Ten rising stars to look out for at Nations Cup

Some of the region’s best Under-21 players will converge at the inaugural Nations Cup in Malacca on June 3-5. FourFourTwo’s writers in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore pick out their players to watch... 

Words by Kritikorn Thanamahamongkhol, Vijhay Vick and Kenneth Ho

Adam Swandi (Singapore)

The prodigious midfielder has failed to light up the stage at the international level but make no mistakes, Adam will be key to Singapore’s hopes of doing well at the Nations Cup.

His performances in the last SEA Games left much to be desired but he came back strongly in the S.League towards his enlistment date.

Adam's growth has been closely followed since he burst onto the scene

After serving his mandatory Basic Military Training, the 20-year-old has come back to the field physically stronger.

This has helped him hold his own in the middle of the park, and against counterparts of a similar age-group, Adam could very well shine.

Joshua Pereira (Singapore)

After Adam, Pereira is the next Singaporean wonderkid to emerge as one to look out for in the future.

He first came to prominence last year, in the AFF U19 Championship where Singapore technical director Michel Sablon singled him out for praise.

In his first year as a professional footballer, Pereira has acquitted himself well in the S.League.

Despite his tender age and slim frame, the midfielder has not been overawed by his more experienced and physically stronger opponents.

Technically competent, his ball-holding skills and playmaking abilities will be essential to how Singapore performs in the tournament.