Singapore squad for Barclays Asia Trophy unveiled

Singapore squad for Barclays Asia Trophy unveiled
Shahdan Sulaiman (No. 15) celebrating with Sahil Suhaimi after scoring the LionsXII’s third goal, upon his return from a horrific broken ankle at last year’s AFF Suzuki Cup.
PHOTO: ST

SINGAPORE - The Football Association of Singapore (FAS) has announced the finalised squad that will be participating in the Barclays Asia Trophy in July.

The squad of 23 players selected by head coach V. Sundramoorthy comprises mainly national team players, and features those who starred in the recent 4-0 win over Cambodia, and the 0-0 draw against Japan in World Cup qualifying matches.

Besides the 19 national players, coach Sundram has also selected four foreign players from the S League. They are defenders Kento Fukuda (Geylang International FC), and Sirina Camara (Home United FC), and strikers Nicholas Velez (Warriors FC), and Rodrigo Tosi (Tampines Rovers FC).

Goalkeepers: Izwan Mahbud (LNS), Zaiful Nizam (BK)

The selection includes:

Defenders: Ismadi Mukhtar (TR), Nazrul Nazari (LNS), Baihakki Khaizan (JDT II), Madhu Mohana (LNS), Safuwan Baharudin (LNS), Kento Fukuda (GI), Shaiful Esah (TR), Hafiz Sujad (LNS), Shakir Hamzah (LNS), Izzdin Shafiq (LNS), Sirina Camara (HU)

Midfielders: Nicholas Velez (WRS), Yasir Hanapi (HU), Zulfahmi Arifin (LNS), Gabriel Quak (LNS), Faris Ramli (LNS), Shahdan Sulaiman (LNS) Forwards: Khairul Amri (LNS), Fazrul Nawaz (WRS), Shahril Ishak (JDT II), Rodrigo Tosi (TR)

The Singapore Selection side, led by skipper Shahril Ishak, will take on Arsenal on July 15. The other two participating teams are Everton and Stoke City. The 3rd-4th placing match and the final will be played on July 18.

According to a statement from FAS, Coach Sundram said the Barclays Asia Trophy is a wonderful opportunity for his players to pit themselves against world-class opposition. "The players, and the backroom staff are definitely excited about the tournament because we see many of these players in action for their clubs week in and week out during the Premier League season," said the Tampines Rovers coach who also assisted National Teams Head Coach Bernd Stange for the recent World Cup qualifiers.

"Most of the national team players in my squad are also young and still developing, so this big opportunity for them to perform, and to express themselves in front of a big home crowd will not only be a huge source of motivation for them, but will also benefit Singapore football and the national team.

"The Singapore players will be entering the Barclays Asia Trophy with confidence especially after the 0-0 draw with Japan. And if they perform well in the two matches, it will give them another good boost as for our next World Cup qualifying match against Syria in September."

When asked about the four S League foreign players he had included, Sundram said: "They will add skills and steel to our team. I have been watching them and they are among the best performers in the S League this season.

Goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud, who was widely praised in the media for his performance against Japan, is looking forward to playing in a National Stadium packed with Singapore fans.

Said the 24-year-old who pulled off an impressive 18 saves against the Samurai Blue at the Saitama Stadium on June 16: "Playing at the National Stadium is always special because it is our home ground.

"I am excited about taking on the world-class strikers from these Premier League clubs, and my backline and I will do our best to keep them at bay. Having a stadium packed with Singapore fans cheering us on and hearing the Kallang Roar will definitely make us raise our game."

FAS President Zainudin Nordin, is urging fans to turn up and support the Singapore Selection side. He said: "I think fans can be happy with the squad that Sundram has selected, which are packed with experienced Lions and a few stand-out S.League foreign players. I wish him and our team all the best for this competition.

"When the National Stadium was unveiled last year, we mentioned that we want to play as many matches there as possible against top opponents in front of a packed stadium. A full stadium of fans bringing back the Kallang Roar will provide an incredible level of support for our players, so my wish is to see many of our fans turning up to cheer our team on."

Tickets for the Barclays Asia Trophy 2015 are available to purchase in Singapore through Sports Hub Tix, the official ticketing agency of the Barclays Asia Trophy, through the following sources:

- Online at www.sportshubtix.sg

- Sports Hub Tix telephone booking hotline - (+65) 3158 7888 (10am to 8pm daily)

- Box Office at the Singapore Indoor Stadium at the Singapore Sports Hub

- All Singpost Outlets island wide

For more information, visit http://www.fas.org.sg/news/announcement-singapore-selection-squad-list-barclays-asia-trophy

candicec@sph.com.sg

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