Hougang United FC - History


Marine Castle United Football Club, one of Sengkang Punggol's predecessor clubs, was formed as in 1981 by residents of Marine Parade, with the initial aim of playing in 7-a-side tournaments, which were very popular at the time. The club's name arose after Newcastle United FC of England visited Singapore in 1981. With all the team's members being residents of Marine Parade fans of Newcastle United, they decided to name their club Marine Castle United FC.

Marine Castle United FC was registered with the Singapore Registry of Society on the 19 October 1981. In 1982, a four-year youth development programme was drawn up, aiming to develop and produce the club's players from 1986 onwards. This plan proved to be a success as many players were selected to represent Singapore in various youth tournaments.

Marine Castle's achievements at senior level had not been too impressive in the years leading to S.League's formation in 1995. The club applied to be one of the eight teams that would participate in the inaugural S.League, but was not selected by the Football Association of Singapore. Over the next two years, the club attempted to show skeptics that they had what it took to join Singapore's top league. They reached FA Cup semi-finals in 1995, become the National Football League's group champions in 1996, and were runners-up National Football League Division 1 in 1997.

Following this, Marine Castle United successfully applied to join the S.League in 1998. They became the eleventh team to join the S.League, together with Gombak United FC. However Marine Castle did not initially enjoy much S.League success. They finished bottom of the league in their first two seasons. In 2000 and 2001, they climbed up one spot to finished eleventh out of twelve teams, above Balestier Central FC and Woodlands Wellington FC respectively.

In 2002, Marine Castle FC changed its name to Sengkang Marine Football Club. The S.League wanted clubs to be closer to their heartlands and community. Marine Castle had been playing its S.League home games at the Hougang Stadium, and the change in name was made with the aim of reaching out more to fans in the nearby Sengkang area. That year, the team's performances on the pitch improved, and they finished the S.League season in eighth place, their highest ever finish.

In 2003, Sengkang Marine finished the league season in eighth place again, but was then forced to bow out of the league due to financial difficulties. Both Sengkang Marine and Jurong FC left the league after the 2003 season despite mid-table finishes as they could no longer afford to participate.

In 2005, Paya Lebar Punggol Football Club joined the S.League and finished tenth in its debut season. (Prior to joining the S.League, the team was previously a grassroots club known as Paya Lebar Kovan Football Club). Like Sengkang Marine FC before them, Paya Lebar Punggol FC played its S.League home games at the Hougang Stadium.

In 2006, Paya Lebar Punggol FC and Sengkang Marine FC decide to collaborate their resources and merge to form a club named Sengkang Punggol Football Club to play in the S.League. The newly-merged club finished in eleventh place in the 2006 S.League season.

In 2011, the club rebranded themselves as Hougang United Football Club in order to identify themselves with the neighbourhood their stadium (Hougang Stadium) is located (Hougang New Town). The club's home stadium, Hougang Stadium, is also the home stadium for its predecessors, Paya Lebar Punggol FC and Sengkang Marine FC.

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