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Warriors Football Club is a Singaporean professional football club that last played in the Singapore Premier League, the top division of football in Singapore. Before they officially changed their name on 20 January 2013, they were previously known as the Singapore Armed Forces Football Club (SAFFC) since their establishment on 16 February 1996. Despite their name back then, membership of the Armed Forces was not a prerequisite for players representing the team, and several international players have played for them.
|Full name||Warriors Football Club|
(as Singapore Armed Forces Sports Association)
(as Warriors FC)
|Ground||Jurong East Stadium|
|Chairman||Philip Lam Tin Sing|
The club's original choice of mascot was a wolf but club officials felt a wolf was not representative of their club and chose a rhinoceros, depicting discipline, spirit, courage and teamwork.
Warriors F.C. is currently the most successful club in the history of the S.League, having won the title a record nine times: in 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2014 and finishing second in 4 seasons: 1996, 1999, 2001, 2005 in the 22 years since the inception of the S.League.
The Warriors were based in Jurong Stadium till 2000 before moving to their home ground Choa Chu Kang Stadium in 2001. In light of the preparation of the 2015 SEA Games, the Warriors had to vacate Choa Chu Kang Stadium and instead played their home matches at the Woodlands Stadium for the 2015 season instead. In 2019, Warriors moved to Jurong East Stadium, sharing the stadium with Albirex Niigata Singapore FC, as home ground.
The Singapore Armed Forces Sports Association (SAFSA) football team was formed in 1975 to provide talented footballers serving National Service with opportunities to play competitive football. That year, they won the President's Cup, a feat they repeated in 1978, when they also captured the National Football League title to complete The Double. Their Under-19 team won the national Under-19 title in 1979, 1980 and 1983, while the 1981 season of the National Football League saw the SAFSA football team emerge as champions without losing a game. The President's Cup was captured again in 1984 and 1986, the latter time as part of a second Double, as they also won the National Football League on goal difference. In 1990, the Pools Cup went to the SAFSA football team and their convincing displays led to their selection as one of eight clubs to compete in the newly formed S.League.
Singapore Armed Forces FC's entry into the S.League in 1996 also resulted in the withdrawal of SAFSA from the NFL. SAFSA would not participate in the local football leagues again till 1999, when they rejoined the National Football League.
SAFFC finished second in 1996, 1999 and won the league in 1997 and 1998.
Three coaches were at the reins during this period, each lasting only one season. SAFFC finished second in 2005 but otherwise outside the top two.
Richard Bok took over as club head coach in 2006 & led the Warriors to 4 consecutive championship 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009.
In Asian Football Confederation Club competition, he led Armed Forces to 2 Quarter Finals in 2007 & 2008. In 2009, Armed Forces qualified into the AFC Champions League group stage by defeating Thai Champion PEA FC and PSMS Medan of Indonesia in the East playoff thus Armed Forces making Singapore football history by being the first club from Singapore to qualified for the highest club competition in Asia.
Armed Forces were drawn in a group with J.League champions Kashima Antlers, K.League champions Suwon Samsung Bluewings and Chinese Super League runners-up Shanghai Shenhua, and despite being confirmed as the group losers after a 5–0 loss to Kashima Antlers in Japan, they won their first ever point in the competition with a 1–1 draw against Shanghai Shenhua at home.
In 2010, Armed Forces qualified for their second consecutive AFC Champions League group stage by defeating Sriwijaya of Indonesia 3–0 at Jalan Besar stadium in Singapore and won on penalty in the East playoff Final with Muangthong United F.C. of Thailand in Singapore. Armed Forces were group with former Champion Gamba Osaka of Japan, Henan Jianye of China and again Suwon Samsung Bluewings of Korea. Armed Forces got their first ever away points with a draw against Chinese Super League side Henan Jianye in Henan, China. Thus equalling their 1 point in 2009. In the return leg on 13 April 2010 at Jalan Besar stadium in Singapore, Armed Forces record their first ever historical AFC Champions League win with a 2–1 victory over Henan Jianye. Eventually finishing 3rd in the group ahead of Chinese Super League team Henan Jianye putting Armed Forces and Singapore football on the map in Asia Football.
