S.League: Muhaimin's off the mark

S.League: Muhaimin's off the mark
Courts Young Lions Muhaimin Suhaimi at a training session on 5 May 2014.

SINGAPORE - It was a tap-in that came in a 3-2 defeat by Warriors FC, but it meant the world to Courts Young Lions forward Muhaimin Suhaimi.

After all, you always remember your first and this was the 19-year-old's maiden S.League goal in his debut season.

That effort also made Muhaimin (right) the first player from the 2010 Youth Olympic Games football team to score in the S.League.

"It's a great feeling to get my first professional goal," said Muhaimin, who is a full-time national serviceman with the Singapore Police Force.

"The goal gives me more confidence and will help me to be more composed in future matches as I aim to score more in big matches."

Aide Iskandar's side could do with more from Muhaimin, when the Young Lions host tonight a Home United side featuring a fearsome attack side that boasts the services of national forwards Indra Sahdan Daud, Fazrul Nawaz and Qiu Li, in addition to 2013 Player of the Year Lee Kwan Woo and four-goal Japanese forward Bruno Castanheira.

Four years ago, Muhaimin and his mates from the National Football Academy thrilled Singapore fans when they played an exciting brand of attacking football en route to a bronze medal at the inaugural Youth Olympics held here.

PIN-UP BOYS

Back then, the pin-up boys were goalkeeper Fashah "The Bear" Iskandar, inspirational skipper Jeffrey Lightfoot, "Gelek Prince" Hanafi Akbar, Muhaimin the "Chilli Padi" and wing wonders Brandon Koh and Jonathan Tan.

Today, the "Chilli Padi" has grown from 1.55m to 1.67m, and like a few of his teammates, is gaining invaluable experience with every match in the S.League.

Most of the players from the Youth Olympics side are playing for the Singapore Cubs in the Prime League, but a handful have had their first taste of S.League action (see sidebar), with Fashah, Muhaimin and 2010 TNP Dollah Kassim Award winner Ammirul Emmran Mazlan drafted into the Young Lions squad.

Defensive midfielder Ammirul, 19, was the first to get thrown in at the deep end when he started in the Young Lions' 4-0 loss to Balestier Khalsa on the opening day, with Muhaimin coming on as a 78th-minute substitute.

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