On Saturday 3 April, Hougang United sent a considerable measure of shockwaves to the rest of the Singapore Premier League when it served up a 5-1 win over Tampines Rovers.
This was just about two weeks after the Cheetahs also scored a victory over the Lion City Sailors.
Here’s five things about the club which you may not have known of, unless you are a hardcore Hools fan.
- Hougang United and Woodlands Wellington were merged in 2014
In November 2014, it was announced that Hougang United and Woodlands Wellington will merge for the 2015 season. With the announcement that Hougang United will retain its name after the merger and assimilation of most of Woodlands staff into Hougang’s structure, including players and head coach Salim Moin, Woodlands Wellington ceased to exist in the S.League from 2015.
The information above is available on the club’s website. Woodlands Wellington was one of the clubs which featured when the league made its debut in 1996.
Financial troubles stopped the club from continuing its league presence, much to the chagrin of Rams fans, who have since been clamouring for the return of a club in the north of the island.
The Football Association of Singapore said in 2016 that the proposed merger did not materialise, so it is unclear why Hougang United still has that bit of information up on its official website, which is updated almost daily.
- Hougang United replaced Sengkang Punggol in the S-League in 2011 and draws its history all the way back to Marine Castle United
That’s a blast from the past – that Sengkang Punggol name.
One of its coaches was Trevor Morgan.
Who would have even remembered that there was a Sengkang Punggol which played in the S-League just 10 years ago. Sengkang Punggol was a feature from 2006 to 2010 in the S-League.
But you would have to go way back to 1998 to the introduction of Marine Castle United into the S-League to know where Hougang United really hailed from since the club states that it was founded in 1981.
The club’s history goes something like this:
Marine Castle United > Sengkang Marine > Paya Lebar Punggol > Sengkang Punggol > Hougang United.
- 3rd in league in 2019, highest ever achievement
The Hools fans had plenty to celebrate in 2019 when their club finished the season in third place, just a point behind Tampines Rovers and seven from league champions DPMM FC.
Prior to this, the club’s best finish has been in sixth position in the 2016 and 2017 seasons.
The club has no Singapore Cup titles to its name.
- 2020 Asian Football Confederation Cup (AFC) debut
Hougang United made their AFC Cup debut in 2020 on account of a third place showing in the league a year prior.
The team was in third place when the competition was canned because of Covid-19.
- Chairman Bill Ng attempts to become President of the Football Association of Singapore (FAS)
In 2017, club chairman Bill Ng led a team to challenge for the top positions in the FAS.
Not only was he beaten at the polls comprehensively, a police report which was filed by Sport Singapore during the elections led to a raid, and police investigation.
Former FAS President Zainudin Nordin was also hauled up in the process, and the case is still pending.
If you have any memories or photos of Hougang United which you would like to share with us, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or just send the photos to us via direct message on The Monitor SG Facebook page.
Main Photo: AFC.com
*Story has been edited at 9.15pm on 5 April 2021 to include information about what the FAS referred to as a failed merger between Hougang and Woodlands in September 2016. It is unclear why the information is still up on the Hougang United official website.