Avramovic's 2004 Suzuki Cup-winning babies: Where are they now?
The year 2004 was the first clear signal of Raddy Avramovic’s prowess in managing Singapore, as he took a young Lions side with the added presence of a few veterans into his Suzuki Cup squad and surprised many by leading them to their second tournament win.
Many had initially written Singapore off heading into the tournament, but by the end of it, the likes of Shahril Ishak, Khairul Amri, Baihakki Khaizan and Ridhuan Muhammad wrote their names into the history books and went on to establish themselves as the best in the region for the next few editions.
Given that the aforementioned have already appeared in previous ‘Where are They Now’ segments, FourFourTwo takes a look at those who have yet to be featured and finds out what happened to them…
It was the first Suzuki Cup tournament for the Nigerian-born striker and he certainly took it by storm. In total, he scored six times in the tournament, including two over both legs of the final, to finish as the joint-second top scorer.
He would go on to play in two more editions of the Suzuki Cup without achieving much success, although he did help Singapore to clinch the bronze medal in the 2007 SEA Games.
At club level, Agu had stints with Woodlands Wellington, Gombak United (twice), Malaysia’s PDRM, Indonesia’s Persija Jakarta, before ending up with LionsXII in 2012 for their inaugural season in the Malaysia Super League, where he struggled for playing time and goals.
He finally lifted his first league title in his career in 2014 with Warriors FC before retiring. He hasn’t been spotted around in Singapore since and now resides in Melbourne, Australia.
All in all, he finished his career with over 100 goals, including 15 in 42 games for the Lions.
Ishak Zainol was brought into the squad as Avramovic looked to blood the next generation of youngster, and he served mainly as a back-up.
However, he failed to live up to his early promise, with injuries derailing his career and that ended any involvement he had with the national team.