aiming to do. If we can do that, we will be able to create opportunities in their box.
“We want to play fun, entertaining and attacking football. We’re going to seize the opportunity right from the beginning. I think if we start on the right foot, it’ll give us an advantage.”
The Sailors, however, will have to try and get all three points against Hougang without captain Ernie Sulastri, as well as head coach Yeong Sheau Shyan. The duo is part of the technical team of the Singapore Women’s Under-16 national side, who are currently in Thailand for a training camp.
Nonetheless, Adelina, who will be standing in as head coach this weekend, is confident that her charges will be able to get the job done, even without Sheau Shyan and Ernie.
“The training sessions have been going well so far, so I’m confident we’ll do fine on Saturday. Adaptation is key because situations like this happen all the time, but our girls work very well together,” Adelina declared.
“I don’t want to be complacent but I have utmost faith in our girls. Ultimately the end goal is to fight for the three points and keep a clean sheet this weekend. They’ve been looking sharp and focused at trainings so I’m optimistic we can get all three points.”