The Redbacks Domain

Home of the Spiders

From the Hospital Bed

Posted by Kai on May 23, 2010

It’s been a while since I wrote anything on the Redbacks’ Domain. At the time of writing, I am still hanging out at Changi Hospital. Just want to take some time to thank my teammates: Jaz, Amir, Aidil and Raizal for visiting me and adding some cheer to my boring days.

At the same time of writing, my comrades are battling away against Ultras in our last league game of the D2D League. My thoughts are centering around how many players have made the trip. Despite calls from various corners for players to be more proactive and committed in turning up for games, it seems to me that attendance continue to suffer. No matter what system we put in place, this situation continue to perpetuate itself, making for some frustrating moments for the team’s management.

To think that one of the main reasons I decided to go for the ACL surgery was to become a more effective footballer for the Redbacks. Now, I wonder if there will still be a Redbacks when I am deemed fit enough to return to action. Together with Jaz, we have spent many nights wondering how do we reinvigorate the team. How to improve attendance? How to improve our quality of play? How to improve team spirit and morale? How to make coming to matches an experience to savour for Spiders from all walks of life. In a simple phrase, we care a lot for this team.

I am very sure that this team means a lot to many other players as well. 6 years is a long time for any amateur footballing outfit to survive. Now, it’s up to us to ensure that Redbacks FC continue to live a long and fulfilling life. It’s going to be an uphill battle to keep this team going but I am sure that there will always be Spiders who are willing to give their all to the cause.

I think about our players from the past who have been scarce lately. People like Azam and Aki who were the pioneers of RBFC. I understand that as we go through our journey of life, priorities change. I see RBFC as more than just a football team. To me, it’s a band of brothers. RBFC are made up of people who I meet the most, after my family, close friends and colleagues. Therefore, it goes without saying that you guys mean a lot to me.

Being out with an injury, not to mention spending the last few Sundays in a hospital, has given me a new sense of appreciation what RBFC means to me. Sundays used to be the days I would count down the hours to kick-off. It’s when I pack my football bag with my equipment: the tools of the trade, the weapons for the battle. It’s the day I imagine who I’ll be lining up with and who I will be up against. There used to be such a buzz on matchdays.

Now, Sundays are just dull. But I’m sure it’s temporary. One day, I’ll be out there in the fields again, doing what I love the most.

To my teammates who are out in footballing wilderness, I hope you guys come back to the team on a regular basis. The truth is, we miss you. What is a team without its players? You guys are the heartbeat of this team and no matter what we say or imply, you guys are always welcome to play for the team whenever you can.

To Samy, Aidil, Mikael, Taufiq, Wan Jr, Sani, Hisham, Azhar, Joe, Fairus, Azam, Izat, Hilmi, Raizal, Faizal, Yusman, Juffry, Oggy, Alfiah, Epul, Zaini, Aziz, Bob, Aki, Desmond, Hidayat, Mok, Amir, William, Halim, Hazri, Rosli, Fahmie, Irwan, Amin, Ernest and all the other players who I have forgotten to mention.. Thank you for your contribution to the team and I hope to see all of you back on a regular basis.

Forza Redbacks.

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Redbacks Comeback Victory!

Posted by Kai on April 1, 2010

Redbacks: 2
Total Football: 1

Venue: Fuchun Secondary School
Scorers: Rosli, Saiful

The Spiders went into this game with the full awareness of the kind of challenge they were up against. Total Football, in their earlier fixture, whipped the Spiders into a 4 nil submission. Pre-match expectations as echoed by Azhar, was a draw, as to illustrate the realistic hopes the Spiders had going into the match.

Tactician for the day ,Jaz ,lined the spiders in a 4-5-1 formation. Samy kept his important presence in goal, commanding a flat defense line in Ajiz, Sani, Fariz and Aidil. The vital cogs in midfield were kept by a double team of defensive midfielders Bob and William, who were flanked by Amir and Wan Jr respectively. Captain Rosli supported the attacking thrust of lone striker Azhar.

