By Terence Porter
Back in 2013 while I was on holiday in Singapore, I made a plan to go and watch an S.League game while I was over there.
I took the MRT out to Toa Payoh by myself, walked to Toa Payoh Stadium to watch my first game of football in Singapore, Balestier Khalsa vs Geylang International. Adult ticket bought at the gate was $5. Knowing no-one, I just wandered around taking photos of the stadium until I sat down closer to a small knot of green and white clad supporters.
After a little while of watching the players warm up, one of the green and whites came and said hello, and we started talking. He invited me to join the rest of the guys, who turned out to be the "Ultras Eagles," the small yet extremely passionate active support group for Geylang. I ended up joining in and singing and chanting with them the whole game. I did an interview for their supporter blog. Finally the game was over, despite the match going 1-0 to Balestier, I'd had a great time.
I’ve continued following the fortunes of Geylang International since then, back in Sydney, Australia. Far from the “Eagle’s Nest” it has been challenging to keep up with the league but since the matches started being broadcast on Youtube, it has been wonderful to watch Geylang regularly. It’s been great to see the increase in social media related to Singapore Premier League recently too, it makes it easier to feel like a part of the football scene, even from afar. In the years before COVID-19, I have met up with Singaporean fans who came out to Sydney and continue to exchange club goods and jerseys with my Ultras Eagles friends.
I’m looking forward to the day someday when I can get back across to Singapore and be a part of the UE for myself again.