Four foreigners in Singapore Selection for Barclays Asia Trophy

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Nine S.League players, including four foreign imports, have been selected in V. Sundramoorthy's Singapore Selection side for the upcoming Barclays Asia Trophy in Singapore.

The Premier League sanctioned pre-season tournament will take place on July 15 and 18, with English teams Arsenal, Everton and Stoke City participating alongside the hosts.

Sundram's team is mostly made up of Singapore National Team players, with Lions captain Shahril Ishak set to lead the side out at the Singapore Sports Hub.

Argentinian striker Nicolas Velez (Warriors FC) and French winger Sirina Camara (Home United) have once again been drafted into the side after appearing against Juventus last August, while Japanese defender Kento Fukuda (Geylang International) and Brazilian forward Rodrigo Tosi (Tampines Rovers) will make their first appearances in Singapore red.

"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," Sundram said.

"Fukuda has been outstanding in defence, while Camara has consistently been one of the best foreign players in the League.

"Velez was the S.League's Young Player of the Year last season and a proven goalscorer while Tosi scored the most number of goals last season.

"They all bring good qualities to help our local players."

Goalkeeper Izwan Mahbud has been included after his heroics in last month's 0-0 draw with Japan in the World Cup qualifier, with Balestier Khalsa custodian Zaiful Nizam challenging him for a place between the sticks.

Shahril's Johor Darul Ta'zim II teammate Baihakki Khaizan will also join him for the tournament, although there was no room for JDT midfielder Hariss Harun.

In total, there are 12 LionsXII players in the squad, with Shahdan Sulaiman returning to the National Stadium for the first time since his horror leg injury during the AFF Suzuki Cup last November.

"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," Sundram said.

"Most of the national team players in my squad are also young and still developing, so this is a big opportunity for them to perform. 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 draw with Japan.

"And if they perform well in the two matches, it will give them another good boost for our next World Cup qualifying match against Syria in September."

Singapore will take on Arsenal on the evening of July 15, with Everton and Stoke City to play the curtain-raiser earlier that day at the 55,000-capacity Singapore National Stadium.

Singapore Selection for the Barclays Asia Trophy

Goalkeepers: Izwan Mahbud (LionsXII), Zaiful Nizam (Balestier Khalsa)

Defenders: Nazrul Nazari, Madhu Mohana, Safuwan Baharudin, Hafiz Sujad, Shakir Hamzah (LionsXII), Baihakki Khaizan (JDT II), Ismadi Mukhtar, Shaiful Esah (Tampines Rovers), Kento Fukuda (Geylang International)

Midfielders: Shahdan Sulaiman, Izzdin Shafiq, Zulfahmi Arifin, Gabriel Quak, Faris Ramli (LionsXII), Yasir Hanapi, Sirina Camara (Home United)

Forwards: Khairul Amri (LionsXII), Shahril Ishak (JDT II), Fazrul Nawaz, Nicolas Velez (Warriors FC), Rodrigo Tosi (Tampines Rovers)

Tickets for the Barclays Asia Trophy are now on sale. They can be purchased at www.sportshubtix.sg, by calling the Sports Hub Tix booking hotline on (+65) 3158 7888, at the Singapore Indoor Stadium on at any Singpost outlet.