First few minutes of the game turned out to be cagey as players from both sides tried to wrest the initiative. The dry bumpy ground did not help their cause. Total Football in particular,found it hard to strike a rhythmic play allowing the Spider’s midfield line to break up their play rather easily. Bob and William in particular enjoyed an evening of action, harassing their opponents. The Spiders’ attacking line did however enjoy a fair share of opportunities. Unfortunately, the chances went a begging as there was clearly some rust after a 3-week absence.

Midway through the half, the Spiders lost possession in their attacking third. A Total Football player produced a driving snap shot. Time stood still for a moment as the ball sailed agonizingly past Samy’s outstretched fingers. It was a goal that was against the run of play. That goal however did not dampen the Spider’s spirit as they began wresting the initiative back. The half ended with the Spiders trailing by a single goal.

Changes were made in as Izan, Azli, Irwando, Alfiah, Raizal and Saiful made their way into the lineup. With speed available at the Spider’s disposal, instructions were given to spread the width in play. Irwando and William continued winning the ball in the middle of the park as the Spiders fervently looked for an equalizer. There were moments of nervousness in the backline when Izan mismanage the backpasses. But the keeper made amends by handling the situation bravely. One purposeful attack down the left wing saw Alfiah sprawled on the ground after a robust challenge by a Total Football defender. Rosli lined himself up for the free kick by the edge of the box and hit a firm grounder that crawled under the arms of the diving custodian. 1-1! The game continued in a hard and fury manner as robust tackles punctuated the play. A flurry of yellow cards was issued to both teams. The Spiders very own John “Fariz” Terry, swallowed each challenge head on. He looked like breaking someone’s ankle whenever he committed to a challenge. In the last 15 minutes, some industrious movement on the right resulted in Saiful placing a hard shot into the bottom left corner. The Spiders held onto their precious lead, withstanding a fierce avalanche of attack from Total Football. In the end, the Spiders held out for the win with a 2-1 scoreline. A totally deserved win over a fit and totally competent outfit. Bravo Redbacks!

Team (4-5-1): Samy, Ajiz, Sani, Fariz, Aidil, Bob, William, Amir, Wan Jr, Rosli, Azhar
Subs: Izan, Azli, Irwando, Alfiah, Raizal, Saiful, Jaz

Match Report written by Jaz.
Vetted by Kai.

Posted in Match Reports | 2 Comments »

Redbacks Edge It

Posted by Kai on February 28, 2010

Redbacks: 2
Jeeva FC: 1

Venue: Xinmin Sec Sch
Scorers: Jaz, Aki

The Spiders did well to notch a win in this friendly encounter. However, we had to endure conceding the opening goal of the game. Aziz was adjudged to have fouled a Jeeva player and they scored from the resulting free kick. Redbacks equalized in a most fortunate manner. Collecting a loose ball in midfield, Jaz played a hopeful ball into the box. The goalkeeper made a mistake in letting the ball bounce in the box and it looped awkwardly over him and into the net.

Aki would then mark his return from absence with a goal on his own. He launched an inswinging free kick from the right side of the pitch and the goalkeeper flapped at it and the ball went in. After chasing the game, the Spiders find themselves in front. Just reward for all the effort the players were putting in.

The game was very tight in the first half with both teams struggling to break through some stubborn defending. After a few near misses, the referee blew the whistle to bring an end to a respectable game. The captains were satisfied with the improved display and we hope it will lead to better things in time to come.

Team (3-5-2): Samy, Kai, Aidil, Aziz, Rosli, Jaz, Aki, Amir, Hasnul, Hazri, Azhar
Subs: Desmond, Bob, William, Fairus, Fahmie

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Redbacks Draw with Kambing

Posted by Kai on February 22, 2010

Redbacks: 1
Kambing FC: 1

Venue: Orchid Park Secondary School
Scorer: Mok

Drama took place at kick-off as the Spiders lined up without a recognized goalkeeper. Samy arrived late and went straight into goal. Perhaps his lack of preparation led to the blunder that gave Kambing FC an early lead. However, Kai should have dealt better with the initial long ball, allowing the striker to get to the ball before him. When the Kambing FC player scuffed his shot, the danger seems to have been averted, but Samy made a mess of his catch and the ball trickled into the net.

