Preliminary Singapore SEA Games squad announced

A total of 43 players are in contention for the eventual 20-strong Singapore Under-23 squad, which will take part in this year’s SEA Games in June.

The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) has announced the first cut for the Singapore continent for the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, which the country will host this year.

A total of 950 athletes from 36 sports had been selected in this preliminary list, which included 43 members from the Singapore Under-23 team led by Aide Iskandar.

The majority of the players unsurprisingly come from the Courts Young Lions, with the likes of Shakir Hamzah, Anumanthan Mohan Kumar, Adam Swandi and Iqbal Hussain set to play key roles.

There are also five LionsXII players in the form of Faris Azienuddin, Faris Ramli, Samuel Benjamin, Sahil Suhaimi and new boy Christopher Van Huizen.

Also finding their way into the extended squad are Fareez Farhan and Stanely Ng, who left the Young Lions this year to link up with S.League sides Hougang United and Home United respectively.

Last season’s Prime League top scorer Nur Hizami is included, while the much-vaunted Fandi brothers, Irfan and Ikhsan are also present and accounted for.

Five players from that famous Under-15 squad which thrilled Singaporeans in the 2010 Youth Olympic Games, could again have the opportunity to play in front of sell-out crowds – namely goalkeeper Fashah Iskandar, Dhukilan Jeevamani, Ammirul Emmran, Hazim Faiz and Muhaimin Suhaimi, while then-captain Jeffrey Lightfoot and exciting winger Jonathan Tan are excluded.

Meanwhile, there was also no love shown for Hougang’s Firman Hanif and former LionsXII attacker Ignatius Ang, despite their eligibility, and they look set to miss out on participating in the Games.

A squad of 26 players, representing the Under-23s, are on a two-week training stint in Turkey and have already played two friendly matches – suffering losses against their counterparts from Spartak Moscow and Hamburger SV.

They will next take on the Uzbekistan Under-21s and Yemen Under-22s before returning next month.

Coach Aide believes this training stint will be essential to their gold medal bid this June.

“It has been hard work and we have tough matches lined up, but the most important thing is for the boys to learn from every match we play here and for them to bond as a team,” he said.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to have training tours like this, and look forward to the rest of our preparations in the lead-up to June.”

The 43-strong preliminary squad for the SEA Games will eventually be trimmed to 20 for the Games, which will be played from 5-16 June in Singapore.

Preliminary SEA Games squad

Goalkeepers

Syazwan Buhari, Rudy Khairullah, Shahrul Rayyan, Fashah Iskandar.

Defenders

Shakir Hamzah, Al-Qaasimy Rahman, Fadli Kamis, Amirul Adli, Ali Hudzaifi, Delwinder Singh, Sheikh Abdul Hadi, Faris Azienuddin, Faiz Salleh, Farhan Rahmat, Shahrin Saberin, R Aaravin, Dhukilan Jeevamani, Sim Teck Yi, Taufiq Muqminin.

Midfielders

Faris Ramli, Shahfiq Ghani, Iqbal Hussain, Anumanthan Mohan Kumar, Adam Swandi, Ammirul Emmran, Nur Na’iim Ishak, Shameer Aziq, Fareez Farhan, Safirul Sulaiman, Shamil Sharif, Suria Prakash, Nur Ridho, Afiq Noor, Samuel Benjamin, Christopher Van Huizen.

Forwards

Muhaimin Suhaimi, Sahil Suhaimi, Amy Recha, Stanely Ng, Hazim Faiz, Irfan Fandi, Ikhsan Fandi, Nur Hizami Salim.

Photo: Football Association of Singapore