Football: 21-year-old Warriors winger receives first call-up for S'pore

Football: 21-year-old Warriors winger receives first call-up for S'pore

Nobody would have pictured what was about to unfold when Warriors FC's flying winger Suria Prakash (right) faced down national coach Bernd Stange, 66, in a routine attacking drill in his first training session with the Lions yesterday at the Jalan Besar Stadium.

German Stange acted as a dummy defender in the drill, which required players to pass the ball wide for wingers to swing in crosses for the strikers to finish.

Unfortunately, Suria fluffed his lines as he was tried to sweep the ball to a teammate, and crashed into a tackle by Stange.

"He told me to release the ball faster next time, and told me to try again," the shaggy-haired winger sheepishly told The New Paper later.

"I got my first touch wrong."

That moment aside, Suria didn't look out of place with the Lions.

FINE FORM

He has been in fine form for the Warriors this season in their battle for the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League title and has been rewarded with a call-up to the national team for the first time, as the Lions prepare to take on Papua New Guinea (PNG) and Hong Kong in international friendlies over the next week.

The former ITE College East student hopes this call-up will be the first of many.

"I hope I will be a permanent part of the national team from now on," said Suria.

"Getting the chance to train and learn from the seniors will help me a lot."

The softly-spoken youngster put in an outstanding shift in his S.League debut for the Warriors, a 1-0 win in a top-of-the-table clash against Brunei DPMM on May 22.

Stange believes Suria has a bright future ahead of him, if he can keep improving.

"I first saw him in the Prime League, then in his first S.League game against DPMM, and I recommended him to Aide (Iskandar, national U-23 coach) and he has been a part of our set-up since.

"Players like Suria, Adam Swandi and Faris Ramli have the ability to win games on their own."

"They can manage well in one-on-one situations and can make a difference." "But they are not ready for the international level yet, and they are still at the start of what I hope will be a long career. So I hope they will work hard and improve."

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