Lion City Sailors FC – formerly known as Home United Football Club – will make its debut in the upcoming Singapore Premier League (SPL) season under the new ownership of leading homegrown internet company, Sea. The club unveils its new name, kit, and squad for the 2020 season, as it aims to achieve SPL success and spark a new era of development for Singapore football.
Sea assumes 100% ownership of the club. Forrest Li, the founder, Chairman and Group CEO, of Sea, will serve as Chairman of Lion City Sailors FC.
Lion City Sailors represents a natural extension of Sea’s long-standing commitment to the development of Singapore football, which includes Garena’s sponsorship of the Young Lions in 2016. Mr Li has also sat on the Football Association of Singapore Council since 2017.
Lion City Sailors will be targeting domestic silverware and a place in the AFC Champions League. As it sets sight on success in 2020, the Lion City Sailors coaching team will be led by Aurelio Vidmar, the former Socceroos captain. He joins after a hugely successful stint in Australia where he led Adelaide United to the 2008 AFC Champions League final, becoming the first Australian team to earn this distinction.
The team has also been augmented with some key off-season signings including:
- Hassan Sunny
- Gabriel Quak
- Shahdan Sulaiman
- Kaishu Yamazaki
- Andy Pengelly
The launch of Lion City Sailors is set to inject fresh momentum for the SPL, with the Football Association of Singapore (FAS) welcoming more corporate involvement that can invigorate the league. The FAS has identified this pilot project as an opportunity to build a sustainable model for local football that will encourage other corporate partners to follow suit.
Youth development will remain an integral part of Lion City Sailors’ DNA as the club looks to groom the next generation of talents and bolster the ranks of its senior setup, as well as the Singapore national team.
The new SPL season will kick off on 29 February 2020, where Lion City Sailors will take on defending champions Brunei DPMM at the Bishan Stadium.