French revolution at Tanjong Pagar United

The Queenstown-based club has secured the services of three French players as they move into top gear for the 2013 S.League campaign.
By Khalis Rifhan

They were once regular title challengers for the title in the early days of the S.League.

But fortunes have not favored Tanjong Pagar United FC in recent years after they returned to the league in 2011 following a six-year hibernation period.

The Jaguars ended the 2012 season a spot above wooden-spoonists Woodlands Wellington FC, which resulted in the club appointing former Etoile FC coach Patrick Vallee to replace Terry Pathmanathan at the helm. 

Since his appointment in early November, Vallee has been busy assembling a new team for the upcoming new league campaign.

There will a French influence in every department for the Jaguars, with three foreign players who had been plying their trade in the lower tiers of the French’s league being brought on board.

Striker Ismael Benahmed, who last played for Le Poiré-sur-Vie in the Championnat National, the third-tier league in France, will be joined by 31-year-old French-born Algerian midfielder Ramdani Kamel.

Prior to his move to Singapore, Ramdani had been turning out for Paris FC in the Championnat since 2010. 

The duo will be joined by Brazilian-born goalkeeper Herisson Aurelien, who had played against Vallee when the latter was head coach at AFC Compiègne, a French fourth-tier league club.

Despite making the step up to the third division after Le Poiré-sur-Vie secured his services in few months ago, Aurelien had seen his appearances limited and last played against Frejus St-Raphael in the league in November. 

The trio of new signings will see their task of adapting to their new surroundings made easier, as the club have retained the services of comptatriot Anthony Aymard. The defender was signed midway through the season in 2012 and is the only foreign player retained by the club for the new season.

The Jaguars also announced on its Facebook page yesterday that they have sealed a deal with former national player Ahmad Latiff Khamaruddin, who played for league champions Tampines Rovers last season.