SINGAPORE: The signing of former Arsenal and Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant has brought a buzz that the S.League hasn't seen in a long time, but Pennant isn't the only foreign import who is capable of bringing the crowd to their feet.
Japanese Fumiya Kogure is also one of the foreign signings to look out for this season.
The 26-year-old attacking midfielder was an instant success in his first season in the S.League, scoring five goals and providing 13 assists as he helped Albirex Niigata to a Singapore Cup and League Cup double.
He was later named S.League player of the year for his outstanding performances.
Searching for a new challenge this season, he left Albirex and joined unfancied Hougang United, despite interest from other high profile local clubs.
"I wanted to play in a local team after leaving Albirex,” he said. “Hougang United gave me a chance to join their team, and I'm very happy to join them and contribute as a team member."
Hougang finished bottom in the league last season, but have recruited two excellent foreign signings this time round. Fumiya is relishing the opportunity to play alongside the highly rated Jozef Kaplan, who joined Hougang from Geylang International.
"He (Kaplan) is a very good player, and he is a very good guy as well,” said Fumiya. “I trust him as a player on the field and I feel that we can work really well together."
Apart from the duo, Hougang have also signed six former LionsXII players.