The young gun – Dhukilan Jeevamani, Geylang International

Dhukilan Jeevamani has so far failed to live up to the hype that accompanied his 2010 Youth Olympic Games (YOG) performances, but could the 2016 season prove to be the young defender's breakthrough year?

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Leading the Singapore under-16 side out of the tunnel, Dhukilan Jeevamani was a figure of concentration. After all, he was captaining a side that had enthralled audiences just a year before in the YOG.

Supporters had gathered to see if Dhukilan and the cubs could hold their own against their counterparts from Brazilian outfit, Flamengo. Hold their own they did, as Dhukilan turned in a man-of-the-match performance in the 1-1 draw.

Expectations were raised even higher and it was hoped that Dhukilan would progress to feature in the national team, but instead the 21-year-old had to deal with the blow of being excluded from the final 2015 SEA Games squad.

But having secured a professional S.League contract with Geylang International for the 2016 campaign, Dhukilan is primed to make his mark in the local league.

The third-year Temasek Polytechnic student did have a taste of the S.League last season when he came on in the second-half as Geylang won 3-1 against Warriors FC, with then-Eagles’ head coach Jorg Steinebrunner praising Dhukilan for his maturity and composure on the ball.

It was a new experience and a moment to savour. I’ll need to be at the top of my game to excel in this league.

“It was a new experience and a moment to savour,” Dhukilan said of his substitute appearance.

“The pace of the game was pretty fast and I recognise that I’ll need to be at the top of my game to excel in this league.”

The Liverpool fan models his game after Reds legend Jamie Carragher, for his aggression and never-say-die attitude.

Dhukilan can play at centre-back or defensive midfield, but believes his best position is at left-back.

With Daniel Bennett, Shariff Samat and Yuki Ichikawa alongside him in the Eagles’ backline, Dhukilan is eager to learn as much as he can from the experienced tacklers.

Dhukilan concluded: “I am looking to pick up as much as possible from these players and I am really happy to be in this team.

“A the end of the day, the coach has said that every position is up for grabs, so all I want to do right now is to work as hard as I can to break into the team and nail down a regular starting spot.”

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