When Amin Nasir leads Hougang United out this season, it will not be just about his first full season as an S.League coach.
Rather, the 45-year-old former Singapore international defender will be celebrating life, after successfully battling his way back to fitness from fourth-stage colon cancer.
"Football has really helped me a lot," said Amin, who was first diagnosed with the deadly disease in late 2012.
Despite that, Hougang took him in as a youth coach early last year, and subsequently promoted him to first-team coach last September.
The older brother of former national captain Nazri Nasir, Amin had toggled between the Cheetahs and chemotherapy.
He added: "Football did help me take my mind off thinking negatively, and so many people from the football fraternity - coaches, players, former team-mates, journalists, and kids from the National Football Academy - visited me. That gave me strength and determination to fight."
Crying and choking as he recounted the harrowing experience, it was not easy for an emotional Amin to tell his story.
But he agreed to share it with The New Paper, both to encourage people facing similar difficulties and to thank those who have supported him.
Amin first experienced sharp pain in his abdomen and it gradually worsened. While he tried to bear with the discomfort, he knew the situation was serious when he began passing out blood.
After some tests, doctors confirmed he had colon cancer.
"It was very difficult for me to accept the news because I'm a family man and this could have gone either way," he said.
"For the first month, it was very tough and I felt very down but I want to thank God, my family, friends and the Hougang United management for their support.
"I'm very grateful to Hougang chairman Bill Ng for his human touch in keeping me on the payroll even though I was not well."
Amin, whose weight had plunged from 88kg to 70kg, subsequently went for eight rounds of chemotherapy and a successful operation to remove part of his colon.
His cancer is now in remission.
Ng said: "How could we simply discard someone when he is going through the darkest part of his life?