Alex Weaver, in his first full season as coach of Warriors FC, clinched the 2014 S.League title on the last day of the competition for the Warriors. With Brunei DPMM leading the table until the last day, the Warriors scored a 1–0 win over Albirex Niigata Singapore FC and they received a favour from Tampines Rovers FC, who beat Brunei DPMM FC 2–1 to hand Warriors FC their first title in 5 years and their 9th title in the league's 19 years history.
In November 2019, they were charged on court with 107 counts of not paying their staff salaries. In total, they failed to pay more than S$350,000 in salaries to about 30 employees, including players, sports trainers and support staff.
2 days after the incident being reported, ST reported that there were 2 parties that were interested to take over Warriors FC.
On 31 December 2019, FAS had instructed Warriors FC to sit out the 2020 Singapore Premier League season due to their financial issue and legal troubles. They missed the following season as well.
In October 2020, Warriors FC applied to return to the Singapore Premier League (SPL) and Singapore Cup competitions for 2021.
|Season||Name Changed||League||Pos.||P||W||D||L||GS||GA||Pts||Singapore Cup||League Cup|
|1996-1||Singapore Armed Forces FC||S.League||4th||14||5||3||6||27||25||18|
|2009||1st||30||22||1||7||73||31||67||Round of 16||Runners-up|
|2010||4th||33||16||5||12||56||41||53||Round of 16||Quarter-finals|
|2013||Warriors FC||7th||27||9||8||10||38||38||35||Preliminary||Group stage|
|2018||Singapore Premier League||5th||24||7||7||10||32||35||28||Quarter-finals|
- The 1996 season of the S.League was split into two series. Tiger Beer Series winners Geylang United defeated Pioneer Series winners Singapore Armed Forces in the Championship playoff to clinch the S.League title.
- 2003 saw the introduction of penalty shoot-outs if a match ended in a draw in regular time. Winners of penalty shoot-outs gained two points instead of one.
|Cups||Champions||Championship years||Runners-up||Runners-up years|
|Singapore Cup||4||1999, 2007, 2008, 2012||3||1998, 2000, 2019|
|Singapore League Cup||0||2||2009, 2017|
|Singapore FA Cup||4||1997, 2006, 2008, 2017||1||1996|
|President's Cup||3||1975, 1984, 1986||0|
|Singapore Charity Shield||3||2008, 2010, 2015||1||2013|
Performance in AFC competitionsEdit
- AFC Champions League: 3 appearance
- Asian Club Championship: 3 appearances
- AFC Cup: 4 appearances
- AFC Cup Winners Cup: 2 appearances
AFC clubs rankingEdit
- As of 25 February 2018
|129||Than Quảng Ninh|
Player of the Year AwardEdit
* Mirko Grabovac was a naturalised Singapore player from 2002 until he renounced his Singapore citizenship in 2008.
* Aleksandar Đurić was a naturalised Singapore player from 2007
- 2018 Official Kit Supplier: Umbro
- "SAFFC renamed as Warriors FC". ESPN Star. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013.
- "Origins". Archived from the original on 13 August 2009.
- "Eight clubs to share four stadiums for 2019 Singapore Premier League season, move 'not permanent': FAS". CNA.
- Malathi Das and Palakrishnan (1996), "S.League: the kick-off", Singapore Professional Football League Pte Ltd, p. 38
- "Warriors Football Club charged with not paying players, staff salaries of more than S$350,000". CNA.
- "SPL club Warriors up for foreign takeover?". The Straits Times. 9 November 2019.
- "Football: FAS instructs Warriors FC to sit out 2020 SPL season, club asks for urgent meeting". CNA.
- "Warriors FC seek return to Singapore Premier League and Cup for 2021". The Monitor SG. 12 October 2020.
- "AFC Club Ranking (25th February 2018)". globalfootballranks.com. Asian Football Confederation. Retrieved 16 January 2018.