Time to end the drought

Time to end the drought

He's a former Singapore captain who is about to embark on his first South-east Asia (SEA) Games as coach.

Former Lions central defender Aide Iskandar has been charged with the task of guiding the Singapore Under-23s to a place in the final.

Ahead of Sunday's Group A opener against Laos in Naypyidaw, Myanmar, the 38-year-old sat down with The New Paper's David Lee to talk gold, Sundram and philosophy.

1 A record four ASEAN titles, but no SEA Games gold. Why do we struggle at the SEA Games?

Aide: Being an under-23 tournament throws up some challenges for us because our boys must fulfil their national service obligations, which is a top priority.

While other countries like Malaysia are sending their teams to Europe, we do our best with our preparations. We are working very hard not just for this SEA Games, but also the next one.

There could also be a mental block, which we will try to overcome.

Singapore had never won an international football tournament until the Tiger Cup triumph in 1998, and within 15 years, we've won four.

I hope this serves as an inspiration for the U-23s. It's also good because there are players from this team who were part of the national side that won the fourth ASEAN title last year.

2 Everyone knows about your stars Hariss Harun, Safuwan Baharudin and Izwan Mahbud. Who are the less-heralded players that could shine at this SEA Games?

I hope Shahfiq Ghani can have a good tournament and get some goals. Shakir Hamzah, Hafiz Sujad and Faritz Hameed should also do well.

The boys are very motivated and hungry to show what they can do.

Many have labelled this team as the best in recent times, but we must not be over-confident.

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