Noh Alam Shah tips Singapore's worrying goal drought to continue for some time

FourFourTwo caught up with Noh Alam Shah at his ‘Striker Clinic’ this week as the fiery forward weighed in on the Lions' lack of goals over the past 12 months.

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Proflic poachers live long in the memory of local football fans. Mention Indra Sahdan, for example, and his goal against Manchester United quickly springs to mind. 

Aleksandar Duric, on the other hand, won plaudits for his extraordinary fitness even towards the tail end of his career.

As for Noh Alam Shah? His seven goals against Laos in 2007 need no introduction

As for Noh Alam Shah? His seven goals against Laos in 2007 need no introduction.

But according to the former Tampines Rovers' frontman, Singaporeans will have to wait some time for their next striking sensation.

"I can tell you, for another five years, you're not going to see a good striker," he told FourFourTwo at a football clinic held at The Arena.

"There's a lot of young players with potential but it's up to them to work hard."

Prolific strikers lIke Alam Shah and Indra are increasingly hard to come by

Alam Shah knows all about finding the back of the net. The 37-year-old is after all the top goalscorer in AFF Suzuki Cup history, with 17 goals.

And how the Lions could use a striker like Alam Shah right now. 

Under Sundram, the Lions have only scored 10 goals in 18 games

V.Sundramoorthy’s men have found it difficult to put away the chances and have been punished - most notably in their recent Asian Cup qualifier match against Turkmenistan, where the away side snatched a draw with a goal in the last 10 minutes.

Under Sundram, the Lions have only scored 10 goals in 18 games.

This is a concern Alam Shah shares. When asked by FFT to name the best finisher in either the current set-up or in the youth squad, the former national icon struggled.

“It really is hard to say. Maybe (Khairul) Nizam when he has the desire, he can be an outstanding player,” said Alam Shah.

Goals have been tough to come by for Sundram's men. Photo: FAS

On the younger Lions, he added: “I don’t see any strikers coming up. Ikhsan (Fandi) and Ifwat (Ismail) have the potential. I work with Ifwat in the developmental under-20s squad and I can see him becoming an out-and-out striker.”

He quipped: “Ifwat will be a ‘what if’ he doesn’t live up to the potential and work hard enough.”

I work with Ifwat in the Geylang under-20s and I can see him becoming an out-and-out striker

But apart from these two names, Alam Shah could not pin-point one particular striker with the potential to be prolific and he explained why.

“Nobody is paying attention to all those small details a striker (must) learn. A striker must dribble, run and put the ball into the back of the net. I am an old school striker and I learned all these things by doing particular drills specifically for strikers,” Alam Shah explained.

“Nowadays, they don’t do this anymore (specific drills). They go for training, play for one or two hours and leave.

“I was disciplined in training, had the composure and desire to train hard. I always trained with Vorowan (Chitavanich) and he moulded me into the striker I am today.

Alam Shah trained under Thai coach Vorawan Chitavanich at Tampines. Photo: S.League

"I believe clubs now tend to ignore specific skills for strikers and only look into the tactical and technical skills.

“I would stay after training to practice with players like Indra. No one does that these days. They need to stay for at least two hours and work on their finishing.

I used to run and run and perfect my drills. You cannot train for one or two hours and see improvement

"If we didn’t do what I did, I wouldn’t be up there.”

Currently doing his coaching licence, Alam Shah wants to give back to local football by imparting the knowledge and experience he garnered over the years.

He also hopes that more coaches plan and execute specific drills for strikers.

“They need to make it a habit to do these drills. You know, I used to run and run and perfect my drills. You cannot train for one or two hours and see improvement," he added.