Local fans speak up

Yuki Kitanaka, 37, housewife.

(Albirex Niigata)

"The teams are going to be stronger and hopefully we can see more goals. Usually there isn't much cheering during games, but as I am one of the club cheerleaders, I'm excited and maybe a bit nervous to cheer in front of more people."

Paul Chew, 23, undergraduate.

(Geylang International)

"Every team is pulling out the stops to win a championship that, for the first time in a very long period, will be quite evenly contested. The best local talent has returned from Malaysia and we have marquee signings impressing in pre-season."

Azwan Awan, 19, service crew at 4 Fingers.

(Garena Young Lions)

"Our games, previously deserted, will now be packed. Just look at how many people turned up for a friendly (versus Hougang). A few Malaysian friends say they want to come watch Faris Ramli play. I think this season is going to be the most exciting one in many years."

Adrian Choo, 19, full-time national serviceman

(Hougang United)

"The club is like my second family. Last year the players played a match with some fans, and we also went out to eat with the players. Do you see other clubs and English Premier League players doing that with their fans?"

Muhamad Najib Naim, 33, club bouncer.

(Warriors FC)

"Look at what the (Tampines) Rovers have done. It has made people open their eyes. As a fan of Singapore football, I know this season will be as good as the old days - young and old fans will come down and support the league."

Zand Zainal, 32, construction safety officer.

(Tampines Rovers)

"With Jermaine Pennant and most of the LionsXII back, there is more hype and excitement surrounding the league. I hope Tampines will be the best, but I'm also looking forward to watching Home United, with Fandi's sons joining them."

Pengiran Sharie, 54, nursing officer.

(Brunei DPMM)

"This year should be very tough; other teams will also try to get more imports. I am excited about seeing Jermaine Pennant play for Tampines. I am looking forward to seeing DPMM do as well as last year and become champions again."

Daniel Lau, 22, undergraduate.

(Home United)

"It's quite evident that this season will be different with big-name signings and the LionsXII disbanding. You can't predict the winner and there is no pre-season favourite. Basically like what Leicester are doing (in the Premier League) this season."

Salleh Suni, 66, courier dispatcher.

(Balestier Khalsa)

"When I am tired after work, I go to watch Balestier play and I feel that all my stress and tiredness are gone. I will be there for every match, because I feel that as a Singaporean, we need to support our own league."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2016, with the headline 'Local fans speak up'. Print Edition | Subscribe