Football star Jermaine Pennant 'not coming here to be greedy' but to 'help Singapore'

Pennant said that the S.League is a "new challenge" for him.

Weixiang Lim | January 07, 2016, 10:29 PM

Former Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant, 32, arrived in Singapore this morning for a week-long trial with S-League club Tampines Rovers.

Despite being given the option to rest this evening, the former England under-21 player chose to hit the ground running.

Pennant joined in the club’s 5pm training session at the Jalan Besar Stadium.


Here is five things we learnt about Pennant's trial with Tampines Rovers:

1. Pennant has not signed a contract with Tampines Rovers yet: Besides impressing the coaches, there is also the small matter of them coming to an agreement on his pay package.

At his last club Wigan Athletic, he was on 25,000 pounds (S$52,286) a week so he will likely have to take a huge pay cut to play in the S-League.

Asked about the probability of the deal happening, Pennant said,

“I know it’s not a massive paying league. I don’t expect to come here for English wages. I understand there might be a drop but at the same time the club has to appreciate where I am coming from. I am not coming here to be greedy, I am coming here to progress my career and maybe help Singapore so I am hopeful that a deal can be agreed."

When asked by The Straits Times reporter whether he could survive on the new wages, Pennant smiled and replied that he was “sure Tampines would look after him, and it would not be a problem”.

2. Pennant does not see S-League as a step down: Pennant believes that it is “a new challenge” and “a new experience.”

He added that “looking forward to the future, it could be a step up”.

3. Pennant had other offers: He was convinced by Tampines Chairman, lawyer Murali Krishna Ramachandra, to try out for Tampines.

4. Pennant showed some good touches even after a 14-hour flight:

But he will have to learn to adapt to the artificial turf.

5. Pennant's take on his potential new teammates: At the end of the training session, Pennant commented that he had "seen some good players there. They are fit, they are quick.”

Interested to catch Pennant in action? Tampines Rovers takes on Hougang United in a friendly this Saturday at 7pm at the Jalan Besar Stadium. Admission is free.

Related article:

Former S’pore international doesn’t think Jermaine Pennant will sign with Tampines Rovers

All photos by Lim Weixiang.