Mok drew the teams level with an expertly taken goal. Twisting his way past his marker, his left-foot shot left the keeper stranded, providing the equalizer for the Spiders. Mok has found a new lease of life in the middle of the park. Together with new addition Fahmie, he helped keep the midfield tight and solid. Fahmie in particular was influential in the game, stamping his authority with class and humility. We definitely need more of such players in the team.

In the second half, the Spiders had the lion’s share of possession. Unfortunately, the final ball and finish were lacking. Desmond had a great chance to score the winner, but his effort was saved well by the Kambing goalkeeper. Azhar then looked to have scored the winning goal, but the referee judged him to have fouled the keeper in the process. It was a harsh decision to accept, given the Spiders winless streak. However, the gameplay was positive and we should try to build on the performance for future games. All we have to do now is to look to the next game.

Team (4-5-1): Samy, Kai, Sani, Aidil, William, Fahmie, Mok, Azhar, Jaz, Akil, Hazri
Subs: Desmond, Irwando, Amir, Halim, Fairus

Posted in Match Reports | 6 Comments »

Redbacks Hit Rock Bottom

Posted by Kai on January 31, 2010

Redbacks: 1
Orangy Reds: 2

Venue: Damai Secondary School
Scorer: Hazri

The signs did not look good leading up to this game. With a few hours prior to the game, only 10 players confirmed their attendance. Thankfully, Samy’s late reply made us 11. A friendly was arranged with the hope of kick starting our dismal year. We were keen to put last week’s 5-0 hiding behind us. It was so traumatic that I could not bring myself to write a report. Unfortunately, only 9 players were available at kick off. The captains decided on a 4-3-1 formation.

We performed admirably to keep things tight in the earlier part of the first half. It was with great relief that Azam and Desmond joined the fray soon after to even things half. Azam truly stamped his mark on the game. A rushed clearance somehow had just enough height and dip to beat the goalkeeper, our keeper that is. It was disappointing but I have to admit it was the best own goal any Spider has scored eversince we started 6 years ago. Hazri had a good chance to restore parity but he put his effort agonizingly wide after William found him with a great cross.

He would eventually equalize early in the second half. After Fairus was released on the right flank, his effort was parried by the goalkeeper and Hazri was on hand to strike the ball home. Many would think that the Spiders would go on to take control of the game. However, it was not to be as a defensive mix-up between Kai and Abang Sani led to our opponents reclaiming the lead. As we pushed forward, it became evident that we were running out of ideas. We were losing the ball too easily and gave our opponents an easy time yet again. Orangy Reds could have taken advantage of the gaps at the back but Samy did well to keep us in the end.

As the game peppered out, it was clear that we have lost our fire of desire to salvage something from the game. Our attacks were broken down easily, shoulders were dropping and heads were hanging. Perhaps only Rosli and Samy could walk away from the game knowing that they have done their best. Only silence could be heard as the players trudged off once the final whistle was blown. We need to sort things out guys.

In the post-game debriefing, Rosli highlighted that the team played better in the second half and urged the players to keep up the effort and not get too affected by the loss. Azam shared that as players, we should be flexible and explore other avenues when certain things are not working. Play to our strengths and protect our weaknesses. Jaz felt that the losing run was affecting team morale and that it would be a good idea to take a 2-week break. The 11 players present concurred as the captains announced that we will having a FICO session instead of our usual game next Sunday. The purpose of this session is to allow the players a platform to work on the basics of their game without the pressure of having to get a result.

We are hoping that the players will answer our call. Times are hard and truth be told, nobody likes to be a part of a winning team. We are creating an opportunity for all of us to come together to help bring this team back up. A team is only as good as its worst player and by organizing this kickabout, we hope to level up all our players and at the same time, enjoy one another’s company. For now, all we have is hope but we will continue to persevere for this team that we care for.

So come to FICO this Sunday, guys! Bring your friends, bring your family, bring the kiddies. Let’s just kick back, relax and have fun! Look out on this website and our Facebook page for more details in days to come.

