FourFourTwo's Southeast Asian 20 Under-20, Part II
Dominic Tan – Malaysia
The former Malaysia under-19 captain was ‘promoted’ to the Southern Tigers’ first team in the 2016 mid-season transfer window after impressing at JDT II in the Malaysia Premier League.
He didn't get as much game time as he did at JDT II, but he now trains with some of the best players in Malaysian football and the club’s successful rotation policy as it battles on all fronts should provide more glimpses of what Dominic could offer in the coming years. – VV
Faiq Bolkiah – Brunei
Believed to be the youngest captain in the history of senior international football, at just 18 years of age Faiq Bolkiah quite literally has the world at his feet.
The nephew of the Sultan of Brunei, one of the richest men in the world, Bolkiah is on the books of English Premier League champions Leicester City, where he has regularly featured in the UEFA Youth Champions League.
He was also named his national captain on debut in the Suzuki Cup qualifiers late last year.
Powerfully built and with excellent close control, Bolkiah’s class is immediately recognisable by his upright stance and gait, with eyes pointing ahead rather than at the ball.
While he’s a winger at club level, for the national team he’s already the focal point of the attack, playing just in behind the central striker. – SM
Chrerng Polroth – Cambodia
Cambodia may have exited the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup with three defeats, but they showed a lot of heart and in the middle of the park was this 19-year-old central midfielder.
He got his name on the scoresheet in the 2-1 defeat to Vietnam with a stunning goal that could be deemed among the best in the tournament.
Polroth, who won the Cambodian League as a 16-year-old with Svay Rieng in 2013, kept 25-year-old French-born Thierry Chantha Bin out of the starting line-up during the regional tournament’s group stages in November.
His rise is among the individual success stories of Cambodia that gives them hope of a bright future in the years to come. – VV
Anon Amornlertsak – Thailand
Growing up in the Lisu tribe and learning to play football on the mountains of Chiang Mai, a province in Northern Thailand, Anon Amornlerdsak soon became the new hope of Buriram United, the top team in the country’s northeast.
The leading light of the club’s academy, he made his debut for the first team way back in 2014.
A versatile player, he can operate forward, as a winger, a left wing back and or at full-back.
His trademark is to tuck his shirt in before every match, demonstrating his polite and disciplined approach, but make no mistake he is highly effective and boasts a clinical left foot.
He was previously the youngest AFC Champions League participant from Buriram, at the age of 18 years, four months and 10 days, before Supachok set a new mark.
Anon has been progressing steadily, finishing as his club’s third highest scorer last season behind Andres Tunez and Diogo Luis Santo, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. – KT