Salmiņš, Sølve Start Off
The first two departures of Grilled's breaking up of the squad have already gone ahead, with goalkeeper Jānis Salmiņš
and central defender Sølve Lunde
finding themselves much in demand. Given that both had joined up with silverware as a major motivation, however, it could not be said that they had wasted their time in Singapore.
The 32 year-old Salmiņš would leave with two national league titles and two Challenger Cups, which he freely accepted had been as good as he could expect, for his four seasons here. "It's been a privilege to be with this team, it'll always be a highlight of my career."
His next destination would be Italian III.8 challengers A.S. Gozzadini, who boast of a single season in Serie A about thirty years ago. Hungarian starter Gergely Kalocsay's broken collarbone would spur Chilean head coach Giovanni Versolatti to spring for a ready replacement, and the Birds would accept their offer of close to S$12.9 million. Copa Bolivia holders Djoker's had an enticing offer but could not match A.S. Gozzadini's personal terms, with Turkish fourth division club 19-GÖZTEPE-25 always more of a backup option.
As for Lunde, he would technically have two titles under his belt too, though he only really contributed towards the second of those, together with the just-won Emerald Challenger Cup. He revealed that he had been intending to retire with the club, but signed up for Tian's plan for the greater good. "Since that is how it's going to be, it is best that we all part on good terms."
The Birds would recoup S$8.67 million for the former Norwegian youth international, who signed on with Spanish Division Six leaders Getafe C.F. S.A.D., ahead of two-time Serbian Challenger Cup winners Becej Ravens. "I don't think I have much more to prove." he said. "I will just be out to do my job."