WE HOPE THAT YOU WILL ANSWER THE CALL!

Team (4-4-2): Samy, Kai, Sani, William, Azam, Amir, Rosli, Jaz, Fairus, Hazri, Desmond

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Redbacks Fall

Posted by Kai on January 18, 2010

Redbacks: 0
Samalongkok: 2

Venue: Bowen Secondary School

The Redbacks continue to struggle as they fell 2-0 to Samalongkok. The artifical pitch definitely suited our opponents’ style of play as they adapted well to it. The Spiders were finding the going tough with the speed of play going too quick for their liking.

Poor refereeing added to the team’s woes with some players getting affected by the ineptness of the man in yellow. However, let’s take nothing away from Samalongkok. They played with more hunger and desire. Constantly threatening the Redbacks’ goal, they fully deserved their victory. They played a game of high energy and did not allow the Spiders time to make the most of the possession we had.

The striking conundrum continues to plague the team. Apart from Azhar, there seems to be a lack of goal threat, flair and creativity in the team’s display. Chances were far in between. We need goals to win but unfortunately, it seems to be very elusive at the moment.

For the Spiders, we just have to dust ourselves off and look forward to the next game. May the rot end soon.

Forza Redbacks.

Team (4-4-2): Samy, Zaini, Kai, Alfiah, William, Azhar, Rosli, Amir, Epul, Hazri, Mok
Subs: Bob, Raizal, Aki, Aidil

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All Square

Posted by Kai on January 10, 2010

Redbacks: 1
Kambing FC: 1

Venue: Chua Chu Kang Sec Sch
Scorer: Azhar
Assist: Wan Jr.

A healthy turnout of 20 players gave Azhar a selection headache at kick-off. Izan started in goal. Kai, Abang Sani, Aidil and Md Noor were the defenders. Azhar, Rosli, Amir and Wan Jr were in midfield. Jaz and Hazri played as forwards. Both teams were looking to make the most of this fixture to earn some much-needed points and it was no surprise that both sides went all out for the win.

Kambing FC punctured Redbacks on the left side and the winger’s low cross was stroked home for the game’s opener. It was disappointing goal to concede. Redbacks focused our attacks on the right side, where Wan Jr was having a great game. His surging runs often troubled Kambing’s left back. It was no surprise that he was involved in the equalizer. The keeper committed himself to a challenge but Wan was able to wriggle free with the ball in his possession. He played the ball to Captain who finished well through a sea of defenders. He is now the team’s top scorer with 7 goals so far this season.

Kambing FC almost edged ahead once again. This time, they penetrated on the right side of our defense. The ball was played dangerously across the six-yard box. An attacker got a touch to the ball but Kai was there to kick the ball off the goal line. A tense moment but the Spiders survive. The half ended with both teams level with one goal each.

Almost everyone was substituted at half-time. The entire backline was given a new look. Samy came into goal with Zaini, Raizal, Bob and Aziz in defense. Halim and Yusman were deployed as double midfield destroyers. Debutant Hasnul came in at right midfield and Fairus was on the left. Rosli kept his place while Azhar was pushed up to find a winning goal.

Both team had some decent chances to score the winner. The Spiders defense stayed resolute, clearing everything in their path. Bob in particular was impressive with his no-nonsense and physical approach. When they were breached, Samy was alert and made a couple of crucial saves. Redbacks should have scored when Fairus was released on the left side but he could not replicate last week’s scoring heroics, blasting the ball over. Fairus found himself in a good position once again when the ball broke to him in the middle but unfortunately, he scuffed his shot.

He was not the only one disappointed. Another goalscorer from last week, Hazri, saw his attempt sail agonizingly over the crossbar. Wan Jr. could have won the game with his last kick but with the goal and the goalkeeper at his mercy, he blasted over. Not long after, the referee blew the final whistle, drawing an end to a game that could have brought much more to either team.

Team (4-4-2): Izan, Kai, Sani, Aidil, Md Noor, Azhar, Rosli, Amir, Wan Jr, Jaz, Hazri
Subs: Samy, Zaini, Raizal, Aziz, Bob, Yusman, Halim, Fairus, Hasnul

Thank you Patrick for turning up and supporting the team. We wish you a speedy recovery, along with Halim and Aidil who suffered some nasty knocks for their efforts.

