Turkish delight for Young Lions

Turkish delight for Young Lions
Lions assistant coach Aide Iskandar (in black) gives some advice to Anumanthan Kumar and Iqbal Hamid (left) during a training session.

The Singapore men's Under-23 football team will leave for Myanmar on Tuesday confident of winning at least a medal at this year's South-east Asia (SEA Games), which will kick off next month.

The official target is to reach the final, but many believe the side are even capable of winning Singapore's first football gold at the Games.

The official target when Singapore hosts the 2015 SEA Games is gold. And the quest to realise the dream on home soil will start in January next year - in Turkey.

Even before this year's cohort have packed their bags, plans for the 2015 team have taken shape.

Aide Iskandar, the man tasked to lead Singapore this year as well as the 2015 Games, revealed yesterday that a 25- man squad from the Courts Young Lions will spend four weeks in Turkey between mid-January and mid-February.

The team will play five games against European club sides who will also be spending time there during their winter break.

The squad will also train three times a day to make the most of their time in Europe.

Speaking to The New Paper, Aide said: "A gold medal in 2015 is a lofty target, and it's important that we start preparations early, get some quality opposition for the boys and play and train at quality facilities.

"Based on Bernd's (Stange, Singapore national coach) experience, teams like (German sides) Hertha Berlin, Eintracht Frankfurt will be there...along with Russian teams like Rubin Kazan and Lokomotiv Moscow.

"And we will look to play games against their first teams, and also other second-tier sides."

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