Singapore head coach Bernd Stange has hinted that he has considered including a couple of young foreigners currently plying their trade in the S.League for his Singapore Selection to face Juventus.
Serie A giants Juventus will be visiting Singaporean shores to play a game at the new Sports Hub on August 16, and Stange is hoping that the game against the Italian champions will unearth some talent for the upcoming Suzuki Cup campaign.
"I think there's just one criteria - we choose the best available players at the moment," he told FourFourTwo on Tuesday.
"I will announce the team after our trip to Austria, where we'll be going with our A National Team and our SEA Games squad.
"That is around 40 players, and in addition I will choose one, two or three players from our SLeague who I believe deserve to play against Juventus, and maybe have a chance to become Singaporeans to support our football in the future."
Singapore has had varied success with foreign imports in recent years, including the likes of Qiu Li (China), Fahrudin Mustafic (Serbia), Precious Emuejeraye (Nigeria) and the evergreen Aleksandar Duric (Bosnia/Australia) but recent squads have been mostly made out of local players.
Stange's latest comments represent a possible shift though, with the German coach admitting that injecting foreign-born talent was an option.
"There are a few players who have the chance to play for Singapore soon because we all know the FIFA rules, they have to stay a long time here before they can apply for a passport," he said.
"I have a few players in my mind now who I'd like to invite and I will nominate the team at the end of July.
"Our Suzuki Cup team is a team with players born here in Singapore - all local boys, a very young team and it would be good to add one or two top class players who are available and ready to play for Singapore."
But if there was one point Stange was unwilling to budge on, it appeared to be his steadfast belief in giving young players a chance.
"Yes the future of Singapore football is youth definitely, that's what I believe and nobody can change my mind and we will follow that way," he said.
"This is the first rule and the second rule is I will choose players where I believe they are able to perform on the international level.
"For me it's more important to see how our players perform maybe at Asian Champions League or Asian Cup level and not only S.League.
"A player who is overage will stay at his level and if he doesn't convince me in international competitions or the S.League, I will be looking for younger players to create a bright future for Singapore football."comments