Tampines' hub of activity a hit with local supporters

Farzeel Falli, a Tampines Rovers fan since the S-League started in 1996, with his nephews (from left) Hussayn and Safyn at their match against Home United at Our Tampines Hub last night.
Farzeel Falli, a Tampines Rovers fan since the S-League started in 1996, with his nephews (from left) Hussayn and Safyn at their match against Home United at Our Tampines Hub last night.ST PHOTO: WANG MENG MENG

Farzeel Falli has been a Tampines resident since 1985 and supported his local team, Tampines Rovers, since the S-League's inaugural season in 1996.

With his nephews Hussayn, nine, and Safyn, six, starting to get hooked on football, the 39-year-old decided to immerse the youngsters in the local game by taking them to watch the Stags' league clash against Home United last night.

"The boys are still young and want to know more about football. But there is simply no replacement for watching the game live at the stadium. You just cannot get the same atmosphere on television," said Farzeel.

After six years away, playing at Clementi and Jurong West Stadiums, the Stags finally returned home to the east in July when more than 4,600 fans turned up at Our Tampines Hub (OTH) for the 2-0 victory over Brunei DPMM.

And Tampines' new management committee is keen to tap on the support from one of Singapore's biggest heartlands with pre-match festivities to draw in the crowds.

Stags honorary secretary Nicholas Hunter told The Sunday Times that all home games at OTH will now be shaped as "match day experiences" starting from 5pm.

Yesterday, a photo booth was set up for fans wanting fun snaps of their day at the ground.

Stalls providing candy floss, popcorn and even manicure and pedicure saw steady streams of supporters waiting in line. Flags and clappers were also given out to the estimated 1,500 crowd.

Farzeel, whose nephews sported Stags scarves, said: "The activities planned by Tampines Rovers are great. I came to OTH early at 5pm to have my meal while the boys enjoy the activities like face painting.

"On top of that, we get to watch the game."

Last night, the Stags wrapped up their S-League campaign with a 0-0 draw against Home. The result ensured Tampines finished second in the nine-team table on 54 points, four points ahead of the Protectors.

Albirex Niigata are champions for the second consecutive season after amassing 62 points from 24 games.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on November 19, 2017, with the headline 'Tampines' hub of activity a hit with local supporters'. Print Edition | Subscribe