Surprise Shirts - Shirt of the Week - Tanjong Pagar United 2022 Home
Our latest Kit of the Week comes to us from Singapore. With a club who have experienced highs, lows, and financial disaster, following Tanjong Pagar United is certainly not for the faint-hearted.
A fitting tribute to the Singapore national team, this clean design pays homage to Tanjong Pagar United's homeland whilst retaining their individual identity and being eye-catchingly unique. Red and white have always been Tanjong's colours, but this season they have managed to combine them in a wonderfully slick look. The kit, manufactured by Football Thai Factory (FBT) has really bumped things up a gear. Below the chest is a base of Tanjong's classic deep red; bold, downward-facing arrows and the all-white logo of the club's sponsor (Tokyo Century) mix in beautifully across the middle of the shirt. As you move upward, the red begins to dissolve into white but the detailing remains. Most notably with the now inverted arrows that run upwards toward the collar, but the sleeves, manufacturer logo, and outskirts of the badge add some extra style.
The Jaguars have opted for a classic round crest, with their animal mascot front and centre alongside the always iconic black and white panelled football. Surrounding this is an all-black disc-shaped banner and blocked yellow text displaying the club's name with a final, thin-red outer layer tying it all together.
Lots of clubs have had a name change of some sort throughout their history, but changing names more than once as Tanjong have is quite a bit rarer. Founded back in 1974 under the slightly wordy title of Tiong Bahru Constituency Sports Club, the Jaguars competed in Division 3 of the Singapore National Football League.
Back-to-back promotions in 1978 and 1979, took them to the pinnacle of Singaporean football and as the League rebranded itself in 1996 to become the S.League, Tanjong joined the party, becoming Tiong Bahru United in 1996. The early years of the S.League were Tanjong's glory days as between 1996 and 2000 they finished 2nd in 4 of those 5 seasons with a 3rd place finish in 1999. Although they spent those years agonizingly close to glory without a league title, they did get their hands on some silverware. In the 1998 season, their first as Tanjong Pagar United, they won the Singapore Cup.
Unfortunately, the new millennium would be less kind. A fourth-place finish in 2001 signalled the start of a sharp decline away from the summit. As the landscape of Singaporean football changed with the number of teams in the top division everchanging and clubs coming and going seemingly every year, they struggled to regain their status as title competitors. Things went from bad to worse as financial troubles forced Tanjong into missing every season between 2005-2010, and again between 2015-2019, so we think it's fair to say they had a tough time of it. Runners-up medals in the 2013 edition of the Singapore Cup was the most that the club could shout about.
But in 2020, a former Singapore international with 84 caps to his name became the new gaffer, and after finishing 5th in 2021, their highest since that 2001 campaign, it looked like the Jaguars might be climbing their way back up the table.
So how have they got on this year, with an English-born, Singaporean legend at the back in Daniel Bennett, could they build on last year's success?
For most fans, playing in a league consisting of only 8 teams might seem a bit underwhelming. But what the Singapore Premier League lacks in substance, it certainly makes up for in style. And by style, we mean goals, shedloads of goals to be precise. Singapore's top division is certainly one to keep an eye on for the goalscoring aficionado's out there, maybe not so much for the Alan Hansen's of the world…
And Tanjong are certainly no party poopers on this front, with 44 scored and 58 conceded in just twenty four games giving an average of 4.25 goals per game, need we say more. It might not always go their way, but whether they're winning 5-3 against Balestier Khalsa, drawing 3-3 with Tampines Rovers, or suffering a tough 7-0 loss at the hands of Lions City Sailors, Tanjong are here to entertain and Japanese centre forward Reo Nishiguchi is the catalyst of that, notching 20 goals already this campaign.
Tanjong started this season strongly, of their first 12 games they recorded 6 wins, 4 draws, and 2 defeats, not bad for a team with only one top four finish this millennium. Unfortunately, manager Noh Alam Shah and his men couldn't keep the good times rolling as they went on a wretched run of 7 defeats in 10 games. It will be too late to enforce any substantial change in the league table with a middle of the pack finish mathematically confirmed, but after turning the tide in a stunning 3-3 draw against Houjang and following that up with a 3-1 win, Tanjong are looking to finish the league season in style before the Singapore Cup kicks off on the 27th of October, so watch this space… you know you'll be entertained. Who knows, they might even repeat the success of their 1998 triumph.