It is naturally not a surprise that the bulk of Geylang’s goals this season in the S.League have come through Kaplan, who has netted eight times, one behind top scorer Kazuki Sakamoto of Albirex. A further three goals in the Singapore Cup and two more in the League Cup brings that up to a tally of 13 in 18 games in all competitions in 2013.
The Eagles only lost one of their four games in June and that was only on penalties after a 0-0 draw with Woodlands Wellington in the League Cup. They drew 0-0 with Albirex Niigata and beat Hougang United 2-1 in the same competition while also cruising to a 2-0 win over Harimau Muda in the league, and Kaplan underlined his importance by accounting for three of those four goals.
Made skipper by coach Vedhamuthu Kanan before the start of the season, Kaplan has flourished with the armband. He has displayed excellent leadership skills in a young and inexperienced Eagles team, and set the bar with arguably the most consistent displays of any player in the league.
Although Kaplan is not a natural attacking player back in his homeland, he has adapted well in his new role ever since he was slotted further up in the attacking third by Kanan last season.
However, the 27-year-old has not discarded his defensive duties altogether; his workrate is something any coach would like to see in their players, as he likes to drop back to his own half to help out when the opponents have possession.
Kaplan started out with MFK Ruzomberok in the lower rungs of the Slovakian league before he was loaned out to Sport Podbrezova in the second division in 2008. Prior to his arrival in the S.League a year ago, Kaplan last played for MFK Tatran Liptovsky in the Slovakian second division alongside former Eagles player Peter Tomko.
If Kaplan can keep up his sensational form so far, he will have no problem bettering his 18-goal haul last season and we at Goal Singapore congratulate him for being named the best player in the league for June.