French test for Games hopefuls

French test for Games hopefuls
Coach Bernd Stange wants Courts Young Lions striker Sahil Suhaimi to score and harass opponents.

Singaporean's Asian Games football hopefuls will play the France Under-21 side in Reunion Island on Tuesday in an attempt to earn entry to the Incheon Games.

And their bid for a spot at the Asiad may also see them take on the likes of regional powerhouses Australia and Japan.

National coach Bernd Stange is looking for matches against Asia's best to persuade selectors from the Singapore National Olympic Council that the National Under-23 squad deserves a chance to compete in South Korea.

"Our players are not involved in the AFC Champions League or the AFC Cup so we need to play in tournaments like the Asian Games, where we can play against teams like Japan and Korea, and improve" said Stange, 66.

"The game against France Under-21, who have six wins out of six in their European U-21 qualifiers, will be important to show how good we are."

With an eye on both the Asiad and next year's SEA Games, both Under-23 events, the German has selected a young squad.

Aside from four over-age players - goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud, defenders Faritz Abdul Hameed and Afiq Yunos (all 24 this year) and striker Khairul Amri (29) - the average age of the squad selected for Tuesday's game is just over 21.

One player Stange is looking forward to seeing back in national colours is striker Sahil Suhaimi.

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