Singapore's 2009 SEA Games Bronze Medallists: Where Are They Now?

There were high hopes on the Young Lions’ class of 2009 to achieve a first-ever gold medal at the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games. Unfortunately they could only repeat their bronze medal feat from the previous edition. FFT takes a look at how things have panned out for that crop of players since…  

Just like in the 2007 edition, the Singaporeans progressed into the semi-finals by finishing second in their group, with respective 2-2 and 0-0 draws against Indonesia and Laos sandwiching a 2-1 win against Myanmar.  

They failed to make the final after a 4-1 mauling by Vietnam, but bounced back to dispatch Laos 3-1 to settle for a second successive bronze medal. 

So, where are those players who featured in that third-place playoff?  

Hyrulnizam Juma’at  

He was denied a clean sheet due to a late Laos consolation, but overall it was a good tournament for him as he managed to dislodge Jasper Chan to play the four remaining games (after missing the opener).  

The 1.82m custodian’s career has not gone as smoothly though as he has never really been first-choice at any of his clubs.  

He shared goalkeeper duties with Izwan Mahbud for the LionsXII in 2012 (and an unused deputy in Singapore’s Suzuki Cup triumph that year) and was largely a back-up to Hassan Sunny at Warriors the following year.  

His largest amount of playing time came at Tampines Rovers in 2014 with 19 appearances in all competitions, but he was only able to play for half a season as he had to go under the knife to remove a fibromotasis tumour on his right glute. 

‘Ah Lau’ then spent two seasons with Home United, sharing duties with Shahril Jantan in 2015, then with Zulfairuuz Rudy and Eko Pradana Putra in 2016.  

The 30-year-old is now back at Warriors and should see much more game time, with fellow keeper Basil Chan out with a serious injury.  

Faritz Hameed  

Known as the right-back who loves wearing the No.9 and has a penchant for going forward, Faritz missed the subsequent 2011 SEA Games but bounced back to be part of the 2013 bronze-medal winning squad.  

After four seasons with the Young Lions, he joined the LionsXII in 2013 and played an integral role in their stunning Malaysia Super League (MSL) triumph that year.  

A serious knee injury in 2014 cost him his place in that year’s Suzuki Cup squad and led to him missing 10 months of competitive action, but he bounced back superbly to help the LionsXII win the 2015 Malaysia FA Cup before the club was dropped from Malaysian competitions. 

Thus, the 27-year-old joined Geylang International in 2016 and is now in his second season with the club, while being the first-choice right back for the Lions.  

Safuwan Baharudin 

Despite playing as a centre-back, Safuwan was the top-scorer for the Young Lions in that tournament with two goals and went on to become one of Singapore’s brightest talents.  

His stock began to rise as he joined the LionsXII in 2012 from the Young Lions, forging an excellent understanding with Baihakki Khaizan in what was regarded as Southeast Asia’s best defensive pairing at that time – crucial in Singapore’s Suzuki Cup win that year and the LionsXII’s MSL triumph in 2013.  

As time went on, Safuwan began to show his versatility by playing in midfield and forward roles – helping him earn a three-month loan deal with A-League side Melbourne City in 2015, where he scored two goals in six appearances before returning to Singapore due to a spine injury.  

He then joined Malaysian side PDRM FA the following year and has stayed as club captain for a second successive season despite the team’s relegation into the second-tier Malaysia Premier League (MPL).  

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