Jaguars captain Hafiz O ready to fight in new season

The Tanjong Pagar United captain is raring to get the new S.League season underway after being out for majority of last season through an achilles tendon injury
Tanjong Pagar United captain Hafiz Osman is eager to make up for lost time as he looks ahead to the start of the new season of the S.League.

The 30-year-old is raring to go after recovering from a career-threatening injury, when he tore his achilles tendon in his left ankle in a league game against Home United last season.

It has not been smooth sailing for the Jaguars skipper though, as the injury could have ended his career. But his determination saw him recover ahead of schedule and he managed to return to action towards the end of the season.

“I think I have recovered well,” Hafiz told Goal Singapore on Thursday at Queenstown Stadium, where the Jaguars held their pre-season press conference.

“In training, I am feeling more confident now, I can get back to my usual self. As compared to the last six games of last season, I think now I am more confident. And of course, I am looking forward to starting the whole season again.

“For the injury, I think it really changed me as a player and as a person, so now I take care of my body better. I’m all good to go, ready to fight already!”

Hafiz was also grateful to still be holding the captain’s armband for the upcoming season, and it is a responsibility that he is taking very seriously.

“The club gave me a chance to be responsible for the team, [I have to] honour it,” he said.

“It gives me the responsibility to take care of the team on and off the field, and I guess I have this extra motivation to help the team to do well throughout the season.”

Despite the club retaining four foreign players, they have made a fair bit of local signings including the likes of former Home United trio Firdaus Idros, Masrezwan Masturi and Nor Azli Yusoff. And according to Hafiz, the new boys are getting along very well with the team.

“They are actually gelling really, really well,” he said.

“They enjoy training with one another and the understanding is all there. I think coach Patrick [Vallee] picked up good quality local players, especially from Home United, which is a good boost for us.

“So everything is gelling really well and we are looking forward to play our first competitive game on Monday.”

The Jaguars are set to face Harimau Muda at the Pasir Gudang stadium on Monday.