Posted in Match Reports | 11 Comments »

Rising in the Rain

Posted by Kai on January 4, 2010

Redbacks: 3
NTU Hall 2: 2

Venue: Mayflower Sec Sch
Scorers: Hazri, Fairus, Rosli (p)
Assist: Azhar

The friendly nature of match did not entice a lot of Spiders to turn up. But for the 13 who did, it was a match to remember. With the focus on fixing the team’s defensive weakness, Azhar opted for a 5-3-2 formation. Kai anchored the backline with Abang Sani and Desmond operating as stoppers. William and Aidil were the right-back and left-back respectively. Jaz, Rosli and Amir formed the three-man midfield while Azhar and Hazri played upfront.

NTUH2 utilized their superlative speed, fitness and energy to bombard the Redbacks with waves of attacks in the first half. The defense coped well with the situation. NTUH2 scored the opener after breaching the left side of the Spiders defense. The effort was weak and even though Desmond and Samy tried their best to keep the ball out, it was not enough to prevent the Redbacks from going behind. Being a man short compared to our opponents, the midfield could not exert any control over the game, denying our strikers of any meaningful supply. The half ended 1-0 in favour of NTUH2.

The rain threatened to put an end to the game but it proved to provide the Spiders with a second wind. It was a welcomed change to the scorching heat that we had to endure in the first half. The team switched to a 4-5-1 formation with some key changes. Halim came into the backline, Fairus played on the left of midfield, Hazri and Azhar dropped down as central midfielders and Jaz operated as a lone striker. It turned out to be an effective overhaul.

With the added numbers, the midfield began to take control of the game. The drenched pitch made dribbling the ball tricky and the game unpredictable. NTUH2 persisted with their direct style of play but found our defenders in uncompromising mood. The defenders threw themselves at everything that came their way. Azhar showed great versatility by effectively plugging all the gaps in midfield. Hazri injected some steel in the middle of the park as the tide began to turn.

The Spiders took the lead in outstanding fashion. A NTUH2 defender headed away a deep corner by Rosli. The ball fell to Fairus who unleashed a first-time volley that gave the keeper no chance at all! It was a goal that dreams are made of. It was definitely a contender for Goal of the Season, if not one of the best goals of all time! That’s Fairus for you. He does not score as regularly as he should, but when he does, it’s always a cracker!

We were not done yet. Not long after, Jaz released Rosli with a good through ball. The midfielder’s progress was impeded and the referee did not hesitate to award the penalty. Rosli took the kick himself and sent the keeper the wrong way to put Redbacks two goals up.

NTUH2 were eager to salvage something from the game and they surged forward to get back into the game. The Spiders did well keeping them at bay and looked to hit them from the counter attack. When NTUH2 managed to create an opening, they found Samy in inspired form. Samy remains the only keeper with a clean sheet and he has been involved in the 3 victories we have recorded this season. Is he becoming the team’s talisman? However, even Samy could not keep out a late attempt by NTUH2 and was beaten at his near post. It made the ending very tense but the Spiders held out for the win. A great start to 2010! May it continue for a long time…

FORZA REDBACKS!

Team (5-3-2): Kai, Desmond, Sani, William, Aidil, Jaz, Rosli, Amir, Hazri, Azhar
Subs: Halim, Fairus

Posted in Match Reports | 12 Comments »

Redbacks Slump Yet Again

Posted by Kai on December 27, 2009

Redbacks: 2
FZE: 4

Scorer: Azhar (2)
Assist: Wan Jr.

The Spiders fell to their second consecutive defeat against FZE, with our defensive frailties exposed cruelly time and time again. We enjoyed a dream start to the game when Azhar struck home a beautiful free kick. At this rate, our captain is slowly solidifying his status as the team’s set piece specialist! However, the lead was wiped out almost immediately after FZE literally passed their way into the Redbacks’ goal.

The FZE midfielders were having a field day, stroking the ball around with relative ease with the Spiders struggling to contain them. Another well-worked move resulted in an FZE player scoring from a one-on-one situation. The Spiders upped the ante and drew level. After being released by Azhar on the right flank, Wan Jr’s cross found our captain and he smashed home his second goal of the game. The half ended with both teams scoring two goals a piece.

Unfortunately, the second half was not as evenly matched as we had hoped for. FZE pulled ahead with one of their players scoring from a rebound after Samy had did well to parry away a goalbound effort. The Spiders tried our best to get back into the game. The effort and determination were there, but the team lacked a certain cutting edge and the final ball was often disappointing.

FZE put the result beyond doubt when Samy committed an unfortunate blunder. Our custodian lost his grip on the ball, leaving the goal unguarded for an FZE player to nail the final nail into the Redbacks’ coffin.

The Spiders will be hoping for a quick response to this defeat. We would like to thank the 20 players (that’s right, 20 players) for attending the match and contributing to the cause. Your understanding and team spirit are very much appreciated. We hope to see the same week in, week out.

Go Redbacks.

Team (4-4-2): Samy, Kai, Sani, William, Alfiah, Mok, Jaz, Amir, Wan Jr., Hazri, Azhar
Subs: Oggy, Joe, Desmond, Juffry, Epul, Bob, Aziz, Halim, Fairus

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An Agonizing Defeat

Posted by Kai on December 13, 2009

Redbacks: 3
Kentridge Rangers: 4

Venue: Tanjong Katong Sec Sch
Scorers: Amirrudinie, Hazri (2)
Assists: Jaz (2)

The Spiders started the game with a 4-4-2 formation. With a few regulars away, the team had to make do with a makeshift defense. At least we had a recognized keeper in Izan. Kai was the sweeper with Raizal playing as stopper, Aidil on the left and William on the right. In midfield, Rosli and Juffry were in the engine room with Amirrudinie and Jaz operating down the left and right flanks respectively. Hazri partnered Azhar upfront.

The Spiders stroked the ball around with confidence in the first 20 minutes or so and we enjoyed a dream start to the game, racing to a 2-0 lead. First, a cross-field pass by Jaz found Boy Rudy (Amirrudinie) in space. Having done well to shake off the attention of his marker, he kept his cool and finished well for the game’s opener. A few minutes later, a similar pass from Jaz ended up in similar fashion, this time Hazri was the beneficiary, scoring his first goal for the team.

Then, somehow we lost our discipline and shape. Rangers pulled one back almost immediately after conceding the first goal. They then equalized via a corner, a free header at the near post somehow finding its way into the top corner of our goal. That was how the team ended the first half.

Things got from bad to worse in the second half. Aidil was dispossessed on the left side and a Rangers attacker’s attempt struck the crossbar amidst a sea of players. Unfortunately, the rebound found its way back to the same player and he made no mistake the second time. After that, a foiled offside trap lead to Rangers pulling even further ahead.

The Spiders reduced the deficit to one goal when Hazri scored what has to be the goal of the game. An attempted headed clearance found its way to our forward and he lashed the ball into the roof of the net with a first-time volley. A smashing finish! Rangers would have added a fifth goal, but Raizal was left with no choice but commit a professional foul with the striker clean through on goal.

Despite being down by one man, it seemed to galvanize the Redbacks as we ended the game the way we started, laying siege to the Rangers’ goal. Jo, Fairus, Azhar and Hazri all had chances to score but the equalizer just did not come. Coupled with the fact that we struck the frame of the goal six times throughout the game, you have a feeling that it was just not meant to be. Only a win against FC Simpang will see the Spiders back in contention to qualify for the next round.

For now, we just have to lick our wounds and strive for better focus and discipline in our play the next time we take to the field. Mental preparation is the key to our success. Let’s bounce back and do better in our next game.

FORZA REDBACKS!

Team (4-4-2): Izan, Kai, Raizal, Aidil, William, Rosli, Juffry, Jaz, Amirrudinie, Azhar, Hazri
Subs: Epul, Joe, Mok, Fairus, Bob

Posted in Match Reports | 9 Comments »