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S.League 2017 June’s Dream XI: Nazrul steps into the limelights

FourFourTwo writers picked their best 11 for the month of the June and you should be pleasantly surprised to know two Young Lions members made our team...

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Goalkeeper: Zharfan Rohaizad (Young Lions)

Young Lions, also known as the whipping boys of the S.League, were expected to be beaten soundly by Balestier Khalsa and title hopefuls Warriors FC in their only two fixtures of the month.

However, the national developmental side silenced their critics with two very resolute displays and came away with two points.

Credit must go to their goalkeeper Zharfan, who was the only goalkeeper not to concede any goals in the month of June.

Left-back: Naofumi Tanaka (Albirex Niigata)

Once again, Tanaka makes our Dream XI. The left-back scored a goal in the 4-0 trouncing of Brunei DPMM to take his overall league goal tally to three this season. The Japanese only managed two league goals last season.

Tanaka was also a menace against Home United, where he constantly overlapped and challenged for the ball.

Unfortunately, Tanaka clashed with Home’s goalkeeper Hassan Sunny and was taken off, while the latter was sent to the hospital. The White Swans eventually lost 2-0.

Right-back: Nazrul Nazari (Hougang United)*

Hougang only played one game in June, but it was enough to convince our writers that Nazrul deserved the player of the month accolade.

Despite playing in defence, the diminutive Singapore international showed enough attacking impetus to score two sumptuous goals against the Protectors and brought the high flyers back down to earth.

Centre-back: Abdil Qaiyyim (Home United)

As one of the old heads at Home, Abdil has to ensure he leads by example on the field and that is exactly what he has been doing.

The centre-back put his body on the line and was vital in holding Albirex at bay as the Protectors ended the White Swans’ unbeaten run in the league.

Abdil would then pop up with an assist for Stipe Plazibat against Hougang, although Home lost the game 3-2.

Centre-back: Illyas Lee (Young Lions)

Here is the second Young Lions player in our Dream XI for June — Illyas Lee.

One of the few from the 2010 Youth Olympics Games bronze medallists team still pursuing a career in professional football, Lee acquitted himself decently in the Young Lions’ games in June.

Even without his skipper and regular partner Sharin Saberin in defence against Balestier, Lee took on the captain's armband and led his side with aplomb to hold out for an unlikely draw.

With the Southeast Asian Games looming, under-22 coach Richard Tardy will be encouraged by Lee’s recent displays.