Football: S-League to benefit from Pennant move - Fowler and McAteer

Jermaine Pennant attending a football training session for a trial with Tampines Rovers.
Jermaine Pennant attending a football training session for a trial with Tampines Rovers.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Ex-Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant's move to the S-League will rejuvenate the local football scene, according to his former Reds team-mate Robbie Fowler.

Anfield icon Fowler, who played alongside Pennant from 2006 to 2007, said: "When you get players of his calibre over here to countries like Singapore to play football... if he (shows) the (same) standard (as) the way he was playing in the EPL (English Premier League), then the league is obviously going to benefit.

"I think he's a proven good player in the EPL. We haven't seen Jermaine Pennant play for a good few years now, (but) he's been a great quality player in the past," said the 40-year-old former England striker on Saturday.

Ex-Liverpool winger Jason McAteer, who played for the club between 1995 and 1999, also agreed that Pennant will help to raise the profile of the S-League.

The 44-year-old Irishman said: "It's a fantastic opportunity for Asian football and individually (for Pennant) as well. It brings profile, like when Robbie went over to Australia (to play for Perth Glory), all of a sudden there's a massive interest to watch football over there. And when Steven Gerrard and David Beckham went to America, there's also massive interest."

The pair were in town for a meet-and-greet session with fans at Courts Megastore in Tampines on Saturday afternoon, where they signed autographs and posed for photographs with about 100 supporters.