GLOBAL’s quest for an international title resumes on Saturday when it opens its maiden Singapore Cup campaign against defending champion Warriors FC at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium.
The United Football League champion is in the crucial part of its title-retention bid back home, and will take part in its second international tournament in three weeks.
Global, which finished third in the Asian Football Confederation President’s Cup behind fancied club Dordoi Bishkek and KRL, face the Warriors at 7:30 p.m., with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals.
The Warriors feature several Singapore internationals led by Daniel Bennett as well as three Japanese players in Shimpei Sakurada, Tatsuro Inui, and Kazuyuki Toda, who once played for Tottenham in the English Premier League and represented Japan in the 2002 Fifa World Cup.
Loyola Meralco, the other Philippine club invited to play in the annual tournament featuring teams from Singapore and other top sides from neighboring countries, is already through to the Last Eight after dispatching Harimau Muda B, 3-0, on Sunday.
“It’s tough luck we drew the defending champions, but I think our experience in the President’s Cup will do us good,” Global owner Dan Palami said. “And the good thing is that more foreigners are allowed.”
Unlike the President’s Cup, which only allows two foreigners, the Singapore Cup allows five reinforcements per squad.
Global is fielding Carlos Guisso, skipper Yu Hoshide, Roland Sadia, Ben Starosta, and new recruit Jordan Robertson.
Robertson is a 25-year-old veteran striker who was once a teammate of Starosta at Sheffield United in England’s League One.
Palami is confident Robertson, who has been practicing with Global for the past two weeks, “will be up to the task.”
Global’s big boss waved off suggestions Robertson could end up like the team’s late pick-up in Moussa Sanogo, the replacement Ivorian goalkeeper who proved to be an unsteady presence as the team's last line of defense in the President’s Cup.
“I’m not really that worried. I’ve seen him play. He’s a natural striker,” Palami said. “My only concern is if he’s able to adapt immediately to the conditions of the Philippines and Singapore.”
Global is hoping to ride the momentum of its 2-1 victory over Stallion in the UFL on Tuesday that solidified its chances of regaining the title.
“It’s a good momentum to start on,” Palami said. “That gives us a bit more confidence.”