"This season, we have to collectively step up as a team and turn the page. We’re changing how we’re approaching training sessions and matches – we want to fully utilise the facility on what we can do with the team, and we’ll also have more individualised programs to help the players to perform to their maximum potential. A club like the Sailors is expected to win titles, but in 2022 we didn’t.” said the 35-year-old who will also continue to develop Academy side.

Club Chairman Forrest Li welcomed the team as the they took their first steps towards the 2023 season.

“Most of our new signings are younger players, and this is because it’s important that a generational shift starts, not just for the club, but also for the bigger picture of football development in Singapore. We have recruited players who have demonstrated the most potential, and this is supported by the fact that we will have players from the first batch of our Early Enlistment Program (for National Service (NS)) starting to join the squad.”

Sailors fans have already got an early indication of the potential coming through the club’s Academy, with two youngsters – 17-year-old midfielders, Yasir Nizamudin and Danie Hafiy – providing an assist each when the Sailors fell 7-2 to German giants Borussia Dortmund at the Jalan Besar Stadium in November.

“We’ll have to see how these players can fit into the team and hopefully we can see some of these Under-21s making their senior debuts this year,” added an optimistic Luka.