Alistair Edwards' Perfect XI

As you would expect, Alistair Edwards names mostly former Singapore and Johor players in his dream team...

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Goalkeeper: Tony Franken

Tony was the best shot-stopper I ever came across. He was small in stature but was incredibly gifted in shot-stopping. I grew up watching him as a junior and had the opportunity to play with him when we were at Perth Glory.

Right-back: Kadir Yahaya

Kadir was one of those unsung heroes of the Singapore team [in the 90s]. He went up and down the right-hand side extremely well and created a lot of chances for me. He was a good leader, so I am not surprised that he has gone into coaching.

Centre-back: Jang Jung

Jang Jung was ever so calm and collected. He was very organised and you could rely on him through thick and thin.

Centre-back: Mehmet Durakovic

Mehmet was my team-mate with the Socceroos and we also had many great battles against each other at the club level. He was such a good defender. He was extremely quick, had an incredible vertical leap and was able to read the danger before everyone else.

Left-back: Scott Miller

Another former Perth Glory team-mate, if you had to rate his performance every match Scott featured in, he would get at least eight out of 10 every time because he was such a consistent player. He was a bit like Kadir Yahaya [in the sense that] he loved to attack and was capable of putting in great crosses.

Defensive midfielder:  Nasir Yusof

He was nicknamed “The Professor” and rightly so because he was really the brain behind our success at Johor. He was very smart, calm on the ball when you needed him to be, and blessed with great passing vision. People often mention me, Abbas Saad and [Ervin] Boban when they talk about Johor, but it was all thanks to Nasir for feeding us the ball and dictating the midfield.

Right midfielder: Anuar Abu Bakar

Anuar Abu Bakar was an up-and-coming player when I was at Johor. He was a very fast player and a good finisher, which was what Malaysian football is missing nowadays. He did not start much during my time at Johor, but he would often come off the bench and make a difference when we were struggling to score. If you look up the record books, you would find that he scored a couple of crucial goals for the team.

Left midfielder: Malek Awab

Malek was a player who could run all day and always worked hard for the team. His work ethic was simply unbelievable. One minute he would be crossing the ball into the box and the next chasing down the opponents or clearing the ball off our goal line.

Attacking midfielder: Abbas Saad

Abbas and I go a long way back. Both of us represented Australia in the 1987 FIFA World Youth Championship and we were team-mates at Sydney Olympics, Johor and Singapore. Because of that, we had an uncanny ability of knowing what each other would be doing on the field. If I was being marked, Abbas would always be around the corner to help me out, and I would do the same if he was under pressure. Plus, if I don't put him in this team, he will not buy any more coffee for me! [laughs]

Forward: Fandi Ahmad

Fandi Ahmad was probably the most naturally gifted player that I ever played with. He was an all-rounder, but what really impressed me was his ability to hang in the air, look around and head the ball wherever he wanted it to be.

Forward: Ervin Boban

I loved playing alongside Boban because he did a lot of unselfish runs to take defenders away and create space for the rest of the team. He did not mind doing that because he did not care about the limelight. He also did a lot of other stuff that only football experts would know how good he was. For instance, when the ball went to him, he knew when the right time was to hold the ball, play it first time to his team-mates or take on defenders.

Alistair Edwards is currently Techical Director of FAM League side Real Mulia.