Hi Firdaus, kindly introduce yourself to our readers.
Hi everyone. I am Firdaus and I am 36 this year and working in the IT Industry. Currently residing in Punggol.
Please share with us on how your journey began with supporting Geylang International FC.
My first Geylang International FC (Known then as Geylang United FC) match or rather first local league game I attended was in 2001 at Bedok Stadium. I was not really keen in watching football back then, however my schoolmate compelled me to accompany him to watch the match. I must say it was a thrilling experience and the atmosphere was electrifying. There drums and cheerleaders, and the fan support given to the team was simply amazing. Geylang had many good players in the team during that season and I started to follow literally each and every Geylang matches home and away. Geylang eventually became Champions that season.
What motivated you to form the Ultras Eagles and what were your visions back then?
Due to school, important exams, working part-time and then National Service, I sadly missed much of the Eagles matches, throughout the following 8 seasons. In 2011, I decided to catch a match at Bedok Stadium, as it was towards the tail-end of the season and I was really surprised by the crowd present, the thousands of fans during the 2001 season, had dropped drastically and I could literally count the number of fans present. The standard of local game had also suffered a dip tremendously and short of what I had witnessed during the 2001 Championship winning team. The good old glory days were long gone. I then decided to bring the electrifying atmosphere back as the club and league was in a sad state. The following season, on the 19th of February 2012, the Ultras Eagles were born and made their debut at Woodlands Stadium. We started with 2 men and a banner which I painted myself, and from then on, we met many like-minded fans and the group grew slowly as the years went by.
Do you have any fond memories in your time as a Geylang fan? If so, please do share them with us.
The fondest memory to me was in 2016 when Geylang played Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) in a pre-season friendly at Larkin Stadium. We had more than 15 of us who made the trip. We also visited Markaz, the official merchandise store for the Boy of Straits (BOS-Official fan group of JDT) and it was an eye opener. None of the SPL (known previously as S-League) clubs had a dedicated merchandise store like JDT and the BOS comrades welcomed us warmly with open arms. We had a great time mingling with them and sharing our experiences of the fan groups in both the leagues.
What are your hopes for Geylang International in the future?
I want Geylang to finish top of the League and win all possible titles and cups that we challenge for. Yes, we do have high expectations.
Since it’s UE’s 10 years anniversary this year, what are your aspirations for UE for the future?
Many of us been together for 10 years and have forged a solid friendship and definitely some of us are not getting any younger, so I hope the future of UE is in good hands. Currently we have a bunch of energetic and passionate youths ready to continue the vision of UE and continued with their relentless support for the club.
Any message for the fans or neutral supporters of GIFC?
Do join us on matchdays and I can assure you a fun environment, and a chance for you to just let loose, shout, scream, jump, dance and make new friends while supporting the Eagles at the same time. We now even have a Futsal Team that competes in the Fan Clubs Futsal League, and also do check out our awesome UE merchandise